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Questions about Auto loans

Established Member

Questions about Auto loans

I never applied for one and I have a few VERY basic questions. Like most people here, I'm working on building my credit and I just got my 2nd CC. I'm planning on applying for a loan sometime after winter to give time for my score to grow a lil more. I read over some of the post here for auto loan approvals and its really cool to see people with the same income and score as me, are able to get loans. Please keep in mind that this will be my 1st time, so most of these questions are very basic. I'll space them for easy answering.


Where should I apply first? A credit union, bank, dealership or just shop around.



Once approved, how is the money transferred to you and how long does it normally take.



I currently am planning on applying after the winter, but I hear the dealerships have good yearend deals, should I try at the end of the year?



I see that most of the people on the approval topic purchases new or "newer" cars. Is this a limitation that comes with a auto loan or just personal preference. I've been looking at older cars (around 2005-7).



I'll stop here. Even if you answer one question, it would be very much appreciated.


Message 1 of 5
Senior Contributor

Re: Questions about Auto loans

1.  Where should I apply first?


If you have a credit union you do business with, you might want to start there.  CUs are generally more flexible.  I'd try to pick a couple CUs and/or banks before going to the dealer to see what terms you are offered.  Then, you go to the dealer to see if they can beat that deal, but at least you know that financing is taken care of.  Time it so that you are going to the dealer reasonably soon after you speak to the CU/banks.  All auto inquiries within a certain timeframe will be scored as one inquiry.  They will each appear on your report, but FICO will only score one.  I always forget the exact timeframe.  I think it was 14 days on the older scoring models, but is 30 (or 45?) on the newer scoring models.


3.  Before or after new year?  Why are you planning on waiting until after the new year?  Only you can decide whether the car fits into your budget earlier.  If you are waiting for certain credit improvements, we'd need more info to try to determine whether a couple extra months will help you.


4.  New vs. old cars.  Lenders have age restrictions for vehicles.  An older vehicle is more difficult to finance because it has less resell value, so their security interest is less.  I don't know where that cutoff is generally, but that is one of the reasons you are not seeing a lot of cars from 2005.

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Message 2 of 5

Re: Questions about Auto loans

Usually most banks will try to keep the age range within the last 5 years.

There are those that go beyond, but it'll be easier to finance with a bank for a car that's 2009 than it is for a 2005.

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Message 3 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: Questions about Auto loans


Message 4 of 5
Established Member

Re: Questions about Auto loans

1. I'm not doing business with a CU, but I just got a auto loan approval from my CC. I didn't know there was a timeframe like you mentioned for auto loan inquiries. I'll search around here, but if anyone has more info, please share.



3. My plan was applying after because I just got a increase on my CC and was approved for a walmart card, plus I'm working on a 3 GW to send out.

Also I was thinking of using my tax return as maybe down payment. But this preapprovel thing got me thinking about applying now, plus my 94 accord with 300,000+ mile is a Oil-holic.


Is there a "Auto Loan 101" somewhere I can read over?

Message 5 of 5