By Jon Acuff
There are three primary places to find a loan:
If you're reading this article, then you're already comfortable finding what you need online. Why not a loan? Internet-only finance companies offer attractive rates and the convenience of having your financing taken care of before you visit a dealership. There are several options available. AutoTrader.com's official online financing partner is Road Loans.
2. Banks and credit unions
The traditional financing route is still very popular and may be the option that works best for you. In many cases, the institution where you currently have a checking or savings account is an easy place to start a loan search. Don't be afraid to expand your search to other banks and credit unions in the area as you look for the most favorable offer.
Financing through a dealership is a good way to complete the entire car purchase in one location. Dealerships have access to several lenders and will search a variety of options to find the one that's best for you. Plus, new car dealerships often have special incentives and offers directly from the manufacturer.
The number of dealerships offering their own financing, referred to as "in-house financing," has also increased. "Buy Here Pay Here" dealerships specialize in financing for people with lower credit ratings. To learn more, read Buy Here Pay Here Financing Basics.
If you'd like to know more about how a loan could make sense for you, read 5 Signs You Might Love a Loan or Loan Basics. To learn about the lease side of the car financing world, take a look at Leasing Basics.