- Step 1: Check your credit report Go online and check your credit report -- you're entitled to one free report each year. Make sure everything is accurate.
- TIP: If you have a bad credit score, don't expect to haggle for the best interest rate.
- Step 2: Refinance later Refinance that high interest loan down the road when your credit improves or when rates drop; just be consistent and on top of your payments.
- Step 3: Shop around Shop around for the best deal either through a bank or through an auto dealership. A bad credit score doesn't mean you can't get a good deal.
- TIP: Work around your paycheck schedule to be sure your car payment is the first to be tackled each month so you don't get behind.
- Step 4: Shop smart Shop for a car when sales are slow, such as in bad weather, around holidays, before closing time, or at the end of the month.
- Step 5: Look at used cars Go to dealers who do their own financing. This may mean downsizing your expectations, but it's better than no car.
- FACT: At an average price of $28,000, a new car is the 2nd-biggest purchase the average consumer ever makes, after a house.
You Will Need
- Credit report
- Banks and dealerships
- Refinancing options