Everything You Need to Know About Financing
If you’re financing a used car, it’s helpful to understand what may impact your approval. When you meet with one of our trusted Sales Consultants, they will walk you through each factor, so you can make informed and confident choices.
A down payment is how much you pay at the time of purchase. The higher the down payment, the lower your monthly payments.
Edmunds outlines a few reasons, including:
- Your monthly payments could be lower, depending on the term and interest.
- You may pay less interest.
- You could improve your ability to qualify for financing.
TIP: If you trade in your car, you may be able to use the amount you receive for it as your down payment. See how much it’s worth.
Your credit score plays a role in determining your auto financing options. Typically, those with high credit scores will be offered better terms and lower rates. Credit scores range between 850 and 300 and are determined by your credit and payment history.
Possibly. Different lenders will offer different rates, so shop around for the best ones. Also, work to increase your credit score by paying down debt and making on-time payments. Enterprise offers great financing options for first-time buyers and college graduates who lack credit history.
Sometimes. Credit card companies and dealerships often have policies about credit card use for car purchases. For example, dealerships may allow only part of the purchase to be made by credit card, such as the down payment. It’s best to check directly with your credit card company and dealership.
Qualifying for a low rate may help you save money each month.
The financing term is the total number of months you wish to pay for your car.
Most lenders offer payment plans between 36 and 72 months. Short-term contracts can offer better rates but come with higher monthly payments. Long-term contracts may mean smaller monthly payments, but ultimately result in you paying more money over time.
TIP: Use our car payment calculator to help estimate your monthly payments and set a realistic budget.
Loan vs. Financing
Though they may seem like the same thing, there is a difference between car loans and car financing. Car loans are set up directly between you and a bank, finance company, or credit union. Conversely, you may apply for financing through a dealership. The dealer will sell your financing contract to a bank, finance company, or credit union, who will service your account.
Different lenders offer various rates, terms, and advantages. We can help you find one that’s right for you.
Banks have set rates and terms that vary widely. You can shop around at multiple banks and choose the best offer for you.
Credit Unions generally offer lower rates and fees and more flexibility with payment plans than banks. They require a membership, which may be limited to certain locations and organizations.