Are you looking into purchasing a new car, but don’t know where to start? There’s a lot involved! Am I going to purchase new or used? Is there a specific car I’d like? How much will insurance be? Will I be able to afford the car payments? Where will I get financing? To start, run down this checklist and see where you end up.
Check your credit score
When you’ve decided you’re going to purchase a new car check your credit score – ONCE! Since checking your credit score isn’t good for your credit, make sure you don’t check it multiple times and hurt your score.
Decide how much you can put down
Before considering any financing options you should think about how much you can afford to put down. Make sure that the number is something you’re comfortable with, and that you aren’t straining too much to get together a downpayment.
Consider the monthly payments
Now that you’ve decided what you can put down, how much can you afford to pay each month? This will help you to determine what price range you’re looking at for a vehicle. If you aren’t willing to do the math, you can always use a loan calculator.
Pick your dealership
Start looking at the dealerships around town. Is there a used car dealership that you’ve dealt with in the past that you’d like to go back to?
Get Preapproved at your Dealership
Most dealerships nowadays offer an online credit application. Fill that out and wait to hear from the dealership to determine what you’re approved for and what you can afford.
Pick a Car!
Now, the fun stuff! Go take a look at some cars. Test drive the ones you think you like, and bring someone along for a second opinion! Once you’ve found the car you want, you’re ready to drive away!