From make and model to MPG, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a vehicle. Before heading to the dealership, walk in prepared with our list of the five best tips for you to follow, whether you’re buying new or used!
- Do your research: Whether you’ve purchased a vehicle in the past or are a first-time car buyer, find out what the current market price is for the vehicle you want. In addition, examine the ratings and reviews others have written about the vehicle. Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports are filled with information from people who actually own the vehicle, and show both good and bad remarks. Tip: Factor in gas mileage with Fuel Economy’s website. While this is not an initial cost, it is sure to add up in the long run.
- Set a budget: This can be hard to do. While the vehicle you want may be out of your price range, it’s important to stick to your budget. If you are concerned about your budget, consider the option of leasing rather than actually purchasing a vehicle. Tip: Do your research and set your budget before walking into a dealership!
- Choose a model or type of car: With the budget you set for yourself, start looking into vehicles that work within your budget. This may mean you have to determine if you can afford a new car or if you should shop used. Also, when you are choosing your vehicle you need to think about your lifestyle and your future. Planning on starting a family? A new sports car may be your dream, but not practical in reality.
- Be ready to negotiate: Buying a vehicle can take time. Stay true to what you want and shop around. If you are not familiar with car-buying, pricing, or just do not like to negotiate in general, take a friend or family member who has been through the process before. This way you have someone who is not as invested in the outcome as you are and can have an outside perspective on the purchase.
- Take your time: While this may not be 100% realistic if you are in a rush to purchase a vehicle, you should take as much time as you need to make a decision. Do not be pressured into buying a vehicle. Ask questions and make sure all your questions are answered.
†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, under our customer identification program, we must ask for your name, street address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.
*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.