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Auto Loan Availability Showing Signs of Improvement

[Apr 23, 2009.]


An article in the Washington Post asserts that there are signs that consumer lending is loosening up in spite of financial institutions' alleged unwillingness to pass along federal assistance to consumers. This could indicate that auto buyers can get financing in spite of widespread gloom-and-doom reports that auto loans have dried up.

Check out Auto Loan Options First

Consumers can increase their chances of getting a great auto loan by comparing loan options before looking for their next vehicle. The initial step in shopping for any type of credit is to verify current credit scores. Federal law allows consumers to obtain one free copy of credit reports from the three major credit reporting bureaus annually, but there is a fee for obtaining credit scores. Knowing credit scores is useful when negotiating with auto dealerships and credit providers. 

Shopping for auto loans in advance also helps consumers determine how much they can comfortably afford to spend for a vehicle; this can subdue the temptation to buy and borrow beyond their means. Dealerships may promise to "finance anybody," but along with higher risk lending comes higher finance charges, and higher payments.

The Role of Debt in Getting Credit

Although auto loans are secured by the vehicles they finance, creditors may also consider how much debt consumers have when approving an auto loan. Keeping credit card balances at or below one third of each available credit line can help improve credit scores and the potential for getting favorable terms on auto loans.

Auto Loans Helpful for Improving Credit

Consumers attempting to rebuild their credit may find it easier to get an auto loan than unsecured credit such as credit card accounts. Repaying an auto loan over time, and ultimately ahead of time, is helpful for increasing poor credit scores.

Finding an Auto Loan

Having an established relationship with a financial institution may lead to favorable terms on an auto loan; credit unions generally offer members attractive rates on auto loans. Auto  dealerships accommodate customers by providing in-house financing. Dealership financing incentives are subject to change from month to month.   Rates promoted in advertising are typically for the best qualified customers, but it's possible to qualify for a car loan with less than perfect credit. Shopping and comparing auto loans takes time, but it's worthwhile for finding favorable auto loan terms.


About Author:

Peter Andrew has been writing about -- and for -- business for more than two decades. For the last couple of years, he has found himself increasingly specializing in the U.S. financial sector.

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