Jeff DeShane is ECCU’s Vice President of Loan Services, offering 15 years of experience in the credit union and lending industry. He’s also an expert on all of our consumer loan products, including auto loans. Today, he shares his top ten financial tips when it comes to buying a new car.
The car of your dreams is within reach. It just takes a bit of know-how and discipline. Try following Jeff’s top 10 car buying tips.
- Once you pay your car loan in full, put your monthly payments aside in a savings account. Use this accumulated savings as a down payment for your next vehicle.
- Think through the benefits of purchasing a pre-owned (used) vehicle. You can stretch your budget further after the first hit of depreciation occurs on a brand-new car. The market also offers an array of dependable and great-looking used cars.
- What do you want most in a car? Be sure to understand needs versus wants. Also, consider what may be changing in your life or family obligations.
- Once you decide on your vehicle requirements, determine the make, model, and features that best fit. Outline the details – in writing. Then have two (or more) dealers give their lowest possible price to win your business. Still not satisfied? Visit more dealerships or go online and shop.
- Stop at ECCU first and get pre-approved for the financing. You can feel confident that you’ll stay within budget, not shop for the car by payment, and receive the best rate possible. Avoid the high-pressure situation of negotiating with a dealership’s F&I department and the add-ons they will try to sell. ECCU even offers GAP coverage and extended warranties at a fraction of the cost of dealerships.
- Find a dealership and salesperson you can trust. It’s wise to shop for the dealer just like the car. With a trustworthy dealership, you can feel assured you’re getting the best price for your new vehicle, as well as your trade-in. But, keep negotiations separate. Determine your vehicle price first, and then the trade-in value.
- Some experts say the third and fourth weeks of the month are the best times to shop for the best prices. Most say to avoid shopping on Saturdays completely.
- Don’t give in to pressure in any way regarding the purchase. Walk away first. There’s immense pressure to purchase extras, take less for your trade-in or to say yes to dealer financing.
- Review insurance quotes, maintenance costs, and fuel consumption before you buy. All can impact your budget.
- See how your vehicle rates in safety and performance. Visit sites such as www.IIHS.org and www.SaferCar.gov for consumer education and information.
Shaky Credit? Get a Fresh Start.
Jeff adds that if you’ve had some credit challenges in the past, consider ECCU’s Fresh Start Auto Loan. It’s the perfect way to get back on track, rebuild your credit, and still have an affordable loan and payment. Call us at 269.375.6702 for details.
Need more help?
We can help set up a personal strategy just for you. If you’re ready to buy now, apply online at www.eccu1.org or call us 24/7 at 269.488.5945 (KWIK).
Source: GreenPath Financial.
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