October 3, 2023
refinance auto loan with bad credit

When looking for a car to purchase, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are many factors when deciding what kind of car you should buy and how you should pay for it. A good auto loan can be the difference between paying it off fully or defaulting. Therefore, knowing the steps of getting a car loan is essential before you start searching for one. The tips below will help you get started on the right foot when it comes time to apply for an auto loan.

1. Place a Large Down Payment

This is the best way to get the best auto loan rates. If you are willing to put in a large down payment, you can lock in lower interest rates. However, smaller down payments can cost you in the long run. Placing this extensive collateral on a loan gives the lender added assurance that you will not default, lowering the risk of your loan and the cost. In addition, by agreeing to an auto loan with a higher APR than what you are comfortable with, even if you only qualify for the lowest rate available based on your credit score, you can be eligible because of your higher credit score.

2. Get Creative

Getting the best auto loan rates isn’t all about credit. You can get creative by shopping around with multiple lenders. There are a lot of different types of auto loans. They range from no money down loans, to high down payment loans, to cash-on-the-barrel deals that require very little work on your part. You need to focus on the type of loan that best suits your needs and financial situation.

3. Shop Around

Learn how to shop around, call multiple lenders, and compare rates and fees. You should also know exactly how much you can afford on a monthly payment and the loan term length you need. Take note of discounts your bank offers for paying cash for the vehicle. For example, if the car dealership offers you a 0.5% credit card processing fee instead of the regular 1% and doesn’t even consider the monthly payment, you may want to pay in cash and save on that additional fee.

4. Opt for a Short Term Loan

Short-term auto loans are the most common, so you’ll need to know various available options. Most importantly, it would help if you weighed the cost of closing costs or finance charges against your monthly payments when deciding on a loan amount and term. If you’re looking for a lower-risk, short-term loan, it’s best to stick with traditional lenders. And if you’re not sure how much money you need, consider applying for a deferred payment car loan that lets you pay off the loan over time.


Taking out an auto loan is a big step for anyone. The process can be intimidating, mainly if you deal with lots of jargon and unfamiliar terminology. But getting the best rates is well worth it, especially if you keep your new car for an extended period or if you finance a reasonably expensive vehicle. Of course, obtaining these best rates is also important, so you should exercise care in selecting the lender you choose to help with your auto loan.