Whether you’re looking to get a new or used vehicle, buying a car can be an exciting yet stressful experience. WWFCU wants to take the stress out of the process and walk you through the steps you need to take before signing on the dotted line.
- Get Your Score
Unless you’re paying cash, the very first thing you need to do before even stepping on the car lot is to check your credit score. Both NerdWallet and Credit Karma offer free credit scores. If your score is lower than you expected, you’ll want to see if there are any errors on your credit report. You can get one free credit report per year from com. Fix any errors before trying to find auto financing.
- Find Financing
We need to start this section off by reminding you that credit unions like WWFCU have some of the lowest loan rates around – including on auto loans! Speak to a loan officer or member service representative to see just how much car you can afford. You’ll want to consider the rate you’ll receive and the terms as well as what the actual loan amount should be.
- Research Your Trade-in Value
Kelley Blue Book is the best place to start when figuring out exactly what your car is worth. You’ll need to know the make, model and mileage of your car as well as the equipment options it comes with. And be brutally honest about the condition of the vehicle to get the most accurate value quote. Between your financing and your trade-in amount, you’ll have a better idea of what you can afford before you start shopping.
- Car Shopping
There are tons of websites out there that let you search numerous dealers at the same time. While you’re on these sites, you’ll be able to research the dealers as well. Check out the reviews for both the car you want to buy as well as the dealers you may be visiting. WWFCU’s partner AutoSMART lets you search for both new and used vehicles, lets you know if you’re getting a good deal and gives you access to dealer ratings. Compare prices and dealers before picking the car you want.
- Get the Details – New Cars
During your car shopping/research be sure to get the dealer invoice price. This gives you more negotiating power when you get to the dealer. Take the time to visit the car company’s website to see what rebates and deals are available on the car you want.
- Get the CARFAX – Used Cars
If you find a used car you’re interested in, check out the CARFAX before you buy it. The good news is if you finance your used car with WWFCU, you can get a free CARFAX on your car ahead of time. That way you can check out the vehicle’s history and see if there have been any accidents.
Take all of these steps before buying your car and you can rest easy knowing you got the best deal you could on the car of your dreams. To learn more about auto loans at WWFCU, stop by our branch, visit wwfcu.org or call (734) 721-5700 for more information.