- Step 1: Be stable Wait 6 months to a year if you've recently moved, gotten a new job, or had income problems before applying for a loan to get the lowest interest rate possible.
- Step 2: Plan a budget Gather your bills and plan a monthly budget to calculate the maximum loan payment you can afford as you search for the right car at the right price.
- Step 3: Check credit score Check your credit score to gauge how much money you can borrow and what your interest rate will be; a high score will give you more leverage and negotiating power.
- TIP: Consider saving for a large down payment or get a cosigner if your credit score is low.
- Step 4: Reduce debt Reduce or eliminate outstanding debt, such as overdue credit card bills, insurance payments, or other loans before applying for a car loan.
- TIP: Avoid too many credit cards or charge accounts to limit your risk to the bank.
- Step 5: Comparison shop Compare different interest rates, rebates, and other finance offers between your bank, the auto dealer, and other lenders.
- Step 6: Wait for bank approval Wait for your bank to approve the loan and then go and get your new car.
- FACT: The over 20,000 new car dealerships in the U.S. make an estimated $576 billion annually.
You Will Need
- Monthly budget
- Credit score
- Internet access
- Large down payment (optional)
- Cosigner (optional)