How to buy a car after graduating

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Graduation season is here. And whether you’re graduating from high school or college you’ll need a car to get you around. I’m Theresa Heintz with your Personal Finance Minute.

When budgeting for a car, don’t just consider the ticket price. Factor in all current and future expenses. Monthly car payments should not exceed around 20 percent of your net income.

Without credit it’s hard to get yourself a car loan. So get a parent to co-sign. If you can’t find a co-signer look for incentive programs from manufacturers — Honda, Toyota and General Motors offer new car discounts to grads.

When you’re buying your car be mindful of car insurance premiums. Generally, less expensive cars are cheaper to insure. Many car insurance companies also offer discounts if you’re a good driver or have a high GPA.

Finally, shop online for deals before settling. It’s a good way to save money and compare prices.

For more information on buying a car, check out I’m Theresa Heintz.