If you had to come up with $20,000 cash to buy a brand new car, would you be able to do so? Probably not. This is why car loans are so important today. The problem is, the business of car loans is just as big as the car business itself.
And when you go to a dealership, you might be thinking that they're out for your interest when it comes to securing a car loan. But the truth is, they sometimes make more money through the financing of a car than they do selling the car itself.
That's why it's important to understand your options for car loans before going to the dealership by applying for a car loan through Automall.com. We'll give you an honest look at your future monthly payment, as well as how much you'll be paying total for your car.
Using this alternative method to securing financing, you can avoid the tricks dealers like to play on customers in order to move the financing in a direction that serves their purposes more than it does your own.
Below you'll find more information on car loans and how AutoMall.com's service can help you secure financing quickly and without the dealership.
Types of Car Loans
Your credit score will typically define the type of loan you're able to receive from a lender. If your credit score is higher than the average American's, you'll likely qualify for the best rates and have much more freedom to pick and choose from lenders.
Those with lower credit scores may have trouble securing financing with some of the nation's largest and most reputable lenders, but should still be offered a loan. The only difference is, the terms will be much less beneficial.
Let's dive into the difference between the two different types of car loans: prime and subprime loans.
While the actual number for prime credit scores varies by source, a score of 720 or higher likely qualifies you for the best loan rates. (Typically the ones you see advertised, but think no one ever actually receives.)
If your credit score is in the prime zone, your options for loans are extremely open because lenders are more than happy to give you the lowest rate possible. This is because you've shown yourself to be a responsible user of credit, and they calculate your risk as much, much lower than someone with a lower-tier credit score.
If you've had trouble repaying debts in the past and watched your credit score slip below 640, you're likely going to be categorized as subprime. While you might not be considered subprime for exactly 640, as it does vary, you're less likely to be offered loans at competitive rates once your credit score is below 700. Go below 600, and you may find yourself being turned away by many lenders.
For the most part, subprime loans come with a lot of associated risk because the lender assumes your score indicates a higher-than-average likelihood of default. To account for this risk, lenders often charge interest rates at double, triple, (or sometimes higher) the rate of a prime loan.
So if you're on the hunt for car loans, don't be surprised if the only loan offers you receive carry an extremely high interest rate. Numbers as high as 20-30% have become common due to the surge in subprime auto lending.
The Pros and Cons of Bad Credit Car Loans
While no one wants to have bad credit, it's not a choice you can control as easily as others. It takes years, sometimes even decades, to undo the financial mistakes that cause bad credit. But the good news is, if you want to shop for car loans, you will find options.
For quick and simple information about bad credit car loans, here's a quick list of pros and cons:
Pro: You're Approved!
When major banks turn you down, at least you can take solace in the fact that you've been approved for a loan by a lender. This may not be what you want to hear, but it's absolutely true from the perspective of the lender, who is taking an extreme amount of risk.
Con: Higher Than Average Interest Rates
If those with prime credit scores receive the lowest rates, it's clear that those with subprime credit scores will receive the highest. And due to the increased risk, lenders have to charge at rates that are typically well above the average in order to offset that risk. This is because it's likely many of the people they lend to will default.
Loaning to subprime car buyers the same way you would a prime buyer would likely put a lot of lenders out of business.
Pro: It Can Help Your Credit Down the Road
Initially, acquiring new debt will hurt your credit score. But as time goes on, your payment history will have a much more positive image, and you'll have paid down your debt more, the credit bureaus will take notice.
Slowly but surely you'll see your score rise each and every month you check. As you're seen more responsible with credit, it should also be easier to acquire other types of credit. It will also make other essential parts of life less difficult, such as renting an apartment/home or buying a cellphone with a service contract.
Con: You Could End Up Under Water Easily
Because of the high interest rates, it's easy to end up under water in a bad credit car loan if you're not careful. What this means is, you will owe more on your car than it is worth on the open market.
The best way to prevent this is to pay a percentage of the car's total price up front as a down payment in order to lower the overall monthly payment. This will also allow you to avoid higher interest charges that will quickly catch up off guard if you pay nothing up front.
It's not unusual for a bad credit car shopper to find themselves in this type of situation, so it's good to be aware of it going into the process instead of being surprised down the road.
In the end, you have to ask yourself if taking on a bad credit car loan is best for you at this time. If you really need a car and know you'll have the ability to pay it back and get yourself out of debt on time, it's worth it to have that security. But if you're unsure of where your next paycheck will come from, you might want to consider other options.
How AutoMall.com Can Help You Get a Car Loan
Unlike a dealership, where your loan is decided for you behind closed doors, AutoMall.com's car loan approval service provides you with options to allow you the freedom to select the loan that fits your situation.
You may want a lower payment and are willing to take on a longer loan term than is typically. Others may want to lower their loan term by raising the payment in order to get it paid off quickly.
Whatever your situation or desire, our car loan service takes the middleman out of the equation so you can go to the dealership with more confidence in your purchase.