How To Save On Auto Loans

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Lots of people are intimidated by the thought of buying a car and getting it financed. They find it confusing and a lot of times they are afraid because of the horror stories that they hear around them. Most of those stories are true. Lots of times dealerships can take advantage of you when it comes to financing. A lot of times they use it as an opportunity to make more money. However, you can avoid going that route by doing your homework. Make sure that you have gathered enough information to educate yourself before you go out there and agree on any financing terms.

Give a serious thought on your financing options before you shop. Consider your monthly expenditures and other financial commitments to determine how much you’re able to afford. Keep in mind that you can be approved for a loan before even visiting a dealership. Securing your financing before you visit the dealership empowers you like a cash buyer. It will allow you to hop around dealerships to look for the best deals.

Here are a few tips to help you save money on auto loans. It will help you stay on track to make sure that you will land on a financing that will not go over your allotted budget.


Be aware of your credit score


 Lenders use credit scores to help decide how risky it will be to lend you money or provide you a service. Creditors see more risk from low credit applicants than those with better scores. The result is a higher interest rate or they can turn down your application.

Make sure that you are on top of things. Monitor your credit profile. It consists of your credit report and credit score. Get it free at .


Decide where you want to acquire financing



Be careful in choosing where you send your loan application. Find a licensed online lender with a BBB rating of “A”. Many online auto loan web sites are fronts for car dealer lead-generation while other sites are individual lender sites. Go to their “about us” section to find out how they operate.

Auto loan lead generation websites

On lead generation web sites, you apply for a loan and your application information is immediately routed to one or more car dealerships. They carefully check every application to make sure that they are genuine and valid before they send it to dealers. You get dealer financing with these sites.

 Lender websites

On lender websites, you can apply for a loan and may or may not get approved.  Direct auto financing can get you a lower annual percentage rate but it can be very time consuming filling out multiple applications. They  also have  high standards in filtering loan applications so it may be difficult for those who are struggling with their credit scores to be approved.

Online Lending Marketplace

Online lending marketplaces like VinAudit partner offer an online alternative to traditional lending. It offers quick and easy application process from the comfort of your own home. They are popular for their high approval rate and loans are processed and funded quickly. You can get multiple offers to choose from so you can maximize the amount of money that you can save.


 Be ready for your trip to the dealership


Remember to research about the dealership that you will visit. Check out their feedback online and make sure that they are licensed. Keep in mind that there are bad dealers out there who intend to make a profit on your financing by marking up interest rates and in some cases, inflating prices of service contracts and other insurance products. If you think the dealer can give you a better deal, then finance through the dealer. Otherwise use the online auto loan that you have been approved for.

Don’t be swayed when a dealer offers to beat your online deal by getting you lower payments while increasing term, sales price or increasing the rate (APR). It may appear to be a good deal but in the end you will be paying a lot more. Focus on the full amount and do not be diverted by low monthly payments.


Negotiate like a cash buyer


With financing in hand, you are in a very strong position to get the best pricing on your new or used car. Have confidence when negotiating, you already have the funding so the price easily be at your command. Work with reputable dealerships and your overall experience will be excellent.

Having an approved financing before hopping over to a dealership is the smart way to go. You will have control to choose the best deal that you can get so you can save money.

Get prepared today: Check your credit score at and negotiate your auto loan at

How To Test Drive A Used Car


Taking the car for a test drive before committing to buy it, is very important. This is your opportunity to experience everything that the vehicle has to offer. It will help you determine how the car performs under different road conditions. You take it out for a test drive to make sure everything’s in good working order and to find all possible faults so that you can negotiate for a lower price.

Here are a few things that will help you make the most of your test drive.


Before Driving

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 When you get into the car take a few minutes to get a good feel of the vehicle. Take time to do a brief evalutaion of the interior’s  cosmetics  and familiarize yourself to the placement of the buttons, levers and pedals.

