Despite high gas prices and even higher interest rates on vehicles, this might be one of the best times to get a car. Since most people are not in the market, and are frantically trying to sell their gas-guzzling SUV’s and trucks, car buyers have a leg-up over past car buying history.
Unfortunately, there’s more to vehicle shopping than just the down payment. You have to think about monthly payments, gas, insurance and maintenance, all of which can really break your budget. Before shopping for a new or used car, figure out what your budget will be and stick to it while shopping.
The Internet has offered a simple and effective way of purchasing a new or used vehicle. Now you can find the car you want, choose the specifications that work for you and apply for an auto loan, all from your own home. Since interest rates and grace periods differ between lenders, make sure you’ve shopped around before choosing an auto loan.
In order to secure an auto loan, you can always go to the Internet and obtain a free quote from literally thousands of different lenders. All you have to do is fill out an online application, and tell the lender about yourself and the car you wish to buy. Sometimes they are able to approve you over the Internet, and sometimes they will require additional information, such as pay check stubs or checking account statements.
There are both pros and cons to this method of finding auto loan financing.
Shopping online for auto loans is easy. If you go to Google and type in “online auto loan quotes,” you come up with several different websites for financial institutions and lending programs. eLoan, Lending Tree, Capital One, and Bank of America are just three of the top selections. You’ll also find lesser-known companies offering the same services.
When you fill out an application at a financial institution or at a dealership, it might take several days or even weeks to receive a response. When you complete an application online, the response is delivered within seconds, which can certainly save time if you’re in a hurry to buy a car.
You might also get better APR’s (annual percentage rates) when you apply online, especially with niche lenders like Lending Tree and eLoan. Since they are in direct competition with larger financial institutions, they are willing to offer lower interest rates and longer repayment terms, which might help your budget.
The most important advice that I can give you is to do your research. You can usually type in the name of a lender into an Internet search engine and find pages of message boards in which people have either ranted or raved about their experience with that lender. Don’t let one or two negative reports sway your judgment, but if you find that 6,000 people have warned you against it, don’t fall victim yourself.
There are many auto loan lenders out there who try to swindle and scam people with low or no credit. Before applying for an online auto loan quote, obtain your credit score from one of the three credit bureaus. You can’t obtain your score for free, but paying for it now will certainly save you trouble in the end. Many unscrupulous lenders will try to tell you that your score is lower than it is so that they can get away with charging higher interest rates.
How To Choose
Since there are thousands of lending sites on the Internet, how do you choose?
First of all, you need to look around. The automotive market is very competitive right now, and you can always find deals that aren’t available at brick-and-mortar dealership storefronts. The Internet might be your ticket to a cheaper car – and a better auto loan.
Many sites, such as CarsDirect.com, offer both automotive sales and auto loan quotes. Doing business with one company certainly has its advantages, and you might want to take that route in your search for a new car.
You can also find auto loan lenders who specialize in low-credit or no-credit lending. This can help you even if you’ve been through a divorce or filed for bankruptcy. Regular dealerships and financial institutions are reluctant to deal with people who have low credit. Using the Internet for this purpose might get you an auto loan that you would not have acquired elsewhere.
All-in-all, a careful and cautious shopper should have no problem searching for an auto loan on the Internet. As long as you pay attention to the details of the loan, research the lender for fraudulent practices, and enter your information only on a secure server, you should have a wonderful experience right from your own home