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Car Loan Financing - Finding A Good Lender

Written by: Carrie Reeder

When purchasing a new vehicle, most people don't have enough funds to pay cash and must obtain car loan financing. After deciding which type of car to buy, the next important step is finding a good lender. While you may have no problem qualifying for car loan financing, it is important to shop around before deciding upon a lender. You can do this by either visiting local banks in your area or by researching car loan financing offers online.

If you have good credit, you may even want to decide upon a lender before visiting the car dealership. This way you can get pre-approved for a set amount of cash. Once you have been preapproved, you know how much you have to spend. You won't be as tempted to look at cars that are out of your price range. If dealers know you have already been approved for a loan, they may be more willing to negotiate a deal. Since most salespeople work on commission, they will do their best to accommodate someone who has already been approved for a loan.

Down Payment and Interest Rates

Your initial down payment will affect what type of car loan financing you receive. The greater your down payment, the lower rate of interest you can expect to be offered. Auto lenders will consider you less of a risk if you invest more in the vehicle upfront. It may be very tempting to apply for car loan financing while a dealership has a "no money down" offer, but you should be aware that the interest rate terms might be much higher.

Length of Payment Terms

Until recently the longest term for car loan financing was sixty months. Today dealers have started to offer extended payments plans of seventy-two and eighty-four months. This has caused consumers to purchase more expensive vehicles, cars that would generally be out of their price range.

While you may dream of buying a $40,000 dollar SUV, it is probably not a good idea unless you can pay for it within a five year time frame. Remember that once the warranty period is over, you are responsible for all repairs. People who finance their cars over a seven-year period often end up owing more on the car than it is actually worth.

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