There are many things to consider when you are thinking of buying a car, whether used or new. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Auto Finance.
DO know your budget -
One of the first things the dealer will want to find out from you is how much you can afford. It can be difficult to answer that question unless you do some homework. Before you head to the dealer take a close look at your budget. You will definitely want to know how much you can afford to pay monthly. It is also important to consider the future. For example, let’s say you can afford to pay $400/month currently. However, you know that in 1 year you are planning on leaving your current job to go back to school full-time. You would absolutely want to plan for this and not bite off more than you can chew in the future.
In other words, plan accordingly if you think your car budget may change in the near future.
DO Get The Facts On-line
Before you visit the dealer, we give you three words: free car fact. There are plenty of those free car facts on-line. You can even find out how to get a free car fact report on the exact vehicle you are interested in. The internet will provide you with all the info you need—models, colors, prices, options, you name it. All car manufacturers now have websites. On most of these websites you can create your vehicle by picking out the model and all of the options you want. At the end of building your virtual vehicle, you will be given an MSRP. (Sticker Price) You can and should take this to the dealership with you. This will save much time and energy because you will know exactly what you want and will know the approximate price.
And if you are buying a used vehicle…
Again, do as much research on-line as you can. Know what you are looking for. Since you are buying used, you may have to have a little more flexibility on the options and specs. But it still helps immeasurably to have an idea of what you are looking to buy. Go on-line and look at consumer reports and other car websites that will give you the objective information you need to make a wise decision.
DO Take Advantage of On-line Pre-arranged Financing
For this service, we currently have recommendations posted on AutoFinanceReview.com [http://www.autofinancereview.com]. We can’t stress enough just how helpful it is to arrange your financing on-line before you actually find the car you want.
And now for the Don’ts:
Don’t Buy More Than You Can Afford
As mentioned above, you really want to know your budget. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement about owning a new vehicle, and this can cloud judgement. So your best bet is to do your homework, or due diligence, before you actually have a shiny new car in front of you. Otherwise, you have the fresh carrot dangling in front of you and you are likely to reach out for it. The last thing you want to do is over-extend yourself. If you end up having to get rid of a car that you overspent on, you may end up “upside- down” and lose money. To be “upside-down” simply means that you owe more than the asset, in this case the car, is worth or will sell for. Obviously this is not a position you want to be in. You end up having to pay, sometimes thousands of dollars, just to get rid of the car. We don’t want to see you in that position. So, know you budget, and do not over-spend.
Don’t Be Hasty
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Be patient and take your time when selecting a new or used vehicle to purchase. This is exactly the opposite of what either the salesman at a dealership or a private seller of a used car wants. Don’t be forced to give in to what either of them want. This is your life, your money, and your decision to make. Know your own interests. Interests are simply your needs and desires. Get very well acquainted with them and do not concern yourselves with those of the other party. If you are in touch with your interests, and act on them, then the end result will be much better for you.