If you’re looking to purchase yourself a used car, here is some advice on what you need to keep in mind as you ready to get over to the dealership.
Have a Budget
Budgeting is an important thing to do in the process of buying a car. If you’re someone who has bad credit, then this is where you also need to see what you can safely afford every month. Make sure you also take into consideration how much it’ll cost to maintain the car. While it can be difficult to really know how much you’ll need, it’s safe to start setting up a buffer in your savings as a just in case should anything happen to it. The sad truth about owning a new or used cars is that things do and will happen and that many buyers don’t consider the money they’ll need beyond the purchase price.
Have an Idea of What You’re Looking For
Do you have a family of four? How often are you driving? What is your typical commute distance? These questions are what you need to ask so you know where to narrow your car buying focus. If you need a family car, you’re not going to be looking at smaller coupes or SUVs. If you drive a longer distance, you’ll want one that has better gas mileage. This is where what you want and what you need start to conflict. We all have a dream car, but sacrifices must be made to get the best possible car for your lifestyle.
Test Drive It
Also give your car a test drive. Just because it looks nice on the lot doesn’t mean it feels good with your hands behind the wheel. It might not even be a problem with the car, but it might not suit you. The best, and really only, way to tell is to give the car a test drive. Don’t rush it, let yourself get the feel for the car and see if it is truly the one you want. If not, that’s when you go back to the second step on this list and see the other cars on your preferred list.
What are some mistakes that used car buyers can make?
What is interesting is that one of the first things that come to mind when that question is asked is not researching price or not staying in budget or not even making sure to shop for a car that suits their needs. One of the most overlooked things that used car shoppers can do, according to USNews, is not looking at the tires.
Speaking with a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds, they found that most people don’t give the car they’re looking at a proper inspection. One of the things that gets missed even more is the tires. According to the editor, Ron Montoya, buyers don’t look at the threads of the tires and see how old the tire is. You can look at the sidewalls and see a four-digit number that will show you the week and year of the tire. Knowing this simple fact can be a headache down the road for cost if you are not careful.
So bare that in mind the next time you’re doing used car shopping. While we implore each and every buyer to examine their budget and make sure to set a price range for a vehicle they can afford and not to go over it, we don’t do enough to instill in them the knowledge of inspecting the vehicle. It’s always a wise idea to take your time and test drive the vehicle, but looking at the tire age is also very important.
Car shopping with bad credit is a struggle but what about if you have a bankruptcy? Going through a bankruptcy can make it feel like you have nowhere else to turn and that it is the end. The key to fighting back against bankruptcy to still get the auto loan for the car you need is fighting against the idea that a bankruptcy is the end of the road.
It’s a hard thing to have to go through a bankruptcy, no one is denying that. That doesn’t mean it has to be the dark cloud that forever looms overhead though. There is a societal aspect to seeing bankruptcy as something that only happens to people who are irresponsible with their money, that they couldn’t deal with their finances and are suffering the consequences. This is the wrong mentality. Bankruptcies happen to good people who have structured finances. The problem with life is that things happen from illness to job loss and anything that dramatic can crush even the most well thought out financial planning.
What to keep in mind when you’re looking for an auto loan post-bankruptcy is what lenders look at. They will look over payment history to see how you dealt with previous loans and if you missed any payments etc. They will also look to see how an uncontrollable event like job loss impacted your finances. Your current financial situation as well as income will also be taken into account and that could lead to the lenders asking for more money down on the vehicle in order to secure a loan.
The reality is that you can still get an auto loan, but keep in mind that you’ll be having to make compromise. You may not be able to obtain the dream car you wanted, but if you can get an auto loan and keep up with the monthly payments, you never know where you’ll end up. It certainly looks great to lenders that you’re keeping up on your payments after a bankruptcy. Keep the faith and be willing to put up with limitations and you can find your financial life still possible after a bankruptcy.