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How to Buy a Used Car with Bad Credit?

  • This is the exact opposite of what normally takes place at a car dealership. Frequently, car salespeople don’t want to talk about prices and especially don’t want to talk about financing before they’ve gotten you into a test drive. This is simply because as a part of the selling process, they want you to be at an emotional peak when it comes time to discuss numbers and rates.

    Do the exact opposite.

    By arranging your financing approval first, you will have a significant advantage when shopping for a car. The down payment amount, monthly payments and interest rates won’t be an unknown. You’ll know exactly how much car you can afford, what your monthly payment limit is based on your income, as well as have a good idea of what model year and price range to be looking for.

    Negotiating Does Not Have To Be Complicated…

    A lot of people are intimidated by the negotiation process at a car dealership, especially when they’re buying a car with bad credit. Many people feel as if they may jeopardize their loan approval by questioning anything. That’s not the case. It’s actually very, very simple although many complicate it (salesmen love to get you confused).

    By simply asking a few simple questions and holding your ground, you can save thousands of dollars. Remember, you won’t save anything unless you ask!

    Negotiating the Price Like a Pro

    When buying a car with bad credit, some car dealers have the attitude that you’re not just buying a car, you’re buying credit. That’s a good point though, because YOU are buying whatever you choose and it’s up to YOU to decide what you are or are not willing to pay. Have confidence in knowing that. While you may feel obligated to agree to any price because you’re so happy to just be approved for the loan, you should still negotiate just like anyone else. Offer the dealer a few thousand less for the vehicle than their asking. When they try to justify the price, justify your offer by simply stating that you’ve had credit problems in the past and you want to make sure that you don’t fall into a hole again with high payments.

    Important tip to remember: The first offer is ALWAYS much higher than what the dealership will take. They’re just trying to raise your expectations of what you’ll have to pay. They want you to negotiate down to retail price, so their first offer is usually above retail price. You can over come this by lowering their expectations by offering a significantly lower amount than what you expect to pay.
    Don’t be shy.

    When they try to justify the price, justify your offer by simply stating that you’ve had credit problems in the past and you want to make sure that you don’t fall into a hole again with high payments. The vehicle is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and YOU are the buyer.

    Negotiating the Interest Rate

    Don’t be afraid to jump back in your chair when you’re shown the interest rate on your loan offer, even if you feel comfortable with it. Act like you’ve just seen a snake. Tell them that the interest rate is much higher than you would ever want to pay and if you want to go the extra mile, tell them that you almost feel insulted with a rate “offer” that high.

    The last thing that a salesman wants is to spend time with someone choosing a vehicle, get them into the finance office to sign their paperwork and then have the “deal go bad”. Put them in the position of having to “save the deal from falling through”, as that’s when YOU are put in control.

    Important tip to remember: Banks, Credit Unions, Sub-prime Lenders, Dealership Finance Departments and even Buy Here Pay Here Car Lots have room to either increase or decrease your interest rate in most cases. Most car shoppers never know anything about this, although it can make a big difference in your monthly payment. Remember, it’s an offer for a loan and they don’t profit if you don’t accept it.

    Negotiate Your Trade-In Value

    This is where many people get taken to the cleaners. They don’t think that they will be able to sell their vehicle on their own (or don’t want the hassle), so they just assume that they have to take whatever the dealer offers them. Let the dealer know that you’ve gotten a much higher offer for your trade at another dealership (which is probably true if you’ve shopped around). When they say that the other dealer was probably “allowing” you more money for your trade-in and not really giving you that amount, tell them that you want real numbers and aren’t interested in games.

    Important tip to remember: Always request $1,000 more for your trade than you want or expect. Raise the bar and whatever they budge is money back in your pocket. Read more about how to get the most for your trade-in.
    Don’t Rule-Out Newer Vehicles…

    Especially when shopping for a car with sub prime credit, the difference of one model year newer may make a big difference in lowering your monthly payment. This is not because of a difference in price, but in that the length of the loan can be a little longer for newer vehicles. Keep that in mind when you do start shopping. A newer vehicle with a slightly higher price can have a lower payment than an older vehicle with a lower price. The difference between 36, 48 and 60 month finance is the reason as longer payment terms simply have lower payments. This is just one of many more reasons that financing approval should be arranged prior to shopping. It just makes life so much easier, especially when you have credit obstacles to overcome.


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