1. What is the interest rate?
This is an important factor in car finance. In general, the total amount you will need to repay depends on how high the interest rate is, and how long the repayment term. Car finance interest rates can vary greatly from dealer to dealer. You can expect an interest rate from 9 percent up to 30 percent depending on the age of the car and your credit history. The interest rate can greatly affect the total price of your car loan so compare rates first before deciding on a dealer.
Factors that go into the interest rate formula include your age, your credit history, the age of the car, the make of car, the type of license you have, how long you have been driving for.
2. What are the penalties?
Dealers, like most lending institutions, charge certain penalties when you default on your monthly payment or when you do not stick to the terms of your car loan. You may even be hit with early repayment fees. This is when you pay off your car loan in full before the end of the loan term. Yes, you can be charged a fee for paying back the loan early!
Thorough research into car finance entails knowing these penalties, since these are also called hidden charges. By not asking about the hidden charges you might just find yourself paying more than what you intended.
3. What are the payments, and frequency?
Since you will be making the payments on your car loan, it is important for you to be aware of how many payments there will be, how often and how much. Ask the finance dealer if they allow flexible payment terms. i.e.. the flexibility to pay monthly instead of fortnightly. Your circumstances may change where a monthly payment scheme now suits you better than a fortnightly one.
Answering these questions before applying for car finance will help you plan your expenses and budgeting. You will need to manage your income so you will have enough funds to repay your car loan.
4. Is car insurance compulsory?
Some dealers require car insurance, a type of policy which takes over your car loan payments in case of unemployment, disability or death.
Ask if this is compulsory on your car loan and how much it will cost you. Most car finance dealers get paid commissions by the insurance companies when they sell you insurance. Car insurance is not always compulsory however car dealers will not disclose this to you unless you ask.
The goal in asking these questions before signing up for car finance is to avoid being tricked by your dealer and to get the best deal possible.
Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have or clarify any doubts before signing your deal.
Obtaining car finance can be very easy. However for the inexperienced car finance can also be very expensive in the long run. Ask questions and build your own knowledge before signing any contractual agreement.
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