Few people have enough money to pay cash for a high-quality used car.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for coming up with the money to buy a safe, long-lasting vehicle. From the bank to the dealership to your own checkbook, here are some ways you can finance your dream car.
One of the easiest ways to finance a used car is by looking for a dealership that offers in-house financing.
Many dealerships, especially the larger ones, have financing departments to help you pay for their cars. They probably do a lot of volume and approve financing for people with all types of credit — from good to awful — so they’re generally quick, friendly and thorough.
But they’re not always the best deal. Dealership financing is one way car dealers make money, and you’ve got to remember that’s one of their goals.
They might offer great rates on better terms than you could get elsewhere, but you won’t know until you shop around.
While many people assume the easiest way to get a car loan is through a dealership, you may be able to find financing through your local bank.
Depending on your credit condition and what type of car you want to buy, banks frequently lend money to people for buying vehicles. This means you can negotiate a “cash” price at the dealership while getting that cash from your local bank.
An increasingly popular option is getting a loan through a local credit union. The process is similar to borrowing money from a bank, except you may have to be a member of a credit union to take out the loan.
The advantage to credit unions is that they are owned by their members and are typically setup as a not-for-profit institution. That means they might be able to offer better terms and lower interest rates than a traditional bank.
Finally, one of the wisest ways to buy a car is by paying cash for it so you avoid any interest charges.
If you don’t have the money to buy a nice car right now, just be patient. Drive a cheap car for a few months while saving up for a better vehicle.
You can keep trading up in vehicles over time to buy nicer cars, all while never having a car payment over a period of years. This route isn’t for everyone, but it can pay off for people willing to make sacrifices now in order to have more money in the future.
Insurance policies should be a major consideration in which vehicle you purchase. This can make a big difference in the total cost of owning any particular vehicle, so it’s a good idea to get insurance quotes before making your final decision.