The process of purchasing a car is slightly longer than you might have assumed. It starts with searching over the internet different models, comparing them, and going for a test drive. After completing all such steps, you finally select a car that you’d like to own.
But before becoming its owner, you need to complete the last and most challenging step, i.e., finalizing the deal.
Car dealers are experts in their field. They understand that most buyers often look for low monthly installments. So, they carefully disguise the car’s total value, keeping installments at low while increasing the overall cost of the vehicle.
Therefore, you need to be extremely careful about the car finances when finalizing the deal. Fortunately, you can avoid this situation. In Ottawa, buyers generally have the option to acquire an auto loan from other lenders besides the dealer.
It will give you the freedom to explore different interest rates and learn about the best payment options. Nonetheless, you must keep the following points in mind while negotiating an auto loan in Ottawa.
Understand Your Budget
The first thing that you need to focus on is your budget. Before you start comparing different loans, you must learn about your affordability. You can do that by looking at your monthly household budget. What are the monthly expenses you must bear?, and how much do you save every month?- These two questions can help determine your affordability.
Also, keep in mind that the cost of owning a car is not limited to the loan amount. Instead, it also includes expenses such as gas, repair and maintenance, car insurance, and miscellaneous costs like parking fees. All these expenses need to be taken into account to calculate the monthly limit you can spend on the car.
For instance, suppose your income is $3,000 per month. Your monthly expenses, such as food, rent, utilities, etc., is $1,900. That means you have $1,100 that you can use for vehicle-related expenses, including loan payments.
Check Your Credit Report
Another thing that you need to do is to check your annual credit report and credit score. Having knowledge about your credits will help you in two ways.
It’ll give you an idea about the interest that you can qualify for. So, you can compare different loan options and select the one that’s reasonable for you.
It gives you an opportunity to improve your credit. For instance, if your report shows an error of missed payment or a long-due payment, you can correct these errors before applying for a new loan.
It is no secret that poor credit significantly affects the loan application process. Therefore, learning about your credit score and making efforts to improve the score might help you avail of a low-interest loan. So, it is recommended to check the report before commencing the buying process.
Despite that, there are several companies that can help you attain an auto loan even if you have bad or no credit. Nonetheless, you must search for those Ottawa car loan options that help obtain the lowest interest rates. It will also help explore the best payment option available in the market. Working with such companies also ensures that your loan easily gets approved.
Know Where To Shop
After learning about your budget, you need to look for all the options to get the loan. Generally, there are three options available to the borrower:
If you have good credit, then you can easily get a loan from the banks. However, for those who have bad credit, availing of a mortgage from the bank can be a bit more challenging. For them, car dealerships and online lenders could be good options. Nonetheless, you must compare the total cost and rate of interest offered and select the one that suits your needs.
Note: Do not get lured by the cheapest interest rates. Instead, do proper research about the company before making any decision.
Pay Attention To Total Cost
DO NOT focus solely on the monthly payment. Of course, a lower monthly payment is crucial, but you also need to calculate the total cost of the purchase. Generally, lenders who offer lower monthly payments change high interest rates as the duration of the overall amount also increases.
Therefore, while comparing the rates, you must evaluate the total payable amount over the decided years.
For instance, suppose you want to borrow $10,000. One lender is offering you a five-year loan with a monthly payment of $184, and the interest rate is 4%. At the same time, the other lender is offering you a three-year loan at 3.5% interest with monthly payments of $293.
In this scenario, the first option might look attractive. However, if you make calculations, the total cost will be $11,050. While, for the second option, the total cost payable will be $10,549. That means if selecting the first option, you’ll have to pay $501 extra.
That’s why, while comparing the loan, you need to calculate the total cost. In addition to this, you should pay attention to the APR (annual percentage rate) of different offers.
Tip: If you wish to buy a car, you should start saving earlier. This way, you’ll be able to make bigger down payments. That means you have to borrow less, which will help you save more in the later stages.
Read The Fine Print
Lastly, before signing the deal, read all the points, especially the fine print, carefully. Check all the numbers. Learn about the prepayment penalty (if any). Pay attention to whether the interest rate is variable or fixed. Also, check if the contract has arbitration clauses or not.
Only sign the documents after checking all these details. If you find anything doubtful, do not hesitate to ask about it.
To Sum It All Up!
Learning about all these things beforehand will help you seal a great deal on loan. Moreover, it will also give you an idea about the future expenses you need to pay for, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
Besides these, remember to ask your dealer and loan provider any questions that you may have. Don’t sign the deal unless you are 100% satisfied with the terms and conditions.
Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.