Buying a new or new-to-you car is exciting but expensive. For most people, taking out an auto loan is a necessity. From credit checks to finding monthly payments that fit your budget, vehicle financing can be tricky. We researched the best car loans in Oklahoma City to simplify the process.
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Car financing can be a smooth process if you prepare before shopping. While it’s tempting to start looking for the vehicle of your dreams immediately, there are a few steps you can take before walking onto a car lot to make your purchase easier, including:
Decide your budget: Decide how much you can afford to spend on a monthly car payment. Don’t forget to account for additional costs, including insurance and maintenance.
Check your credit score: Lenders look at your credit score to decide your maximum loan amount and annual percentage rate (APR). Knowing your credit score lets you estimate the APR you can expect from lenders.
Get pre-approved for a car loan: Visit banks, credit unions or online lenders and set up financing before searching for a car. This gives you more time to compare offers, puts you in a better position to negotiate price and allows you to shop at multiple Oklahoma City dealerships.
Have additional info ready: Lenders may request documents to prove your income or show how long you’ve been at your current residence in Oklahoma City.
Qualifying for a car loan in Oklahoma City
The best way to compare car loans is to look at the total cost of the loan over its term. The total cost is determined by the:
APR: The loan’s APR determines how much interest it accrues each year. Oklahoma City residents with excellent credit ratings typically qualify for loans with an APR between 3 and 5 percent, while buyers with poor credit qualify for loans between 12 and 18 percent.
Loan term: Most car loans last between 36 and 72 months. While a longer loan may be tempting because of the lower monthly payments, it accrues more interest and costs more over the life of the loan.
Down payment: Putting down more money upfront lowers the total cost of your vehicle loan, reducing your monthly payments or the length of your loan. A more substantial down payment may also help you qualify for a lower APR.
After purchasing a vehicle, you have to pay tax, title and tag fees. In Oklahoma City, vehicle tax is based on the purchase price, and title fees must be paid within 30 days of purchasing the vehicle. You may also have to pay loan origination and referral fees from your lender and documentation fees from the car dealership. Some of these fees may be negotiated down.
Getting a car loan with poor credit in Oklahoma City
While borrowers with a low credit score or no credit history may have difficulty qualifying for a car loan, it’s not impossible. Many online lenders specialize in finding the best offers for Oklahoma City residents with poor credit.
Having a trusted friend or relative with good credit co-sign your loan can help you qualify or receive a lower APR. Your co-signer is responsible if you default on the loan, however. If possible, saving money for a more substantial down payment can also help you qualify for a loan.
Most lenders do not offer loans to Oklahoma City residents in active bankruptcy. Talk to your attorney and the judge presiding over your bankruptcy case before applying for any car loans.
LightStream is an online lender with rates starting as low as 3.99 percent. After approval, the company deposits cash into your account so you can be a cash buyer when purchasing a vehicle. Funds can be deposited the same day you apply. Oklahoma City customers say the application process is quick and straightforward.
Auto Approve is an online lender for refinancing vehicle loans. Borrowers can lower their current payments or interest rates through Auto Approve, and the company has an online form you can fill out to receive quotes. Reviews from Oklahoma City recommend Auto Approve for the website’s ease of use, but some consumers say customer service can be slow.
LendingTree is an online service that compares rates and quotes from several lenders. Its services are free, and the company’s website provides lender reviews. Because the company works with a network of lenders, there may be multiple checks into your credit. Oklahoma City customers praise LendingTree's helpful representatives.
myAutoloan.com offers loans for new and used cars, refinancing and assistance in buying a vehicle that is being leased. Borrowers can receive quotes minutes after filling out an online application. While many Oklahoma City residents appreciate the ability to compare offers, some customers are dissatisfied with the company’s information sharing practices.
Capital One gives borrowers an opportunity to see if they pre-qualify for an auto loan without a credit inquiry. The lender also offers refinancing services and online calculators to determine monthly payments before applying for a loan. Customers in Oklahoma City appreciate the website’s multiple helpful tools and report excellent experiences.
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