3 Tips: Doing Auto Loans Right

Getting a car loan might seem like something simple, but it's actually something where strategy can often get you a better deal. If you're thinking about financing a new or pre-owned car, read on to discover some of best tips for getting great best auto loans.

Know When to Borrow

One key to getting the best auto loans is to borrow when interest rates are low. Interest rates tend to fluctuate over time. Central banking systems set the base rates, and lenders set their rates for individual customers on top of them. Keep an eye on the markets, and understand when interest is at a historic low, in order to lock in a really great interest rate for an auto loan, and pay much less over time.

Choose the Right Lender

Obviously it's also important to choose the right lender. But not every borrower has a thorough understanding of all of the options at his or her disposal. You have banks and credit unions, but you also have captive finance companies associated with manufacturers. You have in-house dealer financing as well. This gives you a lot of different options for borrowing.

Too often, borrowers don't understand the deals that they could have gotten with auto loans until they research the issue after the fact and come up with a serious case of "borrower's remorse." For example, a credit union can give you a much better deal because of work or education associations. On the other hand, some banks will jack up rates claiming that they're not really in the business of doing auto loans or pointing out spots on your credit record. Shopping around helps you get access to the best deals.

Don't Overlook Auto Loan Refinancing

Another key tip is to always evaluate the pros and cons of refinancing. Just like with a home loan or mortgage, if you can find someone to buy your debt for cheaper, you suddenly have lower financing payments and more money in your bank account. It's not always easy to refinance, and there may be fees attached, so always look at the balance sheet and calculate the fees against the savings that you get over the life of your loan.

These simple steps can save drivers great sums of money when they go to finance a vehicle. It's also important to look at the insurance responsibilities that you'll have, since many lenders are entitled to legally require comprehensive and collision insurance as long as the vehicle is being financed. Keep all of this in mind when going to the lending table.