Purchasing your first car can be both exciting and intimidating. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Use the following guidance to help you get started, so you can get a car that is right for you, at a price you can afford.
There are a lot of great deals to be had on both new and pre-owned cars and trucks right now. Make a list of your must-haves and things that would be nice to have but aren’t deal-breakers. You can then shop within these guidelines to find a vehicle that meets your needs. This will also help keep you from getting in over your head on a car payment, or buying a car that you really don’t love after a few months of ownership. You should also compare prices and options on new and used cars so you can be sure you are getting the best deal.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
This is a mistake that all car buyers are at risk for, whether they are looking to purchase their first vehicle or they are veteran auto buyers. Many times a sales associate at a dealership will use pressure to get you into a car. They might also insist that this is the deal to end all deals and it won’t last long. You may be afraid that if you don’t buy the car now, you won’t have another chance because someone else will snatch it up. Don’t worry. Great deals come and go all the time, and if you miss out on this one, you will likely find something better. Take your time, think things over, and buy when the time and deal are right. Don’t be pressured into anything.
Prepare Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a huge part of auto ownership. Your credit score not only determines the amount of the loan that you will be approved for, it also determines what interest rate you will pay and how much your payments will be. In addition, your insurance premium is calculated using your credit score, so you want your credit report to be as clean as possible. Pay off old debts, make all payments on time, and lower the amount of available credit that you have utilized. These actions will all help to show your bank and insurance company that you are a low risk for a loan or auto insurance.
Contact Your Bank or Credit Union
One of the best steps you can take is to contact a loan officer at your bank or local credit union. Your loan officer will check your credit and let you know where you stand. He or she can let you know how much of a loan you can expect to be approved for and what interest rate you can expect to pay. If these numbers are acceptable, you can then proceed with the loan. You may also choose to wait a while and improve your credit score.
If you are looking to purchase your first car, Community First can help. We have assisted many new car buyers with obtaining the necessary funds to purchase a vehicle. If you haven’t found the right car or truck yet, we can also help point you in the direction of some great dealerships to help you choose a vehicle that is right for you.
Stop by and see us, or give us a call today so we can help you get started on the path to a new or new-to-you vehicle that meets your needs.