There is plenty to do before visiting a dealership to buy a car or even before you a car. First, think about what kind of car you want. Consider buying a new car as rates are lower, and people are holding on to their cars for longer making it more attractive to buy a new car. Financing is easier and it will likely last longer than a used vehicle. Second, When considering how much to budget know how much you can spend on the car without putting too much of a dent in your finances. When you think about this monthly number take into consideration the price of the car and how much in extras you want to spend before it leaves the lot. You will likely have some room to maneuver to make some purchases like GAP Insurance which can protect you financially from the total loss of your car. Car insurance, gasoline and maintenance are other considerations as well. Third, if you have gone some time without having a car, consider how it will change your lifestyle; you will have a greater ability to travel and find yourself spending more on entertainment as well.
The final step before applying for a loan should be to check your credit score and make sure there are no errors on your credit report. This will not hurt your credit score as you are inquiring about your own credit. To protect your credit condense your car shopping to fourteen days or less from your first loan application. Your score will give you an idea of what kind of loan you will qualify for to finance a car purchase. The score the dealer sees will be different from what you can access because dealers purchase a score that is designed to calculate your odds specific to paying off an auto loan. This score will give you an idea of where you stand in the purchasing process and pay particular attention to your auto loan history on the report as this specialized score takes this more heavily into consideration. Apply for the loan, purchase your vehicle and enjoy it. Remember, make your list and check it twice! Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!