When you have a preapproved car loan you’re transformed into a “cash buyer” at the car dealer. Getting preapproved puts you in a much stronger negotiating position so you get a better deal!

Get a Better Interest Rate

Dealer financing is convenient, but it isn’t always the best. If you haven’t shopped around, a finance manager might try to take advantage of that. Banks and credit unions pay finance managers to steer customers their way. This means your salesman might be connecting you with the bank that makes them the most money, and not the one with the best rate. Car salesman are only interested in getting you into the car, not getting you best loan rate.

By getting preapproved, you’ll know your interest rate ahead of time.

Know if You’re Getting a Good Deal

Speaking of interest rates, 0% may sound enticing, but it isn’t always the best deal. Many times the dealership will not allow you to take any rebates or incentives on the price of the vehicle because you’re taking preferred financing. Always ask what the final price of the vehicle is AND the interest rate. Monthly payments will be the least of your worries if you end up paying thousands more in the end. Take a look at the comparison chart below to see how the price of the vehicle is actually more important than the interest rate.

0 percent auto loan deal

Set a Realistic Budget

Once you have a preapproved car loan you can set a realistic budget for your purchase. Use an auto loan calculator to add in other loan factors, such as a down payment or trade-in amount, and add about 10% for sales tax and other fees.

Simplify Your Experience at the Dealer

Another good thing about having a preapproved car loan is that the dealer will see you as a cash buyer – someone who has the money in hand and can walk away from the deal at any time. That puts the negotiating power back in your hands.

Without preapproval, here’s how the car price negotiation game might go:

Car salesman: “So, what monthly payment are you looking for?”
Watch out. If you name an amount, they’ll negotiate on that number instead of the one you really want to talk about, which is the price of the car.

You: “I’m a cash buyer. Let’s just talk about the price of the car.”

Negotiate More Effectively

As you’re negotiating and closing the deal, you can use your preapproval as an easy way to decline add-ons and extended warranty offers that you don’t want. Just say, “I’m preapproved for this amount and I’m not going over it.”

Get Preapproved and Lock in Your Rate for 90 Days

If you’re not ready to buy yet, you can still get preapproved at Money Federal Credit Union. We will even lock in your rate for 90 days while you shop. Take your time, find that perfect vehicle, and negotiate a great price without having to worry about financing – it’s already done!