Is That Auto Loan Right for You?

Almost everyone purchases their new vehicle with one of the many auto loans available in the marketplace. There is a difficult balance to find between wanting to purchase the best vehicle you can for the price, yet being able to manage the repayments month after month, where failure means losing the vehicle. How can you make sure the loan is good to go and tailored to your exact needs?

Vehicle or Loan First?

You are going to have to know how much you can afford to spend each month and for how many years, before you go searching for a vehicle. Otherwise, you risk looking at vehicles and disappointing yourself when you find that you cannot afford your favorite model.

This is vital when you consider that signing your name on the document guarantees that you’re going to make regular payments, on the same day every month, for the term of the loan. By checking your income and regular expenses, you know what you can sensibly afford without having to give up eating and clothing your family.

The lender of the finance will need to be sure that you are paying a fair price for the vehicle. Before authorizing auto loans, they will perform credit checks to see whether you have a track record of paying your loans appropriately.

The Monthly Dollar Amount Is Just One Element of The Deal

Where you do not understand all the small print on the loan document, have the auto loans company explain it to you or seek third-party advice. You will not want to be caught failing to understand any hidden clauses that may affect you in the future.

There are several questions that you can ask the provider of the finance. Is the loan unsecured or secured on the vehicle as this may determine what happens to the vehicle if you cannot keep up your repayments? Are you allowed to sell the vehicle before you can clear the debt?

Do you understand exactly how much you will be paying back over the term of the loan, compared to the real purchase price? By extending the loan for additional years, the monthly repayments may become lower, but you may still need to own the vehicle when you would rather have sold it in a few years’ time.

With all auto loans, it is worth asking what happens if you want to repay the outstanding balance at any stage. Some banks and other finance companies will charge you a penalty if you wish to repay the debt early, while others will offer a fairer resolution, should your financial circumstances change.

What advice would you offer to individuals considering purchasing a vehicle with a loan?