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There are a lot of factors that go into your car loan payment, and it’s important to recognize whether you can actually pay for the car loan. The lender will look at things like your credit history, your credit score, your ability to make payments on-time, and even your debt to income ratio. The lender performs this check for two reasons. The first is to make sure that you are not overextending yourself financially. And the second is to make sure they can get their money back based on your ability to make your payments. Here are some of the initial factors you should consider when deciding whether you can afford a car loan.

Factors to Help You Decide if You can Afford a Car Loan

There are many factors that you will have to think through to determine whether you can afford to take out a loan for a new car.

  • You will need to determine your ability to pay back the loan. If you know that you may be switching jobs or making a move in the near future, then you may want to hold off taking out a new loan until you know what your new budget will be after things have calmed down.
  • You will also want to know your credit score. Your credit score is what determines what kind of interest rate you will be offered. If you are looking to buy a car six months in the future, then take the time to pay down some debt and even make payments on-time. This will help raise your score and keep your interest rate low.
  • Determine how many years you want to have the loan for. This is where knowing what you can afford comes in handy. If you know that you can only afford a few hundred dollars a month, then a long-term car loan may be right for you. The payments are usually lower than a shorter loan. To help you know how much can afford calculate your payments to help figure  how much you could potentially be paying.
  • Read the fine print. Every loan has some kind of fine print that can impact you down the road. For instance, if you decide that you want to pay off your loan quicker, then make sure that the lender does not charge an early payoff fee. The more fees you have to pay for a loan end up costing more for the car in the future.

If you are looking to buy and car and are wondering if you can afford the loan or not, then these things can help you decide. There are a lot of lenders and a lot of different loans that you can choose from. Take the time before you buy to figure out what payment you can afford, work on your credit score to get a lower rate, and determine how long you intend on keeping the car loan. Usually a person will keep the loan for as long as they have the car.

Andy McGowan
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