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Auto Loan Essential Information  Mar 29th, 2013 

When you are approved for a car loan the lender typically will set the maximum monthly payment for which the loan is approved. Generally, the maximum payment is either 12% to 18% of your gross monthly income or 45% of you income less your monthly obligations.


Other items to include in the budget are the total cost of ownership of the vehicle. When comparing the total cost of a vehicle consider such things as insurance rates, gas mileage, and repair costs. To mitigate repair costs we recommend including an extended service contract with the vehicle at time of purchase.


Consumers with a poor Fico score pay higher finance rates than consumers with Fico scores above 700. If you have a Fico score below 700 we recommend buying a car that meets your basic transportation needs. Wait until your Fico score improves before buying a more expensive automobile.

If you have a low credit score we recommend selecting with the shortest repayment term possible. This will allow you to trade out of the vehicle, and finance another car at a better interest rate, much quicker if your credit improves.


If you have negative equity, consider buying an affordable new car with a cash rebate. A lot of folks in Arizona fall into the negative equity trap. This cycle occurs by continually buying more expensive cars and rolling negative equity from their pervious car loan into their next auto loan.


In fact the only way to avoid rolling money on to your new loan is to own you car until the lien is paid, use enough money down to cover the previous lien, or buy a car that you can pay off fast. We should also mention that in most cases, if you the money you own on your used car trade in is greater than the lien amount, it is probable that your new auto loan payment will be higher than the payment on the vehicle you are trading in.