You have just been through either a quick application taking a few minutes of your time or been through the ringer with a lender that doesn’t value your time and finally have an approval to walk into a dealership and purchase a car as a cash buyer. There are a few things you still need to do…besides driving the car off the lot.
Just because you have a loan approval doesn’t mean you can afford the car. Don’t be afraid to live below your means and get a different make and model. If it is a short time after your loan approval it may require only a quick adjustment to the lending paperwork or none at all, especially if you are dealing with an understanding lender (Hint, Hint). Now it is time to think about how much of a monthly payment you can afford. Resist the temptation to focus solely on the interest rate; the number that has the most impact on your budget is how much money out of your paycheck you have left after your car payment.
A reason you may not have as much as you thought you would in your wallet is the options you choose for your car. GAP Insurance, which can make up the difference between what the car is really and what your insurance company wants you to think it is worth is essential should something happen to your car. Do not leave the dealership without GAP Insurance. There are many other options including sunroofs, high end audio systems, upgraded tires, leather upholstery and more. Decide what you want before you walk into a dealership and keep in mind that adding a sunroof after your purchase is not for those without an industrial chainsaw and the budget to buy another car. The top of the line tires can be purchased later and possibly for less money. Research the cost of insuring your vehicle and feeding it fuel to keep it running as well, as these expenses will be competing with your auto loan payments.
Money isn’t everything. Once you have the car loan your schedule may change dramatically if you are going from a two-seater to an SUV capable of picking up your child’s soccer club or you may find yourself carpooling with coworkers now that you are no longer afraid everyone will be late to work because your car broke down on the freeway. Be sure to think about new responsibilities you may be taking on with your new wheels as well. Don’t be scared, Breathe, count to ten and hope your car starts so you can start shopping.
If you don’t have your auto loan yet, click here to apply now! It’s quick, easy and painless.