Finding the best auto loan rates can be a tricky proposition even with the best amortization chart. Many people aren’t quite sure where to start. But if you do a little bit of leg work and are willing to shop around, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding an auto loan with an interest rate that works for you.
First, you should know that the best auto loan rates might not be where you expect them to be. A lot of people still limit their auto loan shopping horizons to the bank or credit union they’re used to working with for their other financial transactions. Banks provide a lot of services, and many of them do have competitive rates on the car loans they write, but many banks are not specialized enough to really be a good choice for car loans.
Credit unions can often be a better choice, if you’re a member. Most credit unions require that you be a member of a particular organization, or that you’re affiliated with a specific trade or union in order to get membership. They might be a good source for the best auto loan rates, but it kind of depends on the size of the credit union, how savvy they are in the car loan market, and how long you’ve been with the particular credit union.
Your dealership may be a good source for financing, though dealer finance companies have taken a big hit in recent years. These are either companies owned by the auto manufacturer (like GMAC or Ford Credit), and they’re usually only interested in financing a vehicle at that particular dealership. You can’t usually get GMAC financing for a new Toyota, for example, or a used Ford at the Hyundai dealership. Watch for specials at the dealership — often they will advertise deals that seem too good to be true. Sometimes they are the best auto loan rates, but sometimes they’re just gimmicks to get you in the door. Buyer beware; make sure you read all of the fine print!
If you don’t want to go to a bank, credit union or dealership to get financing for your upcoming vehicle purchase, why not go with a specialist? There are companies, like A.E. Financial, around that focus solely on financing auto purchases — both new and used — and they can often have the most competitive rates because they focus on doing one thing and one thing alone. You can always check out our pre-approval form to get started!
Whichever place you go, use tools like our auto loan payoff calculator for better rates, and you should be able to find what you’re looking for.