Most car buyers today need some form of financing to purchase a new vehicle. Many use direct lending, that is, a loan from a finance company, bank, or credit union. In direct lending, a buyer agrees to pay the amount financed, plus an agreed-upon finance charge, over a specified period. Once a buyer and a vehicle dealership enter into a contract to purchase a vehicle, the buyer uses the loan proceeds from the direct lender to pay the dealership for the vehicle.
Another common form is dealership financing, which offers convenience, financing options, and sometimes special, manufacturer-sponsored, low-rate deals. Before you make a financing decision, it’s important to do your research:
- Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend and stick to your limit.
- Get a copy of your credit report and correct any errors before applying for a loan.
- Check buying guides to identify price ranges and best available deals.
The Federal Trade Commission has more information about vehicle financing, deciding what you can afford, and consumer protections. If you need to file a complaint about your auto loan, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.