Finding & Buying Your Next Car

Finding & Buying Your Next Car


What are your financing options?

Last month, a few weeks before the year came to a close, I decided to track via my auto blog many of the major year-end car deals being touted by the automotive manufacturers. From Lexus’ December to Remember Sales Event to the Ford Year-End Celebration, I Saturn Auralisted 22 special sales events, but I know I left off at least a dozen more. December is one of the biggest month for car dealers to move inventory as the manufacturers work diligently to close the books on the year.

If you missed the year-end specials — offering rebates, discounts and low interest rate financing — don’t worry: you’re likely to see many more deals throughout this year. Indeed, with some predicting a slide in car sales for 2008, consumers who are ready to buy a new set of wheels could find some bargains. Not just on new cars, mind you, but on late-model used cars — after all, dealers have to keep their inventories at a manageable size and have money to cover their expenses.

3 Steps To Secure Automotive Financing

If you have the money to pay cash for your wheels, then that is great. Simply take the rebate offered as the low-rate financing isn’t for you. For everyone else, finding a financing deal isn’t that difficult especially if you have good credit. Thanks to information gleaned from SayLending, I’ll share with you three steps to help you find the right financing:

Prepare to Negotiate — Before seeking financing, you’ll want to get the best price for your new vehicle. Lots of consumers get sucked in to buy a car based on what financing deal they can get. Instead, settle on a price you’re willing to pay and work out the financing later. Come to the negotiating table with an approved loan obtained elsewhere and your borrowing position just got a lot stronger.

Compare Interest Rates — Even a half percentage point difference in loan rates can add up, especially if the term of your loan is for 60 months or longer. If your credit is excellent, an additional discount should be offered to you — shop around for the best rates by checking your credit union, banks and the financing arm of the automotive manufacturer.

Get Auto Lenders to Compete — Oh, this is a good one. Years ago I obtained financing from a large bank before heading off to my local dealer to purchase a used car. The rate was low and the price I got for the car was very good. I knew that I had a bargain on my hands and that was that.

At least until the dealer caught wind of what I was doing.

When the dealer learned that I had obtained financing elsewhere, he contacted Chrysler Credit who immediately beat the bank’s rate by two points. I took this competing offer and pocketed the difference.

Consider Self Financing

Lastly, consider financing your car yourself through your home’s equity. It is a different way to pay for your car with certain advantages and disadvantages to weigh — please check out  this page for more information.

Happy car shopping!

Saturn Aura photo copyright General Motors.


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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".