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You’ve been driving your current automobile so long that you can’t even remember when you bought it. While this vehicle provided a steady form of transportation to and from work all these years, any sense of style it once had is long gone. If only you could buy a new car, the thrill of driving and that “pride in ownership” you once had would surely return.

Budgeting for a new car

Unfortunately not everyone has money on hand to buy a new car, truck or SUV. Rent or mortgage payments, utilities and family expenses make large purchases like automobiles a rarity. However much like mortgage and credit card payments, car loans make purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle possible. Just do your homework, know your options and comparison shop to obtain the best deal.

Shop around for lower rates

Consumers are entitled to receive one copy of their credit report yearly from each of the three major reporting agencies. Each of these are easy to view online and entirely free of charge. Increasingly, many major credit card companies like Barclay Bank and Capital One now provide their cardholders with free FICO scores throughout the year. The higher your scores, the more leverage you have when negotiating future payment plans.

Pre-arrange your financing before auto shopping 

Work through the financial aspects of buying a new vehicle before you ever physically enter a dealership or showroom. First explore available financing options from banks and credit unions where you already have a positive pre-existing relationship. Many major credit card companies also feature financing options for new auto buyers.

Be aware that it will be necessary to “pull your credit report” each time you apply for financing or fill out an application. While this is a necessity, excessive views of your credit report by financial agencies may ironically have a negative effect on your credit rating. So choose wisely and be selective.

Dealerships enjoy a challenge

Car dealerships sell automobiles for a living. To these ends, they want to do whatever it takes to place their customers into the vehicle of their choice. If you are fortunate enough to have financial options, let them know. Many dealerships will go out of their way to better the deal with a lower rate or shorter payment cycle. (Forbes.com/sites/jimhenry/2014/02/28/go-ahead-get-a-prearranged-auto-loan-dealerships-say-they-like-a-challenge/#4eb8dc465bc2)

Listen to what the Finance Department has to offer at the Dealership. If you already have an excellent deal due to a high FICO score and good credit report, they have work to do. Either way, it pays to be assertive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take your time. Large purchases demand thorough decisions.

Read your contract

It doesn’t matter whether you accept an auto financing plan from a bank, credit union, credit card company or car dealership. Your future payments are a means of buying a new vehicle you could not otherwise afford. Once again, take your time and read the contract thoroughly before signing. The time you spend now, is money you’ll save later on.

Gonzales Wolfe

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