Things to consider before taking out a loan for a car
In order to make a car loan work for you as well as for the financial institution, you need to have a game plan before you apply. Here are some important things to think about before jumping into debt:
How much you can afford to make in repayments?
You probably know how much you can afford to borrow – but are you sure that you will be able to afford the repayments? The only way to truly know is to have a comprehensive written budget and to ensure that the car loan repayment can be easily absorbed. Don’t forget to take into account any future increase in costs or unpaid leave you might take down the track.
If you’ve used our car loan repayment calculator above, you should have already determined how high you can afford to go.
How long do you want the loan for?
To a certain extent your loan term will be dictated by your repayment ability, but you should choose the shortest loan term that you can comfortably afford. The longer your loan term, the more
expensive the lifetime cost of your loan will be.
The table below outlines the difference in overall cost of a $10,000 loan at an interest rate of 12%, with a comparative loan term of five, seven and 10 years:
|Loan amount||Loan term||Interest rate||Monthly repayment||Lifetime cost|
Find out how much insurance will cost
You can’t insure the car before you buy it, of course, but you can have pre-selected the best value policy possible and organise cover online or over the phone before you jump behind the wheel. While it’s always important to insure your vehicle, it’s even more so if you have borrowed money to buy it. Otherwise in a worst-case scenario you could end up with a written-off car and a large consumer debt. Check our car insurance star ratings, where we have compared over 28,000 quotes, to find an outstanding-value policy that suits your needs.
Check your credit rating
Were you aware that you have a credit rating? Your credit rating is something that your financial institution will look at if you apply for a car loan, in order to assess whether or not you are a good financial risk. If your credit rating score is too low, you may find that the lender declines your loan application. To help prevent this from happening, you should obtain a copy of your credit file and check to ensure there are no nasty surprises. You can order a free copy of your credit rating from either Dun and Bradstreet or from Veda.
Have your paperwork ready to go
In addition to having a good credit rating, your financial institution may also want you to provide proof of income (via a payslip or tax return), copies of current bank statements and personal identification (such as a passport and drivers licence). Having your paperwork ready to go will make the loan application process easier.