This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

It's a Great Time for Your Car Loan

Qualify for the best rates
McBride says the lowest loan rates go to people who put at least 10% down on new cars or 20% down for used cars. You also need around a 700 "FICO score," a credit score calculated using software from a firm called Fair Isaac (FICO - Get Report).

Fortunately, a 700 FICO score isn't actually that hard to get -- in fact, it's slightly below the U.S. median of 711.

That said, checking your score is a bit involved because government-mandated free credit reports won't include it. You can either apply for a loan and ask the lender to tell your score or buy access to it yourself for around $20 from Equifax.com or MyFico.com.

If you don't have a good enough score or down payment, consider holding off on a car purchase until your finances improve.

Line up a loan in advance
Getting pre-approved for a loan through a bank or credit union will maximize your leverage with dealers, who will typically offer you financing themselves.

Without pre-approval, a dealer might offer you a loan only if you agree to buy a specific car or accept a longer repayment term than you want.


Conversely, come in with a loan already lined up and the dealer might beat the offer you already have.

Shop for the best rates
Large banks such as CapitalOne (COF) have made a big push into online car loans, while local banks and credit unions want your business as well.

So McBride recommends checking with several lenders to find the best deals. His site features a search engine that updates hundreds of car-loan rates daily. 


Don't get more than a five-year loan
Lenders and dealers typically offer car loans with terms as long as seven years, but McBride recommends skipping anything longer than 60 months.

"If you can't afford the payments on a five-year loan, you need to find a less-expensive car," he says.

2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
EFX $93.96 -0.75%
FICO $85.00 -1.16%
RATE $12.77 -0.39%
AAPL $128.54 -0.63%
FB $80.90 1.63%

Markets

DOW 18,096.90 -106.47 -0.58%
S&P 500 2,098.53 -9.25 -0.44%
NASDAQ 4,967.1410 -12.76 -0.26%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs