5 Tips for Getting an Auto Loan

Helpful tips to getting an auto loan for your new or existing car

  • Created by Lisa Johnson
  • Reviewed by Ramesh Agarwal

Table of Contents

Owning a new car is a luxury, but it's a luxury that not everyone can afford. For many, a new car means a stretched budget and cutting back on other things. While there are a few things that you can do to cut costs, at some point you will probably end up financing your car. If you are thinking about getting a car loan then here are a few tips that can help you get a better deal.

1. Apply for an auto loan at the year end

The best time of the year to apply for an auto loan is usually in the fall and winter seasons. While it is always best to apply for an auto loan as soon as you know you want to buy a car, the end of the year tends to be the most ideal time to apply.

This is because car dealerships know that the end of the year is a great time to strike a deal with customers who want to buy a car before the year ends. Sales staff often have targets to meet at the year end, so they may be a little more flexible around pricing and even assist you to meet the loan requirements.

If you have a good credit score and you're in a pretty good financial position, then you should consider applying for an auto loan before the end of the year to have the best chance of approval and lock in the best loan terms.

2. Choose an auto loan with good terms

There are various types of auto loans that a borrower can choose from, depending on his or her financial situation and the type of vehicle that is to be purchased. The terms of an auto loan can vary greatly, depending on the lender and the borrower's credit history. Most auto loans have vary on the repayment period and interest rates. Those with shorter repayment periods and lower interest rates are more appealing, but these will depend on your current financial situation and the down payment percentage.

3. Factor in all costs in advance

Sometimes when we're looking for a new car, we're in such a hurry to get behind the wheel that we fail to take into considerations all of our financing options. Before you go to the dealership, you should know what you actually want to spend on your car and be able to decide on a payment plan.

When figuring out how much to borrow, don't forget to factor in the total cost of the vehicle. If the car you want costs $15,000, don't just consider the $10,000 loan you're going to take out. Factor in the insurance, maintenance, gas, and even the other monthly expenses you'll incur from purchasing the car.

4. Know how much down payment you will need

A down payment is usually required when applying for an auto loan. The loan amount will vary depending on your financial situation but the lender will still require a certain percentage of the car's cost. Getting a car loan can seem like a complicated process, but it doesn't have to be.

The first step to buying a car is to shop for the best auto loan rates. By having a general idea of the type of vehicle you're looking for and your credit score, you can find the best auto loan to help you buy the car you want. When you buy a car using an auto loan, you usually have to put down a certain deposit. In most cases, the deposit should be about 20 to 25 percent of the total cost of the car.

5. Determine if an auto loan is right for you

Getting an auto loan for a new or used car is a great way to get your vehicle without having to pay for it in full upfront. Car loans are a good option to finance your vehicle. The important part is to choose the right lender that gives well structured loan terms that make the car affordable to you. It's always a good idea to shop around and find a auto loan term that suits your current financial situation and doesn't put you under difficulty to make the loan repayments.


Financing for a car can be hard, but following these steps can help you get the loan you need in no time. Before you waste time searching for the perfect car, make sure you know what you can afford and what kind of loan you need.

If you want to use a simple tool to see what type of loan you can afford, then make sure to try the auto loan calculator which allows you to change the loan APR and duration to see a breakdown of the monthly repayments. We hope these tips help you understand auto loans better and help you make an informed decision when applying for a car loan.