Surviving the Dealer Financing Process

Financing a car can be more than stressful if you’re not accustomed to the process behind securing auto loans, but there are some ways that you can survive ordeal. It’s really just a matter of making sure that you’re informed during every step in the process.

Here are some ways you can get this done:

Make sure your contract is clear and correct. Let’s face it; some dealers want to make as much money from your ignorance as possible. This is not the case with all of them, but there are a few bad seeds out there. So before you sign on the dotted line, it’s good to make sure that your numbers are all correct. Also, it doesn’t hurt to inquire about any prepayment penalties in the event that you want to pay your vehicle off early. Remember, the more you know before signing, the more you can adjust in your favor before buying the car. Be sure to ask if you do not understand any part of the contract.


Try not to overpay just to lower monthly payments. Financing a car can be tricky when it comes to making low monthly payments. Typically, those with good credit get this benefit. However, those with not-so-good credit can lower their payments as well if they stretch out the length of their loan. The only problem here is that depending on their interest rate, they could be paying thousands more than they should have just to have the lower monthly payment. So before you agree to low monthly payments, it’s good to look at how much over the retail value of the car you will actually be paying in total.

Beware of “subject to approval” statements. Some dealerships include this statement for those taking out auto loans as a way to trick them into paying more after signing the papers. This statement simply means that the price you pay will only be official after you have been 100% approved. In the meantime, you have driven off the lot in your new car, having been told you were paying a certain amount. Then a few days later, you receive a phone call explaining that because of your credit score you’re monthly payments had to be raised – definitely not an inconvenience many can afford.

Financing a car can definitely be tricky business, but if you pay close attention to your contract then you’ll be one of many car buyers who emerged from the dealer auto loans process victorious.