Car Shopping To Do List

By | July 24, 2012

Buying a car can be hectic as you need to keep various things in mind. Other than getting a car you like and can afford, you also have to get the right kind of loan that works for you. The process of buying a car is an extensive process so having a plan of what you want and can afford beforehand is vital. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin the search for a new car.

Total Cost

When buying a car determining the total cost is very important. Often times all you keep hearing about is your monthly payment. Sure, that’s important, but figuring out how much you are going to pay over the life of the loan is the most important thing. Do not sign on the dotted line until you calculate how much everything is going to cost. An easy way of figuring it out is by multiplying your monthly payment by the number of months your loan term is. Don’t forget to add that to your down payment and any other fees you may be paying that day. Once you see the big final number you may realize that the car is simply not worth that much money.

Shop Around

Everyone knows you can shop around for a good deal on a car, but you can also shop around for a better interest rate as well. Now I don’t mean hit up every dealership and get quotes for the course of several months. Doing this can actually hurt your credit score due to the amount of hard inquiries done in a short period of time. But if you feel like you’re not getting a good rate, it’s okay to go elsewhere and get a second opinion. Some dealerships can be more flexible and creative with their financing so if one denies you, don’t give up and simply go elsewhere.

Determine Affordability

Figure out beforehand how much you can afford. If you go above the monthly amount you can afford and agree to a higher payment, you may not be able to continue making those payments in the future. So down the line you could end up losing the car and all of those payments you made toward it. Stick to the amount you can afford no matter what. They will always attempt to squeeze out a few more bucks out of you per month. But just an extra five bucks a month translates into hundreds of dollars after all is said and done. Stand firm on what you can afford.

Credit

Before you go car shopping, check your credit report first. You’ll want to do this several months before. You can get a free credit report every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com. Verify that there are no mistakes on it. If there are, contact the credit bureaus and get these errors fixed. If you do not get them fixed you cannot get the best interest rates and your monthly payment will be higher for no good reason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *