Worried your next auto loan is going to be too expensive to finance? We've got some helpful tips for cutting down your vehicle financing costs. Read on for five ways you can save money on a car loan right from the start!
1. Work on Your Credit Score
We can't all have perfect credit all the time, but we can strive to. Credit is an ever-changing beast, and if you're struggling to maintain yours, it can be more difficult to get the things you need when you need them, such as a car. Bad credit doesn't have to stand in your way when you apply for an auto loan, since there are lenders that can work with credit-challenged consumers.
However, the car loan process is going to go more smoothly and cost you less if you're actively working on your credit right now. Don't wait until you're rejected by multiple lenders to start worrying about your credit score. If you need a vehicle, the first step should always be to check your credit score and credit reports, so that you know what the lender is seeing when they pull your credit.
The better your credit score is, even if it's not great, the better the auto loan you may qualify for. When you're continually working toward credit improvement, it can also save you money down the line on your car loan. Even if you don't qualify for the best rates and terms right now, you may qualify to refinance your vehicle later – but only if your credit has gotten better.
2. Opt for a Shorter Loan Term
Balancing your monthly payment with your loan term may not sound like a money saving tip, but it is! The less time you spend paying for your loan, the less it costs you. Why? Interest. Interest is the cost of borrowing money. Each person is assigned an interest rate when they're approved for credit, and the higher your interest rate, the more you end up paying.
Interest rates are mainly based on your credit score, so the better it is, the better your chance at qualifying for a lower rate. Additionally, when it comes to auto loans, interest charges accrue daily, based on the principal balance of your loan. This means the faster you can reduce your balance, the less there is to charge interest on.
When you stretch your car loan out over a long period of time, it reduces your monthly payment, but you're not saving any money because you're still being charged interest, which may outweigh the savings you're getting each month.
3. Make a Big Down Payment
A down payment is almost always required when you're considered for a special financing auto loan. Typically, subprime lenders that can work with bad credit require at least $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle's selling price as a down payment. Sometimes, these lenders even accept whichever of these is the least.
However, it's in your best interest to make the largest down payment you can comfortably afford when you're getting a car loan with bad credit. The larger your down payment, the less you have to borrow, which leaves you in a better position for a shorter loan term and lower monthly payment.
A down payment can also do things like help you qualify for a better vehicle than you otherwise would be able to get. It can also keep you out of negative equity by closing the gap between the car's value and the amount you owe on the loan.
4. Get a Cosigner or a Co-Borrower
When you're struggling with credit issues, a cosigner can "lend'' you their good credit score so that you can be approved. A co-borrower can help if your income isn't quite up to snuff for the lender. When you take out an auto loan with another person assisting you, it can increase your odds at getting better rates and terms on your car loan, too.
Before you get too excited about your prospects of doing this, make sure that you know which you need, and all the specifics that go into getting a loan with a cosigner or co-borrower. Whoever you choose is putting themselves on the line for you. Cosigners and co-borrowers have different rights and responsibilities when it comes to getting you approved for financing, but both can be greatly affected by how you treat your auto loan; their credit is impacted both positively and negatively right along with yours.
5. Work With Auto Credit Express
When you need to find your next vehicle and you know that your credit situation isn't where you'd like it to be, you're likely to have better luck getting a car loan from a subprime lender. These lenders work through special financing dealerships and have the power to help people who are struggling with credit.
You could shop around for the best financing deal you can find, but rate shopping isn't always possible when you have bad credit. Since it can be difficult to tell which dealers work with subprime lenders, Auto Credit Express wants to help you out right from the get go.
We can not only save you time, but cash as well, since you won’t be wasting gas driving around in circles trying to find a special finance lender. Simply fill out our fast and free auto loan request form, and we'll get to work finding a dealership in your area for you.