We understand that the process of getting a car loan can be confusing. That’s why we’re prepared to help you learn how to get a car loan and make smart decisions every step of the way with these helpful car financing tips.
Auto loan financing tips
If you want to lease or buy a new or used car, first you should think about how you’re going to finance it. Auto loan financing can be a great way to afford a new car, but it’s important to prepare yourself as much as possible before making your purchase. Start by using our auto loan vs. car lease calculator to help you determine which option is right for you. We know you’re excited to start driving a new car, but don’t lose sight of the investment.
Getting a car loan through a dealership is not always the best option, as you can wind up paying more than necessary. Consider getting preapproved for your auto loan from a bank instead. By knowing how much financing you have before you go to the dealership, you can keep the focus on the price of the car. Plus, being preapproved for a specific amount can keep you from being tempted by a car that's above your budget.
Know your credit score
Your credit score has a large impact on the interest rate you receive for your auto loan. When you apply for a loan, lenders will run a credit report that looks into factors such as your payment history, the length of time you have been using credit and the amounts owed. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate may be. Review your credit score and look for any flaws in your payment history of loans, credit cards or other debt. If you can delay buying a new car for a little while, spend some time improving your credit score by making regular payments and paying off existing debt. By doing so, you’re likely to get a better interest rate on your auto loan, which means paying less on what you borrow.
Review your budget
Take a look at your budget to determine the amount of a monthly car loan payment that you can comfortably afford. Knowing what is and isn’t within your means will help you stay on track during the car loan financing process. You can also easily figure out your monthly car loan payments with our auto payment calculator.
Compare car prices
If you know the make, model and year of the car you want to finance, do some price comparisons to estimate the amount of the auto loan you would need. If you don’t know what kind of car you want to buy, you can get preapproved for an auto loan using the same application. This means that when you find the right car, you’ll already have the financing in place to buy it.
Apply for auto loan financing
At Nationwide Bank, you can finance your car entirely online at your convenience. It takes just a few minutes to get preapproved. After that, you can use Nationwide Auto Shopping Service to learn what people in your area are paying for similar makes and models. Once you've found the car you want to buy, you can complete the loan and sign your loan documents online.
Save when you choose automatic car loan payments
Sign up for automatic payments on your car loan instead of paying by check each month. At Nationwide Bank, we offer a 1% discount on auto loan rates for people who choose automatic payments. That means you can save money and maximize convenience. Plus, you can choose when to make your monthly payment so it fits within your budget.