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Ins And Outs Of Auto Finance

May 16, 2008
There are several ways of saving money on your next car loan. The easiest research you can do is right from your own computer. By using the Internet, you might find that often times the best financing comes from non-franchise, independent financing companies.

Usually they will offer the better deal to you, just so they can continue to compete with bigger companies. Dealer financing is usually more expensive because they are using your credit rating while working with banks. There is money to be made from the financing, sometimes even more than off the sale of the vehicle itself.

Did you know by using your home equity that might be the best way to lower interest payments? Typically, a home equity line of credit and a home equity loan will provide lower rates than traditional car loans. This is simply because they are secured against the value of your home. You can even itemize the interest on your federal tax return and it will be tax deductible.

A HELOC usually has the lowest interest rate in the beginning, just be cautious since the rate is variable. This will leave you open to the possibility of payments increasing if the rates do as well. This is considered the better option if your loan is looking at 36 months or less in length.

Anything over that, a fixed-home rate equity loan is ideal. This has a guaranteed rate for the entire term and would be the best financial choice. Always keep in mind that you are using your home for collateral, so make sure that you never miss a payment.

Watch out for zero interest loans. This might sound appealing, but not if you are giving up a substantial rebate. If you decide to finance and take even a 5% rebate that could add up the savings over a time period on your loan, better than taking the zero interest in the beginning.

Consider increasing the down payment toward the vehicle. The idea of no money down sounds good, but usually you will make up for that within a year of car payments. It might be better to hold off on the purchase until you can save more for the down, which will help you to save a lot more money in the long run.

Take a look at your credit report and know your score before entering a dealership. There might be errors that could hurt your rating when the dealer runs a check. If you have time to work on your credit score, hold off on the purchase. Take care of unpaid credit card bills that might be negatively impacting your score.

Lenders take into account your credit score and their rates are a direct result from them. If you improve your credit, you might be able to get a better rate.

Car payments have been made affordable for many people through leasing, where you are not paying the complete purchase price for the car. There are online calculators that can help you compare the best auto loans.

A monthly lease payment is usually less than monthly loan payments. Some new cars can be leased for as low as $200 a month, some for even less. Unfortunately, through leasing you lose any resale value once the lease is up. If leasing works for you, watch out for specials if you want the best deal. As with any contract, read the terms and conditions surrounding your lease before you sign.

Make sure to completely read the terms of the lease and know whether the advertised monthly payment includes sales tax and fees. If you are paying a larger than average down payment to secure the lower lease rate, take that into consideration as well. A lease is the best choice for someone who is not fiscally sound.

Know when it is considered the best time to buy a car. Fall is the season when auto makers would like to get rid of their older models, to make way for the new. Auto financing rates can be reduced greatly if you purchase at the right time of year. Financing a car is sometimes the only way possible for the purchase to be made.

Make sure you completely understand your loan and how much you are going to be responsible for. There are good deals to be found, just keep in mind the ins and outs of auto finance so you will get the best financing rate possible towards the purchase of your vehicle.
About the Author
Christina Costa, a freelance automotive writer, recommends Equotegrabber where you can get an automotive quote online in seconds! Visit Equotegrabber.com
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