Auto Loan Financing 101

Before you begin auto shopping

Consider your total expenses
Review your credit report
Compare your options

Financing a car or vehicle

Buying a new or used vehicle is exciting. Here are some things to consider before you start shopping:

  • Think beyond your monthly payment
    The cost of owning a vehicle includes insurance, gas, tolls, parking, repairs and maintenance. Remember to include those items into your monthly auto budget.
  • Review your credit report
    Each year, you can request a copy of your credit report for free from each of the three credit bureaus. Those include: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Simply visit or call 877.322.8228. Once you have your credit report, look for any issues before applying for your loan.
  • Understand the responsibility of a co-signer
    Co-signing an auto loan could help you qualify for more car. However, if you miss a payment, it will damage your credit as well as the co-signer’s credit.
  • Read the lease fine print
    A lease can lower your monthly payment, but lease fees and a down payment could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
  • Compare 0% financing to other options
    Do the math first. Cash-back incentives coupled with financing at a lower rate at the Credit Union might save you more overall versus 0% financing with the dealership.

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