If buying a new, or new-to-you car is in your future, there’s plenty of decisions to make about the financing aspect of the transaction before you ever get to the car lot. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if you can save and self finance the purchase, if you will rely on financing from a bank or other lending institution or will require some other payment terms for your purchase.
Saving up enough cash on hand to buy the car you want outright is the best path forward in many people’s opinions. It takes great discipline to save a large chunk of money for such a purchase, but if you go this route, you will own 100 percent of every mirror, seat cushion, door panel and floor mat on your new vehicle the second you sign on the dotted line. The car will be your asset completely without a third party lender holding the title until a loan on the car is paid off. To set a savings target, search the make, model and trim of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing at Cars.com. The site will give you a solid estimate of what you can expect to pay for the car in used condition and brand new. This will help you to set goals enabling you to pay for the car in cash, in full. Budget savvy consumers will also tell you that this buying strategy will save you tons over time in interest payments that you would otherwise pay if you financed the purchase.
If you can’t possibly save several thousand dollars, or don’t want to wait until you have that kind of cash on hand and need a car now, choosing a car lender is the best option for you. Businesses willing to lend cash for cars are pretty easy to find these days including community banks, credit card companies, credit unions and other financial businesses. It would be a good idea to check your credit to see how you’ll look on paper to decision makers before heading in to fill out a loan application. You can also shop around among lenders to determine which will give you the best interest rate on your purchase. You can also estimate what your car purchase will cost you monthly including interest on the payment calculator at Cars.com too.
If you’re credit isn’t where it should be, you can still find ways to buy a car. There are some car dealerships that are willing to finance purchases in house. These arrangements tend to carry high interest and more frequent payments than those offered by a bank, but are a viable option and can even help to rebuild your credit so you can get a better deal on the next car you buy.