Get the most from your loan, don’t let your loan get the most from you
By doing your research before you shop, and knowing what to look for in a lender, you can avoid some potential pitfalls and find a loan that fits your budget and timeframe.
Understand your budget, and know the costs
There will be varying loan terms and a range of costs with the loans you consider. If you’re buying a vehicle, it’s important to factor in necessary expenses over the life of the vehicle, like maintenance, registration, fuel and insurance. Also, be sure to check the market value of your vehicle through listings like the MSRP, invoice price and average transaction price. Kelly Blue Book is a common starting place to assess your car’s value. Before you shop, you can check in using First Tech’s financial calculators to forecast all the costs and adjust your budget accordingly.
Review your credit report
You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies, which you can get at annualcreditreport.com. Your credit report can make all the difference in how much money you are able to borrow and how much interest you will pay on that loan. Verify that your credit history is correct, so there are no surprises along the way. Give yourself enough time to establish good spending habits, so you can make sure you’re getting the best loan or interest rate available.
Commit to the shortest loan term that fits your budget
By paying your debt as fast as possible, you will generally pay less over the life of a loan. You may have lower monthly payments paired with a longer term loan, but the interest that builds up over that time will make it more expensive. Just because you’re paying less each month, it doesn’t mean you’re paying less for the loan.
Get pre-approved at First Tech
The best advice is to get pre-approved before you buy. A pre-approval is helpful in establishing the amount of money you are qualified to borrow from your lender. Not only will it help frame your budget, but you’ll also be a step ahead when it comes to securing your loan. When it comes to homes or vehicles, many sellers prefer buyers who have been pre-approved, since it provides a level of assurance that you are able to borrow a certain amount and can pay accordingly. You'll be surprised by how easy it is and how much stress it removes from the car-buying experience. Call one of our friendly auto loan experts today at 855.855.8805 if you have any questions about the car-buying process.