What is an auto loan: everything you need to know before buying a car

An auto loan can help you purchase the car of your dreams. Here's everything you need to know about auto loans, including the basics and how to get the best deal.


by Vinicius Barbosa

Published on 08/26/2022

Buying a car is exciting, but paying for it is not so much

front view woman driving car having fun
Learn about auto loans to get your card – and your freedom! Source: Freepik.

Buying a car is a big deal for most people. It means you’ve reached a new maturity level of your financial life, and it’s ready for a big commitment. But we know it’s not a cheap purchase, and you might need to know what is an auto loan.

Whether it is used or new, a car can be costly. Did you know that one in four Americans take out an auto loan to finance their car purchase? If you’re considering buying a new or used car, you must understand the basics of auto loans.

This blog post will give you everything you need about auto loans, including interest rates, terms, and how to get the best deal. Keep reading for more information!

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You deserve the best bank to take care of your money. This post will tell you how you can choose the right option. Manage your money like a pro with the help of your bank

Should you get an auto loan: Get all the info!

Auto loans can be a great way to get the car you want without paying it all upfront. They can also be a great way to build your credit history. But there are some things you need to keep in mind before you decide if an auto loan is right for you.

Before purchasing your new set of wheels, please look at the information we selected in this post so that you won’t drive yourself into debt.

How does it work?

car model calculator coins white table
An auto loan is a way to buy your car if you still don’t have all the money you need. Source: Freepik.

In the short term, it is a way of lending money to buy a car. By borrowing money from a lender, you’ll have to pay back that money with interest rates in Monthly installments.

For example, if you are interested in buying a car that costs $30,000 and doesn’t have that money, you can put a down payment of $4,000 and borrow the $26,000 remaining.

You will pay back that amount with an interest rate if you get approved for a loan. That rate is called APR (Annual percentage rate) and is usually around 5%.

The time to pay the installments may vary. You can choose from a short-term deal, usually 36 months, to a long-term one, usually 60 months.

Before making any deals, it’s crucial to analyze which form of payment fits you best, so you don’t get caught up in debt.

Where do I get an auto loan?

You’ll have to do some work before getting that new car. Researching is one of them.

Spend time looking around some terms from different lenders to see which deal is best for you. You can borrow from direct lenders or a dealership financer.

Credit unions, banks, and financial institutions are the direct lenders. When you choose to borrow money from them, there’s a possibility of comparison to see which one offers the best terms.

By choosing that, you will have to fill out an application with your financial information, such as income and credit score. That way, the institution will know if you’re likely to repay.

Dealership financing is an alternative when you have already chosen the car you want to buy. You walked into a dealer’s shop and fell in love with a vehicle. You can apply for financing there. The dealer’s financial department usually handles this.

However, those auto loans can come with higher interest rates.

Auto loan: How do I get it?

woman hugging white car
If having a car is your dream, pay attention to your auto loan terms and conditions. Source: Freepik.

Ok, so far, we’ve covered the basics of what is an auto loan, some of its terms, and What are the places Where you can apply for one.

But, what is necessary to apply? How do you get the approval to buy the car of your Dreams?

To get the loan, you’ll have to fill out a loan application that will inform the lender of some of your financial information.

Some of this information relates to your annual income, job history, and credit score. This is important to ensure that you are likely to repay that money.

It’s very important to prepare yourself. Look into your credit score, and analyze your monthly payments to ensure your budget won’t be damaged by new monthly debt.

And if you qualify, you can consider asking for help from a family member who is more likely to be approved for a loan, or you can’t save up some money until you reach the amount needed. Personal loans are also an alternative.

Auto loan x Personal loan

Sometimes, lenders will only approve auto loans for cars that are 5 years or less. It’s because when you finance a car and fail to pay the loan, the car can be seized and re-sold, so the lender doesn’t lose Money.

With that, cars older than 5 years will lose too much value, and the lender might not be able to get all his Money back.

So if the vehicle is older than 5 years, a personal loan to buy it might be the right choice. It usually requires a higher credit score and has increased interest rates, but at least the car won’t be collateral if you fail to pay the loan.

Buying one of the most expensive cars in the world: how much would it cost?

So, are you ready to buy your new car? It’s a big purchase, but with the help of an auto loan, it can be more manageable. We hope this article has helped prepare you for what to expect when getting a car loan.

A car can be very expensive, but nothing like these next ones! Check out our next article to see which ones are the most expensive cars in the world and see how much it costs.

front view of high speed silver sport car in highway

Most expensive cars in the world

If you're curious about the most expensive cars in the world, read this post to get amazed at their prices.

About the author

Vinicius Barbosa

Vinicius Barbosa is a writer of finance-related content on this portal. Graduated in Social Communication, he writes about everything that involves the world of finances, from credit card recommendations to investment tips, for readers who want to make better decisions when it comes time to spend their money or invest wisely.

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