​How to Find the Best Auto Loans

contract-945619_640Everyone needs a vehicle to get around, especially to and from work. When the time comes to purchase a new vehicle, the vast majority of buyers will have to finance their new car through an auto loan. However, finding a loan with reasonable monthly payments and low interest rates can be a daunting, and nearly impossible, task.

Most of us assume the process involves heading to the dealership, choosing the car you would like, and sitting down with the dealer to negotiate the terms of their loan. In truth, this route causes most buyers to miss out on the better rates that would have been available to them. Instead, they could have scored better deals opting for auto loans from the best banks.

Skipping the Dealership

On average, a dealership will have a markup of 2.5% along with various fees, as well as attempt to have you finance various add-ons and warranties through your loan as well. Opting to finance your vehicle through a bank instead allows you to be more in control of the rates and terms available to you. Once you are pre-approved, you can walk into the dealership knowing exactly how much of a car loan you can afford and what features you can tack on without going over the amount you are able to borrow.

Choosing a bank not only yields lower interest rates, but also provides you with more options and better deals than you can find anywhere else. Here are some of the best for you to compare and contrast.

U.S. Bank

This bank, unlike many, allows loans for both new and used cars with no change in interest for the latter. They also offer discounts for green cars certified by the EPA, which can reduce your rate by 0.5%. There are a wide variety of cars in the green category outside of smart cars, including popular four door sedan models.

Best of all, every step in the process is incredibly detailed, making all of their business dealing very transparent.

LightStream

If you have a great credit score, this bank will offer you interest rates as low as 1.99% for new and used cars as long as they are bought from a dealer. They offer what is called an “Anything Loan” which does not require a lien against your car, will match competitive rates to give you the best deal, and a $100 guarantee if you are unsatisfied with your service anytime within 30 days after signing for your loan. Their great offers are unmatched by other banks, but keep in mind that you must have great credit to be accepted.

Bank of America

One of the best parts about this bank is that they offer loans for used cars from private sellers and lease buyouts, as well as vehicles up to 10 years old with up to 125,000 miles. With over 5,000 branches, it’s easy to become a member of this bank and take advantage of their extra rate discounts. If you prefer a more personal experience there is always a branch near you, and you can take care of all of your transactions via their online tools.

Finding the Best Loan

Always check your credit first, and use a loan calculator to give you room to negotiate the rates you deserve. The above banks are only three of the many great options available to you, and are all great ways to secure a lower interest rate than a dealership would ever offer you. With a little research, you will be able to find the best auto loans from the best banks, and save yourself money in the long run.

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