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3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Financing Your Vehicle

You can take charge of your own vehicle financing by getting a loan preapproved through a bank or credit union before you shop. Dealer financing can be convenient and can offer incentives, but do your research ahead of time to see what you qualify for.

Steps for Financing:

  1. Check your credit reports for accurate information. allows you to view your credit report from three reporting agencies. Correct any inaccurate information before going to your lender.
  2. Approach three banks and/or credit unions. Focus on the annual percentage rate, fees and length (term) so you know the full cost of your loan. 
  3. Get a preapproval from a bank or credit union. The financial institution will give you paperwork to bring with you to the dealer and the salesperson should know what to do from there.
  4. Shop at three dealers and compare their financing to your preapproved loan.
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