If you have reasonable credit, you probably get a fair amount of mail from credit companies. In addition to all of the credit card offers you get, you probably get many notices that you’ve been pre-qualified for an auto loan. While many people get their loans while they are at the dealership, there are some very real benefits to being pre-qualified before you walk through the door. Whether you’re looking to buy a car quickly or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of haggling, you might find that going in pre-qualified will make your car-buying experience much better.
Knowing Your Budget
When you get pre-qualified for an auto loan, you get the benefit of walking in with budget information. Car dealerships are great about working with customers in order to get them into a car, but the customer rarely has time to process all the math involved with the purchase before signing on the dotted line. If you walk in pre-qualified, you already have all the data you need. You’ll know exactly how much you can spend, the interest rate that your loan will be at, and even what your monthly payments will be before you ever talk to a salesperson.
It’s nice to be able to walk into a car dealership and know exactly what you can spend. When you’re pre-qualified, it’s much harder for a salesperson to talk you into spending a few thousand extra dollars. You know what you’re qualified for and that’s your ceiling. From there, you can work on talking the dealership into reducing your price so that you can actually drive off the lot in a new car. This removes much of the haggling from the equation and turns the car-buying process into something much more straightforward.
In fact, being pre-qualified for a loan really just makes buying a new car much less stressful. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll qualify for a loan, because you already know that you’re qualified. You won’t have to worry about getting a bad interest rate that drives up the price of your car because you already have your interest rate in writing. All of the uncertainty that comes with buying a car is replaced with cold, hard facts. When you’ve got your information, you can buy from a place of confidence instead of one of stress.
If you are pre-qualified for a loan, you’ll feel better informed, less stressed, and better able to get a fair price for a car. While pre-qualifications aren’t quite the same thing as getting a loan, it moves you close enough to your goal that you won’t have to worry much about your lender. If possible, make sure to find a good lender who’s willing to pre-qualify you before you walk on a lot. Not only will doing so help you to get the car you want, but it will greatly reduce the amount of time you have to spend at the dealership.