How to Shop for the Best Car Loan Rate

Are you are looking for the best car loan rate? Here are some simple steps to help you secure the interest rate you want.

Budget:  First step is to sit down and determine how much you can comfortably and reasonably pay per month, how long would you like your loan to last and what your initial down payment will be. There are several online tools available, such as the Monthly Loan Payment Calculator or  These can help you easily to determine your payment and budget.

Credit: Before applying for a loan, check your credit score. Your credit history can affect the quality of the loan that you can attain. You can get copies of your credit report for free at Make sure you do this with time in mind. Meaning, if there are errors or items you want to fix, you will need to have enough time to address those credit problems before applying for the loan.

Loans: If you truly want the best rates, you may need to apply for loans with several different organizations. The three primary lending locations are: your personal bank, a credit union and through the automaker. When applying to these locations, you should research the institution’s lending habits.

For example, contrary to belief getting a loan through your dealership is not automatically more expensive. In fact, car dealerships are the only way to get specialized low rates form automakers. While credit unions generally only account for less than 20 percent of total auto loans, but often offer good rates for consumers.

Negotiate: Using all the information gathered, now you can confidently go to the dealer and negotiate to get the best deal.

If you have more financial question and would like to talk to someone in person, the staff at Planet Ford in Spring (serving the greater Houston and The Woodlands area) are always happy to help.

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