Category Archives: New & Used Auto Loans

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller

For many drivers, buying a used car from a private party is the only way to go. You don’t have to deal with a high pressure car salesmen; there’s less paperwork to complete; and there are no mind games to play. There’s just two people hoping for a great deal on a used car. One is buying, the other selling. Simple.

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As simple as it sounds, used car buyers can often feel left out in the cold. The Internet is filled with articles on how to play hardball with a professional car salesman, but what about when you’re trying to buy a car from your neighbor, a friend, or an everyday person you’ve never met? myAutoloan is here for you throughout the car-buying process, from research to financing.

Before handing over the cash to a private seller, ask these five questions to help make sure you end up with a good deal on a great used car.

Ask These 5 Questions Before Buying a Private Party Used Car

1. How many miles are on the odometer?

Used car sellers will typically include mileage in their ad, but if not, go ahead and ask this question before seeing the vehicle. Enter the mileage, make, model, year, and presumed condition of the used car into a site like TrueCar to gauge the value of the vehicle against the seller’s asking price. Depending on the situation, you could have instant negotiating ammunition! You can also research common problems with the vehicle make and model at different mileages, then ask the seller if they’ve already addressed them or seens signs of them surfacing.

2. Why are you selling the car?

This question helps you out in a few ways. One, it helps you gauge the seller’s urgency, and thus, how much wiggle room you might have with the asking price. Are they tight on cash? Selling for sentimental reasons? Already have a new car in the driveway?

If you’re dealing with a private seller who’s honest to a fault, you could be lucky enough to learn details about the car’s condition you wouldn’t otherwise notice. The seller might divulge that the car is a gas guzzler, isn’t reliable on long road trips, or the clutch sticks when releasing.

3. Have you had the car since it was brand new?

If you’re talking to the third, fourth, or fifth owner of the car, the information you get will only go so far. The more owners the car has had, the more incomplete the current seller’s info might be.

Play detective (and protect yourself) by ordering a CarFax Vehicle History Report or more thorough VinAudit Vehicle Report. You’ll get an instant vehicle history report with 60+ problem checks from VinAudit.com, an official provider for the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.

If you’re not talking to the first or second owner of the vehicle, follow this question with, “Who did you purchase the vehicle from?” or “Where was the car bought?”

4. Do you have service records?

Unless you’re looking for a used car to tinker with and test out your own auto repair skills on, you want a car that’s been well maintained!

A CarFax report will include some service and maintenance records, but it likely won’t include everything, especially if the owner relied on “mom and pop” auto shops around town. Ask for receipts and evidence that maintenance was performed at regular, manufacturer-specified intervals. These receipts will usually note the odometer reading at the time of service, helping you verify the car’s history.

If the seller can’t produce any service records or even remember the last time they had the oil changed, it might be time for you to find a different used car to buy. You don’t want to wind up with a used car that’s unreliable and unsafe–no matter how cheap it is!

5. Can I have the vehicle inspected by my mechanic?

You had your home professionally inspected before you bought it. Why not do the same  with a used car? Sellers with nothing to hide won’t balk at a request like this. Sellers with something to hide, however, will resist.

Finance your used car purchase today!

Buying a used car from a private seller is a great move when it comes to saving money, and using myAutoloan for auto financing is a great move when it comes to saving time! If you’ve asked these five questions and found a reliable ride you can’t wait to drive, then apply for a private party auto loan. We’re here to help you buy your used car today.

4 Things You Must Do After You Buy a Used Car

Congrats on your new-ish car! You got a used car loan and a great deal on an amazing ride, but are you ready to hit the road? Keep those shiny rims where they are for just one second. There are a handful of must-do tasks you need to take care of before you can drive with ultimate peace of mind.

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After You Buy a Used Car…

1. Update Your Important Accounts and Paperwork

First things first — you need to stay legal! No matter what state you’re in, you can’t drive on public roads unless your vehicle is registered. If you buy a used car at a dealership, they’ll usually help you with the paperwork so you can drive with temporary registration before leaving the lot. They may charge a small fee, but it’s worth it if you just can’t wait to get in the driver’s seat.

