Auto Finance and Car Loans

Understanding an upside-down car loan and the options for changing vehicles
What is an upside-down car loan? An upside-down car loan is a situation in which you simply owe the lender more than the vehicle is worth. For example, you still have $12,000 outstanding on your auto loan, but the vehicle’s value is just $9,000, so you’re upside down by $3,000. It’s also known as negative equity or being “under water,” and it’s a growing problem in the U.S., according to, a debt help organization. How an upside-down car loan might occur There are numerous ways negative equity on a vehicle may arise. Common scenarios include: Depreciation– Cars inevitably lose… Read More

What is a lien on a car?
  How to know lien from loan, and what to keep in mind when buying and selling a vehicle If you’ve been approved for a car loan you’re likely to encounter the term “lien,” but the chances you’ll know what it means may not be quite so great. A lien on a car is like a safeguard for the lender or other interested party. When you take out an auto loan, a lien is created, which is a lender’s legal right to possession of the vehicle until the loan is repaid. That means if you default on the loan, like… Read More

What to know when buying a car out of state
Sometimes the perfect car is just a short trip to the dealership away. Other times, you’re looking at buying a car out of state – and that comes with a bit more legwork. Doing your research first, however, will put you on the front foot. Tips for buying across state lines Check your home state requirements Check the laws that affect registering an out-of-state vehicle with your own state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) or vehicle registry body to get an overview of the process. Look at requirements for vehicle standards, including emissions, inspections, transporting the vehicle and any other… Read More

Try the free RoadLoans app for car shopping made easy
    When was the last time you shopped for a vehicle? Whether you’ve clocked plenty of miles or are new to it all, the RoadLoans app can make the experience fast, simple and hassle free. Simply downloading the app to your iPhone or Android phone places handy auto financing and car-shopping tools right in the palm of your hand; available to help whenever and wherever you want. Here’s what you can do: Estimate a car payment – You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, and the payment calculator enables users to gauge what an affordable… Read More

How to lower APR on a car loan
  6 tips for getting a low rate and boosting your chances to save Lowering the annual percentage rate (APR) on a car loan is one of the best ways to save on vehicle financing and the total cost of buying a car. And it’s not complicated – there are simple ways to approach it. Here are six tips for dropping the APR on an auto loan. 1. Check your credit reports, and consider building credit Whether you want to save cash on financing for your existing car or look for a low interest rate and APR to buy your… Read More

How do auto loans work?
    So how do auto loans work? Since most people buying a new or used car opt for financing it’s an important question, and understanding the answer will help you in the purchase process. To summarize, you take out a car loan with a lender to pay for the purchase of a vehicle and, by signing the loan contract, agree to pay back the money in installments over the course of the loan, according to its terms. These terms include key factors like the finance charge, loan duration and the size of the monthly payment. Most auto loans are… Read More

How long can you finance a new or used car?
  Experts agree that the shorter a car loan the better, largely due to savings on interest charges. Yet with the trend among car buyers for longer terms (some up to 96 months, or eight years), where does that leave you? Consider the options. Pros and cons of shorter and longer car loans The average length of a car loan at the start of 2015 was 67 months; that’s over five and a half years, and about five months longer than in 2010, according to, a debt help organization. “The trend is going even longer with 30 percent of… Read More

How much should a down payment on a car be?
  The right down payment on a car has the potential to make a significant difference to a vehicle purchase and how financing pans out, so it’s worth seriously considering how much you might be able to pay up front. By lowering the amount borrowed, a down payment may save the buyer money by reducing the monthly payment and finance costs, but there are other considerations as well. A payment of 20 percent has long been viewed as a healthy amount for a new car purchase, according to Edmunds. And when you consider factors like new-car depreciation of 20 percent… Read More

How to pay off a car early
    You might be looking to take control of your finances. Maybe you want to change your vehicle for a new one. Whatever the reason, pay off a car early and not only is the debt behind you, but you may have made a decent saving on interest payments, too. There are various ways to approach paying off a vehicle and, if you haven’t already done so, a good place to start is simply getting familiar with the details of your note, like the amount, term and annual percentage rate (APR). With these at hand, consider using an online… Read More

Getting a car loan as a first-time buyer with no credit history or bad credit
  As a first-time car buyer with no credit or bad credit,* you might feel up against it. That’s understandable. Consumers with long and strong credit histories generally stand a better chance of getting financing from an auto lender, and may enjoy better financing terms and a greater choice of vehicles. But now that we’ve aired some of the common realities of auto loan shopping as a first-time buyer, take heart. Many auto lenders accept applications from first-time buyers, and guess what? Many of those consumers have limited or bad credit histories. When you’re in one of these situations, there… Read More

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