Are you tired of your current vehicle seemingly needing almost constant repairs? Have you decided that you're going to buy a new, or at least newer, vehicle to replace it? Purchasing a vehicle can definitely be a hassle at times, especially if you need to get a loan to be able to make your purchase. Fortunately, there are a few things that can make the process at least a little bit easier. Some things that you should do before you go shopping include:
Check your credit report: There are several websites and apps available that will allow you to check your credit score and to see what is on your credit report. Find one that allows you to check all the major credit bureaus; the US government has set up one such site at annualcreditreport.com. Mistakes can sometimes happen, such as someone with a similar-sounding name having his or her bills put onto your report. You'll want to correct any errors that you find before you go shopping for any vehicle loans. Bad credit may mean that you have to pay a high interest rate or, worse, that you won't be able to get a loan at all.
Shop around for a good interest rate: Many people believe that the best place to get vehicle loans is from the dealership where you purchase the car. While this may sometimes be true, there's a good chance that you can get a better rate by going elsewhere. Your own bank or credit union may have better financing or you may be able to get a better rate by going with a company that does nothing but finance cars but doesn't sell them. The only way to find out what sort of loans you're eligible for is to check as many places as possible.
Get a shorter loan term whenever possible: The shorter the loan term, the less you'll pay on your vehicle in interest. For example, when given the choice between $300 a month for 36 months or $350 for 24 months, it's extremely tempting to go with the $300 option. However, you'd wind up paying $10,800 over the course of the loan versus $8,400 for the $350 payments. That's an extra $2,400 that you'd pay for your vehicle. Undoubtedly, there are other things that you'd rather spend your money on besides paying more for your vehicle loans. Since it can be difficult to figure out which option will cost you less over time, either bring along a calculator or have a calculator app ready to use on your phone.