auto

9 steps to a car loan on damaged credit

7. Shop loan terms, not monthly payments
7. Shop loan terms, not monthly payments | Brais Seara/Moment Open/GettyImages

7. Shop loan terms, not monthly payments

Look for the cheapest money -- the lowest annual percentage rate over the shortest period. Don't be sidetracked by promises of a lower monthly payment over a longer period of time, says Van Alst. If the only way you can make the payments is to take out a long-term loan, you probably can't afford the vehicle.

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