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How to get the best auto loan quotes

With auto loan rates hovering around record lows, financing a new car can be very enticing. Before you put the keys of your dream car in the ignition, make sure to compare quotes from an array of different lenders. Take time to plan and ensure that you're getting the best loan for your financial situation.

One of the most important factors in getting a car loan you can afford is first figuring out your budget. Start by figuring out your monthly home budget and then move on to calculating how much you can reasonably afford to pay each month for a car. Keep in mind that you don't want to share your budget with the dealer, but it's important to know what you can spend.

Check your credit history

Credit history has a tremendous impact on the quality of auto loan quotes that you receive. Obtain a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax -- and fix any mistakes that you find. You can receive a free credit report from any of the three credit bureaus once per year. That means you can check your credit every four months.

Be a bargain shopper

Frugality can pay off when shopping for auto loan quotes. Spending a little extra time shopping at local banks or credit unions can make a big difference in interest payments. Of course, shopping online can be an easy solution to finding auto loan rates throughout the country.

Don't be afraid to ask

Lenders will answer your questions, so don't be afraid to ask a few. Ask about penalties, the total amount being financed, the exact amount of each payment and the number of payments. By taking the time to shop thoroughly now, you save in the long run.

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