Sep 28th, 2007 by Frank Mangano
I was beginning to shop for loan rates for my son to get an early model used car. I know it is always better to line up financing first before calling a dealer so that you have something to compare his deal to, and it often helps to keep the financing separate from the car sale negotiations. So I did what millions of Americans must do, I went to Google and typed in “auto loan” of course. What did I get, over 18 million matches! So I tried to narrow it a bit, and typed “auto loan for used cars” and I got back only 2.4 million. This is much better, as I expect I can read them all before I’m dead. Given all the choices with who to work with and various loan programs how does anyone walk away from this feeling they did all the homework they could and feel good about the decision?
Next I went to Bankrate.com to find the latest rates from lenders locally and nationally. After plugging in some numbers I came up with an idea of what a monthly payment might be. When I was also looking around I found a very interesting article everyone needs to give thought to. This piece talked about “the most expensive cars to insure” and while I wasn’t playing on buying one, it reminded me how important it is to talk to your insurance company before you buy, you never know how much more per month you will pay on this as well as your cars monthly payment for the auto loan.
Now that I have my internet research started on the loan and have some idea from various auto finance companies on what this will cost, I called my bank. Often if you have other accounts with them they will offer you an “insider” rate as your an existing customer. I had no luck here, but you never know so it is worth the call. So be sure to follow these steps; do your research on the car, research available loan rates and programs online, check your impact on your insurance, and then reach a dealer about the car you want. With these steps you will find no surprises along the way.