Determining the average loan rate for your area when purchasing a vehicle can be a little tricky, but there are ways to find out. Basically, conducting research on what’s going on in your area can help you determine the amount finance companies should be charging you.
Using a Website that Calculates Rates
Probably one of the easiest ways to determine what the interest rates are for auto loans in your area is to use an online calculator. There are several out there where you can enter the length and type of loan you want, as well as the city and state you live in. Once this information is entered, you are presented with a list of banks in the area, and what their average loan rate is based on those criteria.
Of course, the rates presented are general and don’t reflect other things that might affect your interest rate.
What Else Determines Auto Loan Interest Rates?
In addition to the area you live in, there are a few other determining factors involved in what the average loan rate might be:
- Length of the loan term. Typically, the longer you stretch out your loan term, the more you can expect to pay in interest rates. For example, if you choose a 72-month term over a 36-month term in order to lower your payments, the finance company has to calculate the additional number of months that you might default and thus increase the rate for the added risk.
- Your credit score. Personal credit scores matter a lot when taking out auto loans. If your credit score isn’t very high, you can bet your rate will be. Most financial institutions consider 680 and higher to be in the good credit range, so if you aren’t holding this score then you can expect to pay higher than the average loan rate in your area.
- Whether the car is new or used. Used cars pretty much always hold higher rates than new cars, which is why it is a good idea to look up the average loan rate for a used car.
Conducting as much research as possible is vital to getting the best deal you can when purchasing a car. So shop around for fair auto loans so you can get the rate you deserve.