Buying a car doesn't stop with the initial dealership experience. According to DealFinder, you have to think far into the future about your ongoing financial relationship with your auto loan lender, because you're in it for the long haul. Getting the right rate and terms can seem like an arduous task but not when you're armed with the right tools and dedication to research. Here are some tips to consider when looking for a car loan lender.
Look for a Specialist
When calling around for auto loans, take note of who you're referred to. Most lenders should refer you to an auto loan specialist who deals with this type of loan every day. Get the name of the contact person to whom you should direct all queries. You don't want to have to deal with being shuffled between departments and representatives every time you call. By going with a specialist, you're getting targeted expertise that can only work to your advantage.
Just like you would when searching for a plumber or general contractor, ask your family and friends who they recommend for auto loans. Perhaps they had an exceptional experience with one lender, or maybe they had an awful time with another. Check out online reviews to see what's being said about the lenders you're considering. You can narrow down your search to reputable lenders from here.
When choosing an auto loan lender, it's important to ensure they are easily accessible when you need them to be. This includes having a 24/7 website where you can access your account information at any time, advises Bankrate. How easy is it to navigate their website? Are the menus thorough and easy to follow? Can you easily access your loan payoff amount and next payment due date? Can you chat live with a representative if you have any questions? Can you set up alerts and reminders for payments? Remember, missing just one or two payments can damage your credit score, so avoid this at all costs.
Observe the Terms Carefully
Whether you finance through a dealership or through your own bank lender, it's important to read the fine print. Don't just consider the interest rate, but take a look at the length of the term, any prepayment penalties, qualifications requirements, and hidden fees. One rate may seem rock bottom but when you look closer, you may detect fees that you'll have to cough up later.
Know What You Can Spend
Before you start looking for a loan, review your credit report carefully and make sure it's correct. Know what your score is; this will give you a ballpark idea of what kind of rate you can get from a lender. Outline a budget that you can live with and take it with you to every lender you visit. Get pre-approved for a car loan when you can so you don't have to waste time doing this when you find the car you love. When you're armed with information, you have the power to negotiate with the dealership, get the best interest rate possible from your lender, and even shoot for a lower price on the car. Save yourself time and money by being prepared before you go.
This article was contributed on behalf of DealFinder, your number one choice when looking to improve your car dealership. Convert leads to sales with DealFinder today!