There are so many elements that go into buying a car. You need to make sure that you are getting a car that is in good mechanical condition. You need to make sure that that the car has a clean history with no wrecks. Of course, it goes without saying you want to get a fair deal. I believe that most consumers go through all of that process and still make the biggest mistake in the car buying process.
They don’t have their financing taken care of before they go to the dealership.
Here is what happens – The consumer goes through all of the hard work of negotiating a car deal. The next step is the finance office. They run a credit check. Then here is the rub – in most cases, no matter how good your credit might be, you will more than likely get stuck with an interest rate much higher than you deserve.
You are basically paying the dealership a lot of money for “helping” you with the finance part of the deal. They simply take the going interest rate for good credit and then mark it up several interest rate points and profit on the finance end. So, why should someone with good credit pay 4.5% for a car loan when they could easily qualify for 1.99% on their own?
It happens all of the time. So, how do you fix that problem? You get qualified for financing BEFORE you go car shopping. You find a bank or credit union with competitive rates and tell them that you want to be pre-qualified. Then after you find your car, you tell the finance person (after you tell them no a thousand times to everything that they try and sell you while you are in the finance office) that you have your own financing.
What if you went through the process and know you are paying more than you should be for interest? You refinance that car. Most people don’t think about refinancing a car. However, that is also an easy process and can save you thousands of dollars.
Remember, if you are financing a car, that interest rate is crucial when it comes to the overall price you will be paying. Don’t pay extra money to a dealership when it is not necessary.
Want a great place to finance a car? Go to www.penfed.org – There are several ways to join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union and I have found them to be a great place to do business.