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Pre-approved Car Loans Put Shoppers In The Driver's Seat

Aug 17, 2007
Buying a new or used car can be a nightmare or it can be a dream. Those who walk into a dealership with financing in place will find the experience can be even better than they could imagine. Skipping the hassle of finding "the car" and then finding out financing cannot be had for what you want, takes the heartbreak out of the process and puts the shopper in the driver's seat - literally.

If you're in the market for a new car, getting a pre-approval is a fairly easy process to undertake. Somewhat like putting the cart before the horse, this involves taking the auto dealers finance department out of the mix for the most part and can really help target a search for the right automobile.

The best way to start in looking for a pre-approval is to check with your bank or credit union. Get their amount, interest rates and plans available and then shop them in comparison to other lenders. There are a number of different banks, credit unions and financing companies that will give shoppers direct quotes on pre-approved loans for autos. Many companies will even provide auto shoppers with tentative lines of credit in writing for new and even used car purchases if they're asked.

Doing this in advance gives the car shopper a number of advantages over going through a dealership's financing department. These include:

* Knowing exactly what kind of budget you have to work with. If you can easily afford the payments on a pre-approved loan for $35,000, but the payment on a loan for $45,00 would break your monthly budget, you'll know what range to shop in.

* By walking into a dealership with a pre-approved line of credit, you have more control in the selection and negotiation process. The car dealer wants that check from the bank or credit union, so since it's sitting there on the table, up for grabs, it's likely your leverage will be better for negotiations. This can net you a better car for the money.

* Ensures the best interest rates. Since you're doing the shopping yourself, you know exactly where you stand and which companies really are offering the best deals. There's no guesswork involved.

* Denials are avoided. Since you'll know what you can get financing wise, you'll be able to avoid the rejection that can go along with car shopping. This is perhaps one of the biggest frustrations for shoppers and by having a pre-approval this is completely avoided.

Shopping for a car can be a nightmare in the making, but when you go in armed knowing your budget and what you're pre-approved for, you can target your search accordingly. It's frustrating for a car buyer to test drive a shiny new dream car only to find out a few hours later that the economy model is all that fits the budget. By having figures in advance, that test drive and the subsequent let down can be totally avoided. Plus, with careful shopping for different loan options, you just might find you land a better deal.
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