Thinking of buying a new automobile? Before you sign your name to a long-term auto loan, you need to make sure that you follow a few steps first. A car payment is a big expense, and you want to make sure you get the perfect car for you and your family. By following these steps, you can make your car buying experience more pleasant and ensure you make the right decision.
Determine Your Vehicle Needs
The first thing that you need to do when buying a car is determine what you need. Sure, you may like those compact cars that get 40 + miles per gallon, but will your family fit into a small car? While your heart may be wanting gas mileage and savings, your needs may dictate a mini-van or SUV. You need to buy a car that is well-suited for your family. Otherwise, you will have a car with a long loan that won’t suit your family’s needs.
Set A Budget
It’s easy to go to a lot and pick out the first shiny vehicle you see. However, you need to make sure you set a budget and stick with it. What you want and what you can afford are two totally different things. Only you know your true budget. The lender may pull your credit history and come up with a payment range that is not comfortable for you. Many of your monthly obligations won’t report to the credit bureau. Make sure you stay within the budget.
Determine Your Trade-In/Down payment
Sales agents and lenders know how to squeeze you to get every last dime out of you. While the more money you have down on a car does help with the payment, don’t promise money into the future to pay on the down payment. Many times, lots will ask you to write a check for the down payment in advance. If the dealer cannot work with your terms, then you need to go somewhere else.
Set Your Payment Amount
Another thing that you will often find is that lenders want to push the payment amount to get you in the right car. Hold firm to your pre-set amount, you will be surprised how many miracles they can perform if you are going to walk. You don’t want to go over that amount no matter what. If your budget dictates that you cannot go over $350, then you want to make sure you don’t go even to $351. The best auto loan is the one that fits your budget and gives you the car you need.
You must be careful when car shopping. It is easy to get taken up in the moment and over extend yourself. Remember, this is not a one-time ordeal. You will have to pay a payment each month for the next several years. It pays to shop around, and make sure that you get the best bang for your buck