Getting a car loan doesn't have to be a nightmare, even with bad credit.

Auto Loan Basics for First Timer Buyers

last updated April 1, 2015 by

If you’re looking to buy a new car, you’ve probably already spent plenty of time figuring out which one you want to get. Now the tricky part is just figuring out how you’re going to pay for it.

Because most people don’t have thousands of dollars they can just throw at a new car, getting a loan is often the best option. You get to buy the car, and then make regular, monthly payments over time until the loan is paid off.

LP banner image1

Check Your Credit

Before you move forward on inquiring about car loan options, it is important that you at least know what your credit score is. This can help you to know how to go about negotiating with various dealerships. Find your credit score fast by using our complimentary credit score tool.

Unless your credit score is incredibly high, you probably won’t be able to get your hands on that zero-percent financing everyone is raving about. If you are faced with bad credit scores, most dealerships won’t even give you the time of day. But that’s not the case with us. Here at Complete Auto Loans, we are known for helping customers get information and tools as well as find loans that fit their budget.

What to Consider

There are several different parts to a typical car loan that all need to be considered before the loan is agreed upon. One should consider the total amount of the finance after taxes and fees, down payments and trade ins have all been taken into account. The length of the loan, the interest rate, and monthly payments should also be considered.

Why Timeline is Key

The reason the length of the loan is so important is due to the vehicles loss of value with more time. Most auto loans run from between 73 to 84 months. Some dealers will extend those loans to nearly 96 months. It’s about this time when the vehicle can start to depreciate in value, meaning you’re paying for more than the car is now worth.

With additional time, there also comes the risk of needing a different car, having crash or theft expenses, or having other mounting costs that will need to be compensated for. It is a far safer choice to agree to fewer, large monthly payments than to stretch the loan out to an unsafe timeline.