Borrowing money to afford their car purchases is not uncommon but rather very common. Few people have a few hundred thousand kronor in an account that can only be used freely for a new car. It is not even certain that it is an advantage to pay your car in cash given that you can do quite a few other good things for that money – for example investing them and getting a return on them.
Given that it is so common, by default, to take a car loan when buying a new car, it is also important that you keep track of all the most important aspects of this type of loan. In this article I was going to go through a few different things that are good to know / think about when it comes to car loans and general tips that can save you money.
Count on your finances and what you can afford first
It’s easy to start looking at fine cars that cost more when you start your search for a new car. There are many nice cars to choose from, which can also easily tempt you to want to buy something that may actually be above your budget.
To avoid such problems, it is best to start by counting on what you can actually afford. Make a calculation of what you think a car loan could cost you each month in amortization and interest. You can of course use a sample rate until you know exactly what interest you can get. Draw a little extra when you decide your example interest rate, because it is better to have a little too high interest rate and then manage to get lower than starting too low.
Enter the total monthly cost of amortization + interest in your budget calculation. If you do not have a budget calculation that keeps track of how much you receive and pay out each month, it is a good idea to create one, so you get an overview of how much money you have to move with. Your new cost for the car loan must be accommodated within the money you have over each month, otherwise you will have put on an overpriced car price.
You can count back and forth and test with different prices on the car to see what the monthly costs are. When you find a level that you feel comfortable with and that does not push your finances too much, you have also found a maximum price for the new car. Then you know that you can choose a car up to this price but not over. All models that exceed this price, you simply have to opt out and then you no longer have to search for things that you cannot afford.
Investigate possible lenders and find the best deal
There are many that offer car loans and they probably have slightly different interest rates and terms for their loans. Your regular bank can be a good place to start – but don’t just check out what your car loan would cost them. Also check out some other lenders, both the big banks and some of the alternative lenders.
Sometimes it may be required to submit a loan application to find out exactly what interest rate you can get on your loan and to do this a few times is perfectly ok. Keep in mind that if you apply for too many different loans, your credit rating may go down a bit. If you have a strong and stable economy, this should not affect too much in itself.
You can always choose a loan broker for this purpose, as they allow you to submit an application and receive a number of different quotations. It is a smooth way to get a decent check on what you can expect for the cost of your car loan and it is also a good way if you just want to get a credit report taken in their name.
Balance your repayment period for reasonably expensive loans
You can take out a loan for a car or other vehicle for at most around 12 years. The maximum limit depends on what the lender has for terms. Some have a lower maximum limit where, for example, you can only choose at most 7 years. What you should keep in mind is that the maturity you choose will affect two important things. It will affect your monthly cost of the loan and it will affect the total cost of the loan.
The longer the maturity you choose, the lower your monthly cost will be, simply because you spread out interest expense and amortization over a longer period. The advantage of this is that if you have slightly smaller margins in your monthly budget then you can still afford a slightly more expensive car. You just spread out your costs a bit.
The disadvantage of choosing a longer maturity is that the total cost of your loan will be higher. So your loan will be more expensive overall if you repay the money over a longer period. This is because you are forced to pay interest on the loan for an extended period. So, to save on the total cost, you can choose a shorter maturity.