5 Financial Steps-to-Prep Before Purchasing Your First Car

Buying a car is a big deal, but buying your first car is a huge milestone and reason to be proud. Between dealing with high-pressure car salesmen tactics, trying to ensure you get a good price, haggling for trade-in values on your old car, and staying on top of the sale by avoiding any hidden fees, you’re probably the least worried about the most important part of your first car purchase: your credit score.

Financing your new vehicle may not be the flashiest or most exciting part of your purchase, but it’s definitely an aspect you shouldn’t avoid. If you’re willing to spend hours negotiating with a salesman, then you should also set aside time to prepare for this major purchase. Buying a new car doesn’t have to make your credit rating take a huge hit, so we’ve outlined some ways you can prepare your credit for your shiny new toy.

1) Plan Your Car Shopping Ahead of Time:

Did you know that every time you go to a car dealership, they pull your credit and it adds a notation on your credit report that you’ve filed for an inquiry? Did you also know that multiple inquiries temporarily hurt your credit score? The best way to avoid notations on your credit score is to simply plan ahead. Check out vehicles online, contact your dealer via phone or e-mail, and make the trip only when you’re ready to

2) Know the Market:

In general, knowing what the car you want is going for in the market is going to help you negotiate for the best price. Researching online is usually the best route to see what dealers’ inventories have, and what you want to schedule to see. If you find that the vehicle you want is experiencing high demand, then you’ll have less leverage as a customer.

3) Know Your Credit Score:

Before you go shopping, you should check out your credit score and know your credit score range. We recommend doing this a few months in advance so that if you need to increase your credit score, you can do so. Your credit score directly effects what kind of interest rates you can get on financing your vehicle, and also gives you the upper hand on deciding whether to finance through the bank, credit union, or your dealer. While there is no specific minimum score to buy a car, the higher your score is, the more options for financing you will have and the more you will save on an auto loan interest.

4) Consider Getting a Car Loan:

Myth busted: Getting a car loan can actually help your FICO credit score. But, the price you end up paying for a car is going to determine whether you qualify for a loan to buy it; a price too high can disqualify you. Find a suitable payment plan, as not making payments will definitely hurt your credit rating.

5) Put More Money Down:

The more money you pay for the initial down payment, the less money you will need to borrow—it’s as simple as that! Saving for a down payment will reinforce realistic budgeting practices. We recommend aiming to down pay for about 12% of the purchase price.

Everybody wants to get a good deal on their car purchase, and knowing your credit score is going to help you streamline the process. Buying a new vehicle should be an exciting, fun experience with the help of your dealership and credit unions. If your credit is not where it needs to be yet to get a good deal on financing, contact Credit Capital today.

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