Car Loans

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Understanding Car Loans

A car is a nonnegotiable purchase in a lot of cities. Finding the right car loan can mean the difference between a smart financial investment and a money mistake that can affect you for years. Auto financing is an unavoidable reality for some people, but searching for the best car loan rates can help you keep your finances balanced throughout the year.

There are several different types of auto loans, including new car loans, used car loans, preapproved loans and refinanced loans. When new- or used-car loan borrowers finance a vehicle from a lender, the financial institution considers the car collateral. The car is used as security in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan, hence the name “secured loan.”

A number of factors contributes to the car loan rates you'll be offered, including your FICO score, auto loan terms, type of vehicle, and down payment amount.