Once you have decided to purchase a car, worked upon your budget, and selected the model, the next part is all about auto financing. Even after having a good income source and a decent credit score, applying for an auto loan is a task. It is because there are so many factors attached to it. Car financing is a purchase that will affect your financial situation over the long run, and hence you can’t go wrong with the loan term or the overall financing cost.
Direct Lending vs. Dealership Financing: Your Choice
There are two main ways to finance your car:
1. Direct Lending Option
Direct lenders can be any third-party who has an individual loan approval process and interest calculations. You can get pre-approved loans from such lenders and have them on the table while negotiating with the car dealer. There are many types of direct lenders you can choose from:
a. Credit Unions
Credit Unions are non-profit financial institutions that charge a lower interest rate on car loans. Hence, they are a reasonable option to arrange money for your new car. But, credit unions provide car financing to their members only. So, if you want to enjoy the benefit of lower interest rates, start with your credit union. If you are not a member of any credit union, check if you fulfill the criteria to become a member of one of them.
Banks provide car financing at affordable rates if you qualify their loan approval criteria. They are the most popular source for car buyers to get their pre-approved auto loans. Nowadays, many banks offer an online application process to help you apply for a loan from the comfort of your home.
c. Online Lenders
Many online auto financing companies offer loans to applicants. You have to submit an online loan application, and you will receive an approval within two business days. The chances of getting an auto loan with an online lender are significant. They have a network of several dealers, banks, and credit unions. Thus, they provide the best loan quote to customers, even if someone has a bad credit score.
2. Dealership Financing
Car dealers can provide you with some of the best deals by reducing the list price of your car and offering you additional discounts if you apply for a loan with them. Dealership financing includes various financing options to choose from, but check the loan quotes in detail to get the best deal.
a. Captive Finance Companies
Few automakers like Ford and Honda have their own finance companies. They are known as captive finance companies, which provide loans to car buyers with lucrative offers such as 0% finance cost for initial months. But to get such loans, you need to have an excellent credit score. Hence, you should upgrade your credit score if you decide to go for it.
b. Buy Here, Pay Here
Often, Buy Here Pay Here Dealers will offer financing options to car buyers on their own. The dealers can earn additional income in the form of interest revenue. However, they also assume the risk of missed payments. Typically, if you have a poor credit history and want to buy a used car, you can opt for in-house financing with the dealer.
c. Financing arranged by Dealers
Often, dealers have tie-ups with third-party financial institutions such as traditional banks and credit unions to help their customers secure an auto loan. They assist in getting easy auto loan approval by helping the customer meet the loan criteria. It aids them in increasing sales and enables car buyers to make the purchase quickly.
What’s your Decision?
There are many financing options to buy a car. But, choose wisely after evaluating the interest rates available to you. Understand the terms and conditions in detail and discuss the repossession terms. Will there be a grace period in case you missed a payment? Is there a pre-payment penalty? Cover all aspects and then make a well-informed decision that suits your financial situation.