If you are hitting the open road this summer, prepare to pay more at the gas pump.
Memorial Day is right around the corner and so are some great deals on a new car! If you’re in the market for a new automobile, maybe you think the easiest way to get your dream car financed is to obtain dealer financing at the time you buy the car. In a sense, that’s true – as long as you don’t mind spending more time and money than necessary just to make things “easy.”
Shopping for a new car has never been easier.
There’s never been greater access to information on everything from make, model, fuel efficiency, past accidents and more to help you make the right decision.
Yet, consumers continue to make the same buying mistakes.
Are you guilty of these?
Buying a new car can be one of the most important decisions you make as an adult. Be sure to consider these 5 dos and don’ts when buying the car of your dreams this summer. You’ll show up to the dealership looking like an auto pro!
Are Car Ads Taking You For a Ride?
Whether you’re buying or leasing, shopping for a car can be fun and exciting. But wading through ads and promotions offered by car dealers also can be stressful. Some advertise unusually low prices, low or no up-front payments, low- or no-interest loans, or low monthly payments. Others promise high trade-in allowances, free or low-cost options, or rebates. And if you’re looking to lease a vehicle, ads for very low — or no payment — at signing may be especially enticing.
But the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says beware: Not all dealers play by the rules. Details about special offers and promotions may be buried in the fine print, clicks away from online claims, may not be disclosed at all, or may not be disclosed until you get to the showroom or the finance office. But the law requires that if a dealer advertises discounts, prices, or special low payments, the ads must clearly explain the important details of the offers and how a buyer may qualify for them.
To find your best deal, shop around and compare offers from different dealers and financing sources like banks or credit unions. Ask the right questions, and make sure all promises and terms are in writing before you sign on any dotted lines.
You know exactly what car you want. Maybe it's the sporty little red number you saw cruising down the highway last week. Or a huge SUV that costs as much in gas each month as your rent. Either way, unless you can pay cash up-front, you'll need an auto loan that will allow you to make monthly payments. Choosing the right package to fund your new wheels is the key. You can't slow down that fast-talking car salesmen, but you can make sure you know what he's talking about.
Get started by checking your credit score, a three-digit number (starting around 300 and going up to 900) used by your lender to determine how risky it is to lend you money. Your credit score influences your interest rate, so a higher score means a better loan package. You can get a free annual credit report (federally guaranteed) at annualcreditreport.com. By checking your credit report before applying for a loan you can fix errors and avoid surprises. It also protects you from dealers who might claim your credit score is lower than it actually is to keep you from getting a better deal.
You want to get a car loan, but you're not sure where to go. Lenders include financial institutions like credit unions, as well as online brokers and dealerships. Always compare lenders to see where you can find the best deal.
- Check with the financial institutions you already use. Credit unions are not-for-profit and consistently offer low rates on auto loans. Many also offer incentives for current members.
- Dealerships and online lenders both offer auto financing packages. It's important to read everything carefully, especially online, as some deals are often too good to be true.