Purchasing a car is one of the largest investments we make. It can be a challenging field to navigate especially when considering financing options with bad credit. In order to start rebuilding bad credit, you have to enter into an affordable agreement and make timely monthly payments that you can afford. Most vehicle financing programs start with a down payment followed by a term length agreement, where you choose how long it take you to pay back your lender but some dealerships offer no money down programs for buyers. Choosing how to balance term length and size of down payment can be difficult and should be carefully considered.
How big a down payment do you need?
It’s possible that you won’t need a down payment at all and even those with poor credit can to benefit from these programs. When considering a down payment it should be noted that contributing money upfront can help reduce both your interest rate and your term length. While many factor contribute to your interest rate, a down payment will often afford you a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment. If keeping your monthly payments low is high on your priority list, then contributing a larger down payment is a must or you selecting a less expensive vehicle.
If you’re credit score is low or less than ideal, you should save up a reasonable down payment so you can secure a better rate. A lower credit score will yield a high interest rate so your best bet is to pay a little more up front. That said, don’t be scared to look around for the best loan rate. If you know your budget and can put forward a 30% down payment but you can get the same or a better rate for only 20% down, hold on to that extra cash.
If a new vehicle is in your future but you don’t need it right away, start putting some money aside. Only you know what’s best for your personal finances and if purchasing a car outright isn’t for you then having a healthy savings to dip into where if you don’t use it all you’ll have a little extra cash for monthly payments if need be. Plus, being able to come to the table with some more money behind you may put you in a better bargaining position. If paying that extra 5 or 10% gets you a lower rate or shorter term, it may be worth it in the long run as the longer you take to pay people back, the more interest you’re going to pay.
While you’ll hear some mixed messages around how much you should be paying, the consensus seems to be that at least 10% down is ideal. We know that this isn’t always possible especially if your need for a new car is sudden. If you can’t manage this or any down payment, speak with a qualified auto loan specialist such as the ones at Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Winston-Salem and discuss your options. Having bad credit or limited options doesn’t have to prevent you from securing a great quality vehicle at an affordable price.