Auto loans primer: getting started

If you are looking for a new car, you're probably also shopping for auto loans.

Fortunately, you don't have to wait until the last minute to arrange your car financing. With a little due diligence and savvy comparison shopping, you could find good, competitive rates on auto loans.

Here are three places you can easily shop for a loan.


You probably already have a bank account, so it makes sense to see what kind of auto loans your bank may offer. Many banks offer competitive rates, especially to customers with good credit. Online or at your local branch, call around to compare and receive up-to-date loan quotes.

Credit unions

If you have a relationship with a credit union, you would literally be borrowing money from yourself, since credit unions are owned by their members. Overhead costs are low at credit unions because they're nonprofit, so you might find competitive auto loans here.


Often, dealerships offer zero percent financing for eligible buyers based on their credit report. If you're planning to finance your car loan, then it might be worth contacting the dealer to see if you qualify.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, however, and make sure you understand potential penalties in case of a late payment.

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