In some states, like Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Michigan, to name few, you can complete the whole vehicle registration process at the dealership.  

This is also the right time to contact your car insurance company and update your policy. You may need to adjust your level of coverage. For instance, if you’ve been driving an old beater around for the last few years, there’s a good chance you didn’t have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your policy. Sometimes it doesn’t make financial sense to pay for these two coverages on an older model vehicle. However, if you’re now driving a used car that’s only a few years old, you might want to include Comprehensive and Collision, as they could help pay for repairs to your sweet new ride in the event of accident or collision.

If you bought the car used from a private owner, you may also want to call the vehicle manufacturer and let them know you’re the current owner. That way you’ll be quickly notified if any safety recalls are issued. The manufacturer’s customer service phone number can be found in your owner’s manual or online. The manufacturer will record your name and address, along with your car’s VIN, in their database for further communication.

You’ll also want to update any parking permit information tied to your car (like for campus parking or a work garage) and vehicle specific roadside assistance memberships.

2. Invest in a Thorough Tune-Up

This step may not be essential if you bought a certified pre-owned car (CPO) since these cars have to meet age and mileage requirements, as well as go through an inspection at the dealership.

For example, Edmunds.com reports that Toyota requires dealers to put used vehicles through a 160-point inspection process. If a car passes inspection, it’s awarded an extended warranty and deemed “certified pre-owned.”

Buying a used car from a private party is different. You may not have all the service records, you don’t know how truthful the seller is being about the condition/history of the car, and there may be a hidden problem lurking under the hood. Avoid unexpected car troubles by bringing the car to a mechanic you trust and investing in a basic mechanical inspection and tune-up. Ask the mechanic for a rundown of services you need to drive safely right now, and a list of services you should prepare for in the future.

At a minimum, top off essential fluids, change the oil, change all filters, and rotate the tires.

3. Check for Open Safety Recalls

A vehicle safety recall is issued when a vehicle, type of vehicle equipment, or part of a vehicle, does not meet Federal safety standards. According to CarFax, more than 47 million vehicles have at least one open safety recall. That’s about one in five vehicles out on the road today!

Check to see if your car has an open safety recall, especially if you bought it used. SaferCar.gov offers a convenient tool for looking up this information. All you need is the car’s VIN number and an internet connection.

Regardless of whether or not you’re the original owner, you still qualify to have your recalls repaired free of charge (even recalls that were announced before you bought the car). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the statute of limitations for no-charge recall repairs is 10 years from the original sale date of the vehicle.

4. Clean and Accessorize the Car

Now for the fun part! Wash, vacuum, and wipe down the interior of the car if it wasn’t detailed before you bought it. Pick out new floor mats, seat covers, and a sun shade to express your personality.

After you buy a used car, you may also want to personalize it by:

  • Adding a phone mount
  • Organizing the trunk with bins or baskets
  • Upgrading your rims
  • Designing a custom license plate cover
  • Keeping it smelling fresh with your favorite scents

Now that everything is in order, it’s time to make the most of your used car! Take a road trip, hit the highway, and enjoy the ride. You deserve it. And if you’re still trying to sell your old car to make room for a new one? Check out our four simple steps to increase the resale value and appeal of your car.

Does Shopping for Car Loans Hurt My Credit?

If you’re fearful that a car loan application will hurt your credit score, then this is the blog for you. Follow along as we explain how the top three credit reporting agencies typically roll multiple auto inquiries into one inquiry on a continuous, 14-30 day cycle, and why applying for a car loan typically won’t hurt your credit.

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Car Loan Shopping Doesn’t Hurt Credit

While shopping for credit can sometimes signal bad news bears to creditors (i.e higher risk), most credit scores aren’t drastically impacted by multiple inquiries from auto lenders within a short period of time.

The top three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) understand that people are typically going to shop around when searching for the right auto, home, or student loan. After all, not all financing companies and loan offers are created equal! Shoppers may find varying interest rates and payment plans depending on where they go and when they apply. It’s all about finding the right loan offer for you and sometimes, it takes more than one loan offer to get there.

