For many people, discussions surrounding money make them very nervous. Think about the last time you had to ask someone for money they owed you, or vice versa. We get shifty, a little bit clammy, and inexplicably anxious when the topic of money comes up, so forget about heading out into a financially centered situation where we’re required to negotiate our bottom-line price. Some people are incredibly gifted at haggling with someone and they make no apologies for their ruthlessness, but some of us don’t possess this talent. When it comes to auto financing, some find this to be an even more intense situation, which is why we have tricks to help you walk in prepared.
When it comes to buying a car, part of the process is securing the price of the vehicle. For most people, this is the most trying part of the process, outside of the massive stack of paperwork. For you, it’s all about getting the best deal and to walk away thinking you got one over on the salesman. For them, it’s about making you think that you got one over on them, because they know what you’ll agree to and what you won’t agree to solely based on your negotiation tactics. We engage in a complicated dance involving MSRP, warranties, GAP, and the price of floor mats, until we reach the complicated part; the financing.
The financing is what takes the longest in a car deal, as the salesperson waits to hear back from the banks about who is willing to finance you and for how much per month. However, you don’t have to wait this process out. You can walk into a dealership with your own financing, and in some cases it is advantageous to do so. Here’s why you consider it!
• Better Interest Rates – When the interest rates on any type of loans were skyrocketing not too long ago, people were able to get better financing deals through their bank or credit union that through the dealership itself. This is still the case, to an extent. You may find that your credit union, with whom you’ve done business for many years, is willing to offer you a better deal that what the dealership can. If this is the case, approach the CU and go through the process with them before finalizing anything with the dealership. It may be worth your while.
• Special Financing Ease – If you have poor credit or very little credit, it will be difficult to obtain financing without an exorbitant down payment, or huge interest rate. However, if you’ve been a loyal customer to your bank, they may be willing to work with you to secure a loan. Because they are able to see evidence of your deposits, and your bank account balance, they know if you’re a worthy risk or not, but it doesn’t hurt that you’ve been a customer for a very long time. People treat people they know better than strangers. A salesperson at a car dealership is a stranger, to the banks they’re shopping you’re simply a number, but to your bank, you are Joe Friday, customer extraordinaire.
• Power Play – Walking into the dealership ready to wheel and deal, but not go over a certain amount, puts you in the power seat. You’re telling the dealership that you know what you want, and how you want it. It says that you’re prepared, and you’re not taking no for an answer. It also says that you know you’ve done better than what they’re offering, and that you’re not afraid of their overwhelming tactics. The dealership manager, the finance manager, and your salesperson aren’t going to be able to bully you into a deal.
• Less Stress – Buying a car isn’t always the pleasant process you expect it to be. In your head, you’re yelling “weeeeee” as you drive away in your new car. In real life, your tired, overworked self has been slumped in an uncomfortable dealership chair for several hours waiting for banks to come back with their rates. Bringing your own financing to the deal, cuts down on the waiting time. If you have a rate and a loan in place, there’s no need to wait out the banks and worry about a bidding war; you’re set. You’re closer to the “weeee” than you think.
There’s nothing that can take ALL of the stress out of a car deal, but at least you get to skip the awkward conversations about how you thought the commercials said 0.9% financing. When it comes to a car deal, come prepared and cut down the amount of time you spend being intimidated by the sales staff. Don’t worry, they’ll still try to fight you, but you have the upper hand this time.