Getting approved to finance the car you want can be exciting. It is tempting to skim through the details of the loan and rush to the dotted line so that you can drive off in your next car. Before you sign, however, it is important to understand all the terms of the agreement between you and the dealership. Before you drive away, here are a few questions you might consider asking.
Are There Potential Penalties?
If you plan to pay only your monthly payment by its due date, you might not be concerned about prepayment penalties. If, however, you might decide that you want to make an extra payment one month or pay more than the minimum payment, it is important to understand how that affects you. Many car loans have penalties for paying the loan off early, so if you plan to do so, ask the dealership if you can change the terms of your loan to eliminate or reduce the penalty before you sign and agree to it.
What is the Interest Rate? T
he annual interest rate (APR) plays a large role in determining how much money you will ultimately end up paying for the car. Make sure you know your interest rate and whether or not there is verbiage in the loan that allows it to fluctuate so that there are no surprises down the road.
What is the Payment Schedule?
The timeliness of your car payments can affect your credit, so it is essential to understand your payment schedule. Before you sign, make sure that you understand how often you will need to make a payment and how much that payment will be. It is also a good idea to know the total number of payments you will make over the life of the loan so that you can calculate your total cost.
As exhilarating as buying a car can be, don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement. Know the facts of your loan agreement.