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Reliable transportation for work and the best way to finance a used car

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Advice for used car buyers, demand is peaking-one reason may be people who have been out of work and now are being hired need transportation and often they buy pre-owned cars.

FROM Mike Kruczek, Chief Lending Officer DFCU Financial:

Here are a tips to keep in mind when financing a used car during this period of increased sales and high market competition:

Know your credit score - Prior to applying for a loan and shopping for a vehicle, it's important to know what credit tier your score resides in as rates and consequently, your monthly payment fluctuate between these tiers. If you know your credit score - and what interest rate a financial institution will offer you - prior to visiting a used car lot, you'll have a much better idea of what you can afford and will be able to better plan for long-term financial stability.

Get pre approved - Planning ahead and getting pre-approved by a reputable financial institution will improve the likelihood that your monthly payment will fit into your budget. By evaluating your debt ratio, you'll better understand what you can afford and may be less likely to make an impulse purchase.

Read all paperwork and be mindful of add-ons - Too often, buyers sign paperwork without actually reading it. It's important to carefully review all paperwork to ensure that the interest rate in your financing terms matches what was offered previously; if it's increased in the contract intentionally or unintentionally, you're locked into a monthly payment that's likely higher than anticipated.

Also, check for any additional products or services that may have been added to your contact by the dealer. These products/services may include extended warranties which could be added to the cost of the vehicle or the loan, prepaid services, such as oil changes, etc. If you're going to purchase an extended warranty, ask if you have the option of paying it up front to avoid adding to your monthly payment and potentially paying interest on it.

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