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Car Financing Basics  

by Kevin Schappell
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Car Financing Basics

When it comes to financing the purchase of your new or used car, there are some important things to keep in mind. Whether you have stellar, less than perfect or just plain poor credit, there are car financing options for you. In addition, knowing when to shop and how to negotiate the best deal will give you a major advantage whether you are a first-time car buyer or an expert.

- Shop around and compare interest rates. At different times of the year, there are often dealer and manufacturer incentives, which may include lower interest rates.

- Check out the value of an automobile, either new or used, at Kelley Blue Book in order to ensure that you are getting a good deal. This website is especially helpful in the purchase of a used car. After entering the year, make, model, mileage and features of an automobile, you will receive an instant value that can be used to help you in your buying decision.

- At times, buyers will be offered their choice of a lower interest rate or cash back for the purchase of a new car. While the cash is tempting, you will save more money over the course of the loan if you choose the low interest rates.

- If possible, seek a pre-approved loan amount before you begin shopping for a new car. This will not only give you more bargaining power when it comes to making an offer, but will also provide you with the convenience of knowing how much you can spend on a car before you even step foot onto the dealership lot.

- If you are turned down for financing from local lenders, try applying directly with the car manufacturer. Ford, Chevrolet and other leading auto manufacturers offer their own financing, which can often be applied for online. In many cases, you can print out a copy of your approval letter directly from your computer and take it to your local dealership for faster processing.

- If you are unable to qualify for a conventional car loan, consider shopping with a 'Buy Here - Pay Here' dealership. These often require no credit checks and everyone who can supply a down payment is approved. Rather than making monthly car payments, however, most of these dealerships require that you pay in weekly instalments.

- New cars offer a lower interest rate than used cars, but the insurance is often higher. When choosing your next car, be sure to keep this information in mind when considering financing your purchase.

- Even if you are financing the purchase of your next car, there is always room for negotiations when it comes to the price tag. Don't hesitate to make an offer and always ask for a free tank of gasoline. With fuel prices what they are, a full tank is a nice way to show customer appreciation.

- If you have a larger down payment, you will increase the likelihood of your auto loan application being approved. This is especially true if you have less than perfect credit or simply want a lower principal balance on your car loan.

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