Lenders also know that you’re probably not trying to buy multiple homes or cars–you’re just trying to find the best rates and terms. Credit scoring systems have evolved over time to reflect this reality.

But You May See Multiple Inquiries on Your Credit Report

While your credit score isn’t likely to take a hit when applying for car loans, you may notice multiple inquiries on your credit report. Each time your credit report is reviewed by a different lender, an inquiry will appear showing who accessed the report and why. This is technically called an “inquiry,” though you may also hear “check” or “pull.”

Inquiries include information about who’s making the inquiry, what it’s for, the date it’s made, and the type of inquiry.

Experian, for one, will list each inquiry that is made in your file for two years, but these inquiries will only be counted as one inquiry when calculating your credit score.

That said, you want to apply for credit wisely. Don’t spread out your loan applications over a long period of time, as this will spread out the credit inquiries, too. As long as inquiries are made within about 14 days, they are counted as just one when your credit score is calculated. Space them out too much and you run the risk of having them be counted as separate inquiries.

And Certain Inquiries CAN Impact Your Credit Rating

A single hard credit inquiry typically won’t play a major role in whether or not you’re approved for financing. Lenders understand that most people compare loan options when buying something as big a house or car.

Still, it’s not a good idea to apply for a bunch of different credit cards and loans at one time. Multiple hard inquiries for different types of credit in a short period of time can signal to lenders that you’re in a financial pickle. They may assume you’re having trouble paying bills, getting ready to rack up debt, or that you’re short on cash—all signs that you could be a risky loan recipient.

Examples of hard inquiries include applications for a mortgage, auto loan, credit card, student loan, personal loan, or apartment rental credit checks.

The lesson? Only shop for one type of loan at a time and don’t drag out your financing applications over a long period of time. If your credit has been hurt in the past, work to build a healthier credit score by paying your bills on time, having a low balance on your credit card, maintaining a long credit history, and applying for new credit sparingly.

Go the Easy Route, with myAutoloan

myAutoloan is one of the fastest routes to smart auto financing. There’s no need to submit multiple applications in order to view multiple offers, and no need to navigate to different websites. Just submit one application and view up to four offers in a matter of minutes. Our applications are free, fast, and easy, and we’ll never pressure you to use one of our lenders’ offers or loans. Apply worry-free to buy the car you want. When you have nothing to lose, why wait?

Ideas on Getting the Best Used Car Finance Rates

Ways to Get the Best Used Car Finance Rates

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Getting financed for a used car can sometimes seem like an overwhelming and daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding the best used car finance rates can only occur when you take the time to research and understand the various advantages and disadvantages of different financing alternatives. There are a number of things to take into consideration when searching for financing solutions:

Credit Score

This is an important factor to take into consideration when searching for used car financing options. Many times, your credit rating will be the determining factor in whether or not you are approved for financing. Getting used car finance approval will likely be made difficult if your credit score is less than satisfactory, which means that you have had late payments, missed payments or underpayments on past credit cards or loans. Essentially, the financing agent will use the credit score to determine how likely you are to make payments on time based on your previous credit history. If approved, this may also determine how high your payments are and how long you are able to be financed. It’s not likely but It is also possible that you may be required to have a co-signer in order to be approved.

Income

Another vital consideration in used car financing options is your income. The financing provider will take into consideration what your monthly income is before determining a proper payment plan. The lower the car payments, the longer the period of financing will be. To get the best used car finance rate, try to stick with a car that you can have paid off within 12 to 18 months. Yes, that is not always possible but it’s worth the effort to see if this is something that you could make work for you. This will help to insure that you do not face additional or higher rates, yet the loan period is sufficient time to dramatically improve your credit rating. If you are required to have a co-signer to obtain used car financing, keep in mind that his or her income will likely be included in determining the finance rates.

