Why You’re Probably Paying Too Much For A New Car
Getting preapproved for a loan can save you time, money, and aggravation.
Tips to help you buy the right car with the right auto loan.
Getting preapproved for a loan can save you time, money, and aggravation.
The average loan amount and monthly payments are at record high numbers.
Auto experts recommend buying used or leasing new.
It’s one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. But saving significant dollars isn’t hard.
When the new car bug bites, it pays to take a drive down reality lane.
Fortunately, you can negotiate most of them if you follow this advice.
Purchasing one with cash, yes. But financing one can get a little more complicated.
Two-thirds of lemons were purchased at new and used car dealerships, and most of those duds were discovered after only a month of ownership.
A reader’s girlfriend says he should buy instead of lease.
Hondas, plus Ford and Chevy pickups are the favorite vehicles of thieves
Most American households can’t afford new cars in all but one of the largest metro areas in the country.
Our favorite answer: Marrying the wrong person.
Three years ago, 8.5 percent of drivers were letting companies track their driving habits. Now, that number is at 6 percent. You can save on insurance without letting companies track your driving.
Fly from your city to another city, buy a car and drive home and you will still pay less than if you had bought that car locally.
A reader went bankrupt, and now years later, she needs a new set of wheels.
In spite of recent interest rates hikes, you may still be able to save money by refinancing.
Depending on where you live, your costs could be up by more than 60 percent.
If you don’t mind public transportation or walking, you can live here much cheaper.
How much are you paying for your new car? Is it worth it? Turns out you should factor in a few more things to determine the true cost of that new car.
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A reader got into a bad lease but wonders: Will buying the car make it better?
A teen reader wants to convince her father to let her buy a new car, but Howard isn’t being helpful.
A reader wants to give up his car and his loan by just driving it to the dealership and leaving it there. Can he?
A reader’s husband wants a new car. She wants a used car. Who should win this argument?
But if you make these 5 car repairs yourself, you can prevent that from happening.
These myths could lower your credit score and cause you to spend more money.
The “housing bubble” sparked the Great Recession. Some experts worry an impending “auto bubble” will do the same.
While most of us will do the right things, these otherwise intelligent adults will do this.
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This week: Quantifying how much we care about cars.
This week: millions and billions.
In fact, in my experience, low prices can actually drive you further into debt.
We’re not really recommending it, we’re just saying it’s possible to save thousands.
Do African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans really prefer different vehicles?
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The more you understand about what happens under the hood, the more you can save.
Anytime you sign a loan or lease for a vehicle, the lender should provide a Truth in Lending Disclosure. This is a legally required document that all lenders must give a borrower before they sign a loan agreement.
The Truth in Lending Disclosure tells you:
All these things matter greatly to your daily budget and overall financial health. You can also use this disclosure to execute some of the advice you’ll find below.
If you think the only thing your credit score affect in car buying is the interest rate, you’re wrong. A higher or lower interest rate changes the total cost of a car purchase. In addition, rate changes in auto loans affect the monthly payment amount, too. So, if your interest rate is low, you may want to put off purchasing until you can build credit.
Here’s a quick snapshot of cost differences between a prime and subprime $16,000 auto loan with a term of 60 months:
|Prime score (661-780)||Subprime score (500-600)|
|Total interest charges||$2,116||$6,838|
People often focus only on the upfront and monthly costs of an auto loan. But you need to consider the total cost of owning the vehicle, too. That means paying attention to things like:
If you buy a vehicle that doesn’t get good gas mileage, you may have a luxury car that sits in your driveway. Vehicles that wear out quickly and don’t have good resale value mean you won’t get much on the trade-in; you also may be back to purchase another car too quickly.
You also need to balance monthly costs and total costs on your auto loan:
Those no-money-down or 0% APR promotional offers that dealers advertised are meant to get you in the door. But they don’t always provide the best overall value. In most cases, you could get a better loan if you go to your bank, credit union or a preferred online lender.
Before you start to shop, hit up your favorite lender to find out what kind of auto loan you can qualify for through the; it’s basically the same as getting prequalified to buy a house. Then you go to the dealer in a much better position. Your lender will give you a lender-approved blank check or a coupon saying what you qualify to buy.
Now you can compare any dealership offers to the offer you have from your lender. Look at total costs and upfront costs, then choose the deal that works best for your finances.
Note that when shopping for auto loans, requesting multiple quotes within a short period won’t damage your credit. All the inquiries for that loan type will be consolidated into a single inquiry by the bureaus. This allows you to shop around for your loan without decreasing your credit score.
When you buy a used car, there are steps you can take to avoid buying a lemon:
A car is officially considered a lemon if it’s purchased with unreported defects. If the car is new, you may be entitled to a refund or new car. For used cars, the laws vary by state. Check with your state Attorney General’s office to get Lemon Law information that applies to you. You should do this and review it before you buy.
Car buying, like homebuying, is one of the few places left in U.S. marketplaces where you can’t afford to by shy about haggling. You never want to pay the asking price, whether it’s from a dealership or a private seller. You should know the value of the car you want to buy and how much other people pay these days.
If you aren’t comfortable negotiating on your own, take someone with you who is. Then learn from watching them. Failing that, make sure to check things like Kelly Blue Book or try apps like TrueCar. In the end, you can’t be afraid to walk away from a deal. That’s the number on rule in negotiating.
Some people just assume that leasing a car is better than owning. In some cases, it is; but it really depends on your situation. If you like to get new cars every few years and you drive either a fixed or limited amount, leasing may be for you.
Here are some downsides to consider about car leasing:
It’s important to note that a leased car doesn’t count as an asset. However, an auto lease often still counts as a debt. Unless you are within 10 months of full repayment, auto leases count against your debt-to-income ratio. So, getting a lease won’t help you avoid challenges caused by excessive debt.
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