Compare All Options
To get the best deal, you have to shop for car loans the same way you would do for a home loan or a mortgage.
You need to reach out to multiple lenders to get quotes.
Check and compare the interest rates, repayment terms, and additional fees.
This will help you filter out the best deals, thus broadening your scope for negotiating a car loan.
Maintain Your Credit Score
If you want to obtain a car loan at a lower interest, most lenders will agree to it if you have an excellent credit score.
The score parameters vary from lender to lender, but on average, anything above 780 is considered eligible for the lowest available interest rates.
If you have a credit score lower than 680, it will be difficult to find a lender which will agree to offer a lower rate.
In this case, take some time to improve your credit score by making timely payments on existing loans.
Negotiate the Vehicle’s Cost
You can bargain on the actual cost of the car before you start negotiating for a car loan.
A lower purchase price means a smaller loan and lower interest payments.
The marked price is not always the end of the story. Hence, you should make a counteroffer.
Do not just pull a random number, instead make an offer that makes the dealer reconsider.
For instance, be willing to gather prices from other dealers to improve your negotiating leverage.
This will give you a better platform to negotiate as most dealers that want to make a sale are willing to lower prices to an extent.
Consider Paying a Higher Down Payment
The best way to buy a car affordably is to pay upfront.
Unfortunately, it is not always the most viable option for everyone.
In this case, the best way to negotiate a car loan is by offering to pay a higher down payment than the lender requests.
When you agree to a higher down payment, your car loan’s principal will be lower.
This means that you will be paying a lower amount of interest over the loan life.
Get a Preapproval
If you aren’t able to pocket the entire cost of the car on your own, another great way to lower the total interest is to apply for a loan from a federal credit union.
Compared to dealers and private lenders, these institutions may have lower interest rates and better terms available.
Moreover, these lenders will not persuade you to opt for long-term loans.
You should get preapproved for a certain amount before approaching the dealer.
This way, you can ask the dealer if they can beat the lender’s rates, and if they can, you have yourself a loan with a lower interest rate.
Calculate the Overall Cost
Don’t just calculate the monthly installments on a car loan. Rather, consider the total cost of the loan.
Most customers select a loan with a lower installment because it fits their budget but end up paying much more than the actual value of the loan.
The best way to pay less interest is by negotiating for a shorter repayment term.
That way, you wll be able to clear your car loan faster and save money in the process. For instance, a car loan for $10,000 at 5% for 3 years means a monthly payment of $299.71 ($789.52 total interest).
The same loan at 4% for 5 years means you will pay $184.72 monthly but end up paying almost $1050 in total interest over the life of the loan.
If you want to control the negotiation of your car loan, make sure you come armed with research.
Do as much research as you can in advance and follow the tips listed above to improve your negotiating position and secure the most cost-effective car loan.