5 Top Tips to Help You Find the Best Online Car Loan

Jean Dennison
March 22, 2017
154 Views

So you’ve decided to invest in a shiny new car? You know you need to brush up on your negotiating skills to get ready for your trip to the car dealership. But it isn’t just the cost of the car you need to pay attention to when making your purchase.

Securing an unbeatable price is great, but this alone is only half of the battle when it comes to making a smart purchase. Focussing solely on the vehicle value will leave you vulnerable to less than great deals on your auto loan.

It’s always wise to get informed on your finance options before heading off to make your car deal. But with the overwhelming number of choices out there, it’s easy to be blinded by clever sales patter, or left wondering how do car title loans work because of the complicated processes involved. How can you separate a great deal from a bad one?

Here are some handy hints to help you find the best online car loans

Know your credit score

A credit score provides valuable information to lenders, such as how likely you are to repay loans and make punctual payments.

How good your credit is will determine your eligibility for an auto loan, and the interest rate you’re liable to pay for it. Getting acquainted with this three digit number will put you in a strong position to estimate the best deal you are likely to get.

Even if you don’t have any debts or missed payments, there are things you could be doing that impact your credit (applying for various car loans for example), so it’s best to be informed.

Shop for a loan separately

If you can, go to a car dealership with pre-approved financing already in place. This affords you a stronger hand and more flexibility than if you arrive unarmed.

Begin your search by visiting a comparison website. By providing some quick basic information, they will be able to show you some offers online that could work for you. And if nothing else, it’s a great place to start from and provide you with indicators as to what’s available.

Many companies offer options for car financing including local banks and credit unions, and online banks. Research shows that online banks tend to offer the best auto loans.  

Give a self-imposed deadline for applications

Your deadline should be two weeks. Within those 14 days, you can make as many loan applications as you like, while your credit rating only suffers the repercussions of one finance inquiry.

Every time you make a loan application, regardless of the outcome, your credit score goes down a little. This two-week strategy will minimize the adverse effects on your score, and protect you from the consequences of lower ratings.

Not only will the time limit save you financially. It will also save you mentally, by not allowing you to obsessively over-analyse hundreds of possible loan options in a bid to find the perfect solution.   

Figure out the total cost of the loan

If you’re serious about finding the best online auto loan possible, don’t be fooled by low monthly repayments. It is a typical ploy used by lenders as a way of increasing overall cost.

Remember, lower means longer. The lower the monthly payments, the longer you’ll have to pay off your debt. Interest stacks up and leaves you paying out more money overall. Although higher monthly rates may look unappealing next to their rock bottom counterparts, they will let you pay off the loan quicker, therefore, accumulating less interest. Shorter term loans make the overall price cheaper.

What’s more, being free of your repayments sooner leaves you free to upgrade to a new vehicle or sell the car to pay for other things earlier.

Investigate lenders

Don’t mess with your finances. This is one area where you should do your utmost best to find a trustworthy and reputable business to get your loan.

Just like you check reviews online before you pawn your car title, you should get your detective head on and check the testimonials of past customers online for any red flags. Although you shouldn’t believe all that you read on the internet, uncovering many comments warning of negative dealings, or issues that appear to be a common theme for a particular lender should be cause for concern. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If doing a quick search can save you from financial hell, later on, it’s well worth the half hour investment.

Pay attention to the terms and conditions

Before you enter into a long term relationship with a lender, read the fine print. I may sound obvious, but how many times do you put pen to paper after little more than a cursory glance at the contract? I know we’re all guilty of it.

If any aspect of your agreed upon offer is missing, then demand it’s added in writing. It could be near impossible to claim any benefits that are not laid out in the contract if the lender changes their mind later. Don’t fall victim to that mistake.

After all of that, the biggest piece of advice we can offer to all those on the market for a new vehicle is: stay within your budget. Regardless of how good a deal you get on your car or loan, if the numbers are higher than you can realistically afford, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of stress and potential disaster.

Make use of all of this smart shopping advice to hone in on the best online car loans, and you’ll be driving off into the sunset in no time.

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