Research

As you know, some car dealerships have their own financing agency on the lot, others go through an outside bank to finance the auto loan for their customers. Those that finance on the lot are often easier to obtain financing through because they focus more on income and less on credit scores, a valuable trait to the customer who has a blemished credit history. You might want to learn more about how this process works so it might be beneficial if you take time to review a Guide on Auto Financing. The key to finding the best financing rates is taking the time to search around before making a decision. Purchasing the first car that you qualify for is not always a good idea because it could leave you with higher rates than you would have faced if you had done a bit more researching before making a purchase.

Getting a good auto financing rate is challenging but not hard. Learn as much as you can and understand the process of auto finance. Make the effort and you will come out ahead when you move forward to buy and finance your next new or used auto loan. Good luck and good shopping!

Why Memorial Day Weekend Is Best Time to Buy a Car

The start of summer is a time for cleaning up, starting fresh, and saving big. Think neighborhood yard sales, beach vacations, and block party picnics! Hands down, it’s also the best time to buy a new car. Could summer be any more awesome?!

Memorial Day weekend, along with the month of June, is the absolute best time to buy a car. Find out what makes this time “the best time to buy a car” and how you can maximize your savings on a new car purchase.

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When It’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car…

Leverage the Dealer Inventory

Just like you feel the need to clean out the garage and comb through the attic at the start of summer, in a way, so do car dealers. Auto dealership need to clear inventory to make space for next year’s models, which come out around August. Memorial Day weekend is early enough in the year that there’s also leftover inventory of brand new vehicles from the previous year.

Inventory levels are in your favor through June. You can not only get a new car, but also a huge discount and sometimes a warranty that starts at the time of purchase.

Look at cars that are being phased out or replaced with newer models, as they’re more likely to be deeply discounted.

According to TrueCar data via CNBC, May proves to be one of the best months to get a great deal on a car, especially if you’re looking to buy a family-oriented midsize SUV.

Be an Informed Car Shopper

Walk into the dealership equipped with knowledge (and auto financing). You’re in control when you know the incentives and rebates, and already have your financing secured. Dealers will look at you like a powerful cash buyer. Plus, auto manufacturers love showcasing some of their best deals over Memorial Day weekend. If you’re flexible on the make and model of your new car, you can maximize your savings by narrowing your search to only these vehicles.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the best Memorial Day new car deals include:

  • 2018 Buick Enclave – Lease deal of $389/month for 39 months with $2,989 due at signing; the deal includes total of 32,500 miles
  • 2018 Nissan Sentra – Lease deal  of $149/month for 36 months with $3,249 due at signing; the deal includes 12,000 miles per year
  • 2019 Jeep Cherokee – Purchase deal of up to $2,000 cash bonus
  • 2018 Fiat 500X – Purchase deal of up to $1,750 cash back
  • 2018 Ford Focus – Purchase deal of $4,000 cash back
  • 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid – Purchase deal of $5,000 cash back
  • 2018 Chevrolet Cruze – Purchase deal of $2,000 cash back

Call ahead and check with your local dealership to confirm that these deals are available in your area. Manufacturer-backed lease deals and cash back offers offers can vary around the country.

Secure Financing Ahead of Time & Don’t Give Up!

Can’t buy a car at the best time of year? There’s still plenty of savings to be had, especially if you secure auto financing before you arrive at the dealership. With financing in hand, you’re ready to get the best pricing on your new or used car. You’ll know how much you can afford and how your purchase is going to fit into your budget. Plus, you’ll be treated like a powerful cash buyer.

Other great times to buy a new car include:

  • The week between Christmas and New Year – Look for sweet deals on leftover models and large rebates on all remaining models
  • January and February – Consider the most recent models, as manufacturers tend to raise prices as the year goes on
  • President’s Day, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving weekend also top our list for great times to buy a car

Move fast to make your Memorial Day dreams of buying a new car a reality. Summer will be over before you know it! Get the auto financing you need, fast, with help from myAutoloan. Whether you want to buy a new car or a used car, you can submit one car loan application and compare up to four offers today. Don’t miss out on one of the best times to buy a car!