  • Check the seats and the mirrors make sure that they can be adjusted properly.
  • Find your sweetspot adjust the steering distance, the driver’s seat and the mirrors according to your preference.
  • Remember to have the seller walk you through the vehicle’s safety features. Ask for the number of airbags, check active-safety electronics and all adjustable seatbelts.
  • Start the car. Listen to it while it’s idle then step on the gas a bit. Observe if you hear any clicking or coughing. Feel the pedals with you foot make sure that they’re within reach and turn on the air condition to create a comfortable environment.


While Driving

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 Proper test drive should involve driving more than just around the block. You should go 4-5 miles on different roads and speeds to get a good idea of the car’s true range. Listen to the engine’s performance as you head on slowly and as you increase in speed.

  • Make sure that you get a good feel of how the transmission is shifting. Make sure there are no slippage. Listen for whinning or clonking sound when shifting.
    Check out how the break reacts make sure that it is spot on and steady.
  • Let go of the steering wheel to make sure that it tracks straight. Make sure you check if you are able to steer all the way to one direction. If it does not, that indicates alignment issues. If the steering wheel is shaky it means bent or off balanced rims.
  • Pay close attention to the gear and the clutch they should engage smoothly and easily it should not be too stiff and heavy.
  • Check out the cruise control. Make sure it is operating properly. It should disengaged when you hit the breaks and clutch.
  • See how the car responds after hitting bumps. Listen to rattling or squeeking. If there’s knocking when going over bumps or turning sharply that means that the car’s got a worn ball joint.

I strongly suggest that you take notes. Write down the things that you have discovered so you can evaluate the over all experience.


After Driving


After the test drive do not turn the engine off right away. Take a look around to make sure that everything is still in good condition.

  • Open up the hood and check the engine. Check for smoke, odor and any inappropriate gushing of fluids.
  • Bend down to check if there are any leaks. Check the floor for spots. Make sure that there are no fluid dripping.
  • Check the tire’s condition by pushing and pulling it in both direction. Make sure that it is still firm and does not wiggle.

If you are not confident enough to decide on the spot then take it to a professional mechanic for a final verdict. In most cases, the seller will agree to that except when they are hiding something.

Buying a used car is a big investment. You should be careful and not be in a hurry. You need the car long enough to be able to make sure that it is safe to drive and that it suits your needs.

Buying A Used Car: Pre Purchase Inspection Guide


Inspecting the car will help you determine the existing condition as well as highlight potential issues that could arise in the future. By finding out what’s happening underneath, you’ll either feel more confident that you’re making a great investment or you’ll discover that there are hidden flaws that could give you more leverage for negotiations.

Here are a few things that you should check before you seal the deal.


Check the documents

Check The Documents

Get the papers from the seller. Make sure that the specifications corresponds with what they got on paper. Take note of the VIN. Make sure that it also matches. The VIN will be on the engine, on the front end of the frame, the driver’s side of the interior dash and the trunk.

This will help you make sure that you’re not buying a glued on vehicle. This will also help you determine if the seller is the type that you’d rather not deal with. You will know by his willingness to entertain scrutiny and interrogation.


Check for dents and scratches


Check for awkward dents to make sure that it was not wrecked. Sometimes wrecked vehicles will still have those after it’s been done over. It will still leave small indicators like that. So make sure that you watch out for those.

Look for scratches and dings. It should tell you how the car was used. You can also use it to to knock down the price a bit. Check the inside seams, make sure that they’re all still factory looking. If the alignment does not look right be sure to ask why.

Check the body lines make sure that they’re even. Uneven body gaps will allow water to penetrate and will corrode the inside. It is also your indicator that it has been through the shop for a major body work.


Check the tires

 BeFunky_Tirecheckup.jpgTires can tell alot about the car. Make sure that they match, if not ask why. They have played around with it for a reason.

