In 2017, 100 million Americans had car loans. By 2019, Americans owed over $1 trillion on those loans. Buyers purchased 85 percent of new cars with financing as well as over half of used cars (56 percent).
If you need an auto loan in West Palm Beach, remember that you’re not just shopping for a car, you should be shopping for financing as well.
How to choose an auto loan in West Palm Beach
Check your credit score because it can substantially influence the rates you receive. A high score, over 800, could keep rates low and interest payments to a minimum, but a low score, under 670, could have you paying several times as much interest over the course of your loan. In addition to your credit score, lenders in West Palm Beach take into account your income, active bankruptcies, debt history and whether you have a co-signer.
Whether you’re financing from a bank, credit union, online lender or dealership, you’ll need to apply for your loan and see if you qualify. If you qualify, make sure the offer has acceptable conditions before signing.
The two most important details of your loan are the term and APR because they affect how much money you end up paying back to your lender.
Your loan term is the payment schedule for your loan, and it usually ranges from 36 to 72 months with some loans going much longer.
Your annual percentage rate (APR) combines the interest and fees to show how much you’re paying for the loan. APR typically ranges from 3 percent to 10 percent, though it can be higher for borrowers with bad credit.
There are a few ways you can make sure you get the best possible deal on your next car loan in West Palm Beach:
Don’t always trust dealerships: Car buyers typically pay an extra $20 billion a year due to dealers marking up interest rates on the loans they broker.
Get preapproved: Preapproval means that a bank, credit union or online lender has agreed to finance an auto loan for you up to a certain amount, which allows you to shop around for loan terms and can give you more bargaining power at the dealership.
Make a significant down payment: Consider putting up to 20 percent down on the vehicle to reduce the amount of your loan and potentially lower your APR.
Watch out for hidden fees: If you do decide to go through a dealership, beware of paying for things you don’t need.
Getting an auto loan with bad credit in West Palm Beach
If you are purchasing a car with a lower credit rating, be careful. Qualifying for a loan in South Florida at a traditional lender may be difficult, and loans offered by smaller buy-here-pay-here lots can be prohibitively expensive in the long term due to bad rates.
You can improve your loan by getting a co-signer with good credit, refinancing your loan if your credit gets better or simply waiting to borrow until your credit improves.
LightStream is an auto loan provider that focuses on offering ultra-fast, flexible loan terms to highly-qualified borrowers with solid credit. Reviewers were pleased with its no-nonsense approach to lending and its willingness to work with clients. However, negative reviews often focused on their frustration at being turned down for loans despite above-average qualifications.
Auto Approve is a specialty lender that focuses on offering refinancing deals. Due to this specialization, they’ve earned many positive reviews complimenting their quick response, easy process, solid customer service and favorable terms. Some negative reviews pointed to a less desirable experience and their inability to make particular financing terms work for a client.
LendingTree is a marketplace to compare providers and lock in the best rate for your car loan. As such, it’s positively reviewed for its wide variety of plans and options, flexible qualifications and rapid turnaround on loans, sometimes as fast as 24 hours.
MyAutoLoan is a brokerage site that shows you loan offers from a wide variety of dealers and financial institutions, often giving you a pre-approved loan on the same day you apply. Reviewers were pleased with the simplicity of their approval process and rapid turnaround on loans, while some expressed frustration that they couldn’t use their loans at independent dealerships.
Capital One provides everything from credit cards to insurance and auto loans. Unfortunately, reviewers were generally negative on their auto-loan offerings—citing everything from poor performance with refinancing deals to frustration with pre-approved offers that later changed.