Car financing is what helps you buy a car when you don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for it. It works by providing you a loan from a lender or financial institution to cover the cost of your purchase.
When you finance a car, the lender offers you the money you need to buy it. You then return the money to the lender by making regular monthly payments. Auto lenders make money by charging you interest and additional fees for processing and issuing you the loan. The car acts as collateral, and the lender can repossess your vehicle in case you can’t keep up with your payments.
There are a variety of lenders that offer auto financing. The most common places to apply for a loan are banks and credit unions. If you have a general idea about how much the car costs, you can apply at banks and credit unions for a preapproved loan. They’ll give you a letter confirming the amount you can borrow and the interest rate at which you’ll borrow it.
You can also check with online lenders and online marketplaces that can offer you the best terms. These sites also allow you to compare offers from several lenders to work out what’s best for you. Other places to apply for loans are the car dealership or the car manufacturer’s in-house financing, but both could be rather expensive.
A very important point in determining how good or bad your loan offer will be is your FICO Score. If it’s good, then you can get a great deal. If you have a fair score, then you’ll be paying higher interest and have to make a bigger down payment. If you have poor credit, you should improve your score before applying for a loan.
Another type of auto financing is leasing a car. It offers you a way to drive a new car without buying it. It’s a long term rental, and you’ll have to return the vehicle after a few years. Monthly lease payments are often lower than loan payments for the same car. But it’s likely that you’ll need good to excellent credit in order to lease a car.