#1 Price
Price is a key factor in buying a car. If you don’t need dealer financing, then the sticker price of the car is the key factor. If you do need financing, the price should be negotiated. Check other dealerships advertised prices online before you get on the lot. Get a few quotes in order to have the best information when you are at the table.

#2 Term
Term is how long you will pay the car payment. Most financing options are 3, 5, or 7 years. This is a key element because you want to feel comfortable that you can make the payment for the entire loan. A longer term will make the car payment lower, but think about how long you want to own the car. Think about the depreciation value that will occur over the course of the loan. If your term is too long, the car has the potential to become underwater, meaning you will owe more on the car than it is worth.

#3 Interest Rate
Interest Rate is determined by a number of factors. Your credit score, the make and model of the vehicle, and dealer incentives can all affect the interest rate that is offered to you. Knowing your credit score and the average current interest rate for car loans will help you in negotiating a better rate. Keep in mind that interest rates will affect your monthly payment.

#4 Monthly Payment
The monthly payment is an essential part of the loan process. Only you know how much you can afford to pay in month. You should know what your maximum car payment is before you look for a new car. Keep in mind the above factors will manipulate the payment. If your term is longer, your payment will be lower. If price is higher, your payment will mostly likely be high. And changing the interest rate even slightly can lower or higher your payment. With these tips in mind, you can feel more confident in negotiating the best deal. Even if you don’t have the best credit, you can get a great deal.

Kelly Bladl
CCP Web Design Staff Writer