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Our team at VW of Panama City wants to streamline the financing process for used car shoppers like you in the Springfield, Callaway, and Panama City, FL, areas. As you explore the tips below, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or to speak with one of our finance specialists today!
The first step in financing a used car is to look at your credit score, which gives you an idea of both the interest rate and the length of the car loan you will likely be offered. A credit score acts like a summary of your complete credit history.
It’s a number between 300 and 850 that you can check for free from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Credit reports on the other hand include information about your open accounts and the amount of credit you have available as well as details about your credit history, including the timeliness of your payments. Lenders will create an auto loan offer based on your credit report.
When you apply for automotive financing, lenders will review a copy of your credit report. If you believe your credit score is off or you haven’t checked your complete credit report in a while, you can request a free copy each year through AnnualCreditReports.com.
Once you receive your credit report, you’ll want to look it over to check for any errors. After you’ve verified the accuracy of your credit report, you can apply for a car loan.
If your credit score isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, there are a few steps you can take to raise it before applying for a car loan. To begin, catch up with any past-due payments and stay on top of all future payments. Be sure to leave credit lines open even if you no longer use them.
By getting pre-approved for a loan, you can streamline your search for a used car. When you get pre-approved, you receive information about the type of car loan you can expect and any stipulations about the vehicle, such as age or mileage.
Then, you can begin to shop around for models with the features you want that meet the requirements laid out by the car loan. For your convenience, we have a payment calculator you can use to compare monthly payments.
A down payment is the amount of cash you provide upfront towards the total cost of the used car you want to finance. The larger down the payment you give, the less you will finance with a car loan.
If possible, it’s a good rule of thumb to make a 20% down payment. Another option is to trade in your current set of wheels and apply its value towards the down payment.
Once you narrow in on a vehicle, you’ll want to officially apply for a car loan. Then, you can compare the offers you receive from different lenders to pick the one that fits your lifestyle and budget.
Now that you’ve read a few tips for financing a used car, you’re ready to move forward. Contact us at VW of Panama City to speak with a used car financing expert near Springfield, Callaway, and Panama City, Florida, today!