Check the wear on the tires, make sure the depths of the thread are still good, not enough depth means you will have to replace it soon half a finger nail will last a while.

Make sure that the steel radio belt is not sticking out. A wear like this is an indicator that there’s a problem with it’s suspension.

Tires have  4 digit codes:

  • eg1. “1206” – means that it was manufactured on the 12th week of 2006 –
  • eg2.”0114″ – it means first week of 2014.

If you find a car with brand new tires that means that there’s a problem that they’re trying to hide. Also make sure that there’s a roadworthy spare tire.


Check the mileage

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Odometers are often rolled back so the seller can make more money. Cars with low mileage are priced higher. Ommit 35000-40000 miles and it will artificially inflates the value to about $2500 to $3000.

Here are a few tips to determine if the odometer has been tampered.

  • Compare the mileage on display and the average mileage a year.
  • Check the wear and tear, make sure that it’s appropriate to the declared mileage.
  • Check the title, the service records or get the vehicle history report to compare the recorded mileage and the displayed mileage.
  • Check the car’s tires. If it shows 20000 mi or less it should have the original tires.
  • Check number alignment. Make sure that it should not be crooked, contain gaps or jiggle.


Check the fluids

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Checking the fluids will help you determine if the car was properly maintained. It will help you know potential issues that may arise in the future.

  • Look at the engine oil fluid using a dipstick and a piece of cloth.  Brown/yellow tinted is an indication that it was well maintained.
  • Check the brake fluid . Yellow tint is good. Condensation may turn it reddish  it ‘s still fine.
  • Check the coolant fluid. Look into the pressurized reservoir. Lime green color for a properly maintained car.
  • Transmission fluid. It is reddish for properly maintained cars. If there are creamy residue floating, that means there’s an issue.
  • Check the power steering fluid. It is red or clear if it was properly maintained. Any color aside from this means there’s an issue.
  • Check the battery. Corrosion around the battery can cause problems specially during winter. Make sure that the hose and belt ar still firm. Make sure that it is not worn and brittle. Feel them so you can gauge if it will last long or may give out soon and start leaking.


Check the engine

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Check engine for leaks. Look under the vehicle and see if you find any.

Look at the check engine light make sure that it will not stay on when you start the vehicle. If it stays on that means that the engine has a problem.

Perform an initial engine test.

  • Step on the accelarator and the break at the same time.
  • Set it to drive and step on the gas all the way down while holding down the break.
  • A well maintained engine will not die. When it does, that means that the engine has issues.

Check the interior


Make sure that you check all the buttons. Make sure that each is functioning right.

  • Check the windows, the door locks, air conditioning and the sound system.
  • Check the buttons that control the side mirrors, signal lights, wiper blades and the cruise control button.

Remove the back seat and check out the foam below for water lines and molds to see if it was flooded. Most shops will do a good job removing the waterlines outside but leaving marks on the inside.

If you notice anything that’s not functioning right, bring it to the seller’s attention have them fix it or use it to reduce the price.


Check the electrical ciruit

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You may inspect the wiring physically if you are familiar with the path to how it was laid out or if you have a diagram on hand. You do that to check the obvious like missing and worn out wires.

Second, you should check if it is flowing properly. This is done by performing a grounding test using a multimeter or volt meter.You can bring a volt meter when you meet the seller, if you are going to a dealership they should readily have it there and you can just borrow it for the quick test

How to perform a quick grounding test:

  • Place the test lead to the battery, make sure negative is place to the negative pole and positive to positive.
  • Take note of the result.
  • Then remove the negative test lead and test the engine. Take note of the result. If it shows the same numbers then you do not have an issue.
  • You have to do it again this time the engine should be turned on.
  • Do the test while the engine is running. Make sure that you get the same result or close.
  • A difference of .4 of a volt or more is an indication of a grounding issue.

 These are the things that will help you check for problems during your visit for inspection. Make sure that you go through it very carefully to determine if the car is worth the price or not.