You've finally reached the point in your life where you can buy your first brand new car. This might even be the first time you've ever financed a car. If that's the case, you've got to prepare for a couple of firsts right now. Before you start looking at new cars, here are a few pointers that will make the process a little easier for you to handle.
Take the Time to Get Pre-Approved
If you haven't taken the time to get pre-approved for a car loan, now's the time to do that. One of the great things about being pre-approved for a car loan is that you can do it all from home. Most new car dealerships will give you the option of applying for financing before you ever step onto the showroom floor. If you'd prefer to have the option of looking at several different models of cars, you can utilize the services of a stand-alone finance company, which is one that's not attached to any single dealership. Once you've been pre-approved, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a car.
Create a Loan File Before You Start Looking
You may have been pre-approved for a car loan, but you'll still need to provide some paperwork once you head to the dealership. To make sure that you don't have to deal with delays while you're trying to finance your new car, it's a good idea to create a loan file before you start looking. Make copies of all the documents the dealership will need when finalizing your car loan. Your file should include copies of your most recent pay stubs, copies of your two most recent tax returns, and copies of your bank statements. Bringing the file with you to the dealership will streamline the process.
Take More Than One Test Drive
You may think you know exactly what type of car you want, but without test driving a few, you won't know for sure. Before you settle on the car you're going to buy, be sure to go on more than one test drive. Make a list of several different cars that you might be interested in and test drive them all. That way you know you're making the right decision when you sign the final loan documents. When making your list of cars to test drive, make sure you're realistic about your budget and your needs. That way you purchase a car that will satisfy both your wants and your needs without breaking your budget.