Finding a used car in good condition can be a great deal. They are affordable and you often get excellent value for your money. Once you have identified the car you want, you need to get through the used car financing process to pay for it. Know what to expect and be prepared.
Know What You Can Afford
Used cars cost several thousand dollars, and taxes and registration fees can add up. Take a look at your personal financial situation and estimate what payments you can afford and how money much you are prepared to put down. A larger down payment will lower the principle balance of the loan and reduce your monthly payments. If you can’t afford a down payment towards the value of the vehicle, at least try to have enough to cover the cost of taxes and fees. Also, make sure your monthly payment fits within your budget comfortably.
Borrowing money costs money. The interest rate is the price you pay to use the lender’s funds to purchase your car. A higher interest rate will increase the overall cost of your car and contribute to higher monthly payments. Having excellent credit can help to lower interest and finance charges.
The term of the loan is how long it will take you to pay it back. It is possible to lower the monthly payment to fit your budget by stretching the payments out over a longer period of time. This may increase the interest rate slightly and will impact the total finance charges as well.
It’s always a good idea to protect the value of your car with an extended warranty. It is your responsibility to maintain and repair your vehicle, and it can end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix a major mechanical problem. Mechanical issues are no excuse for missing your loan payments. It is a good idea to consider adding an extended warranty. It may cost a little more up front, but will protect you from those unexpected expenses in the long run.
It is illegal to drive without auto insurance. When purchasing your vehicle, consider the monthly insurance premiums as well. Most lenders will require you to carry full insurance. Have your insurance set up ahead of time so that your lender is prepared to fund the deal without delay.