Buying A Vehicle: What You Need to Know
by Casey Messer
Buying a car can sometimes be hard, but it does not have to be. If you are struggling to find a starting place, your credit union serves as a resource or guide to see the whole process through. With all the emotions that go into buying a vehicle, it can be easy to become overextended and not even realize it. Take your time when buying a vehicle. There are several tips and tricks that will help comfort you along the way.
There are a few steps to take as you prepare to buy a car. First, Get pre-approved through your credit union to see what price range is right for you. Once meeting with a professional, you will have a pre-approval letter in hand to move forward with the next steps.
Once you are pre-approved, do your research on various vehicle types. Walking onto the vehicle lot can bring on a lot of emotions. Take your time before visiting the car lot to find a few different cars you would like to test drive or look more into.
Don’t forget to shop your insurance. This is a big part of purchasing a vehicle that can often be put to the end of the process when it is something to be done at the start. Treat your insurance payment as a part of the total cost for your car monthly. If you can afford $500/month for a car note, make sure your insurance costs is included in that so that you don’t overextend yourself.
It is east to overextend yourself when purchasing a vehicle. Numbers add up quickly. Be sure to keep auto costs at or below 20% of your take home pay. This means your car loan should be no more than 10-15% of your take home pay to account for other factors like gas and insurance.
Make sure to take a look at your budget to reassure yourself that you truly will be comfortable at the price range you are going to be shopping in. Just because you are approved for a certain amount, does not mean you have to purchase at that max amount. Meeting with your credit union’s financial advisors to get pre-approved can help ease the pressure of making that decision on your own.
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