What Are First Time Buyer Auto Loan Programs?
Whether you are buying your first new or used car or are planning to apply for online auto loans for the first time, understanding how automobile dealerships and lenders see you, and what you can do to improve that image, can help you to be prepared in advance of applying for online auto loans for the first time, so that you will be in a better position to get approved for an car loan with a lower interest rate and better terms. After all, you want your monthly auto loan payment to be the lowest it can possibly be, right?
Who might apply for first time buyer car loans? Some people that first time auto loan programs can help could be:
* Teenagers, personally buying their first car in their own name will need to apply for first time buyer auto loans as they have no credit history behind them
* College students living away from home for the first time frequently have not had time to build a credit history before leaving for school and so will often need to apply for first time buyer car loan programs
* People that have always paid cash for a vehicles in the past, but now want to upgrade to a newer one or are forced to take out automobile loan because they do not have the cash funds to buy a vehicle at present
* Immigrants that have moved here from other countries, and thus have left their credit histories behind, may need to apply for first time auto loan programs in order to start building a credit history
Not All First Time Auto Loan Borrowers are in the Same Boat
The first thing to realize is that not all first time borrowers are in the same boat. There can be a lot of differing factors that can either work in your favor, or against you when you are applying for online auto financing. For instance:
* Are you employed full or part time? If you are not employed, do you have an income? Not being employed is not necessarily a game stopper, but if you plan to have your name on the title of the car and on the auto finance, you will need to demonstrate that you have either a job, regular income, or other funds that you will be paying your monthly auto loan payment from. Of course, the higher that your income is, the easier it will be to qualify for lower interest rate first time buyer auto loan programs.
* Do you have no credit history, because you are just starting out your financial life, or do you have a bad credit history/low credit score because you have had a few credit slip-ups in the past? Dealerships will certainly work with you in either case. However, if you have a low credit score, depending on how bad your credit history is, the dealership may be inclined to offer you a higher rate of interest and a lower credit limit on first time buyer auto loans as opposed to someone that has not made any credit mistakes in their financial life yet.
Note, see our recent article entitled "How to Get Approved for an Auto Loan with Bad Credit if you have Low Income" to learn how to get unwanted items removed from your credit report to bring up your credit score.
* Will you have any funds available to make a down payment on your auto loan? Whether you are applying for first time buyer auto loans, or if you have had auto loans in the past and just need another one now, what every auto dealership or lender is going to take into consideration when assessing your application and the items on this list is; how much of a risk are they taking in making an auto loan to you and what if anything can they get you to do to mitigate that risk. Making a down payment is one thing that you can do to mitigate the dealership's risk, making them more likely to quickly approve your automobile loan and to give you a more reasonable interest rate. In addition, a down payment will obviously bring down what you owe on the vehicle and so your monthly payments will be lower and more affordable. Down payments are usually not required to get online auto loans, but they can be very helpful when negotiating with a dealership. Even a small down payment can make a difference in how the dealership sees you.
* Is there someone that you know that would be willing to cosign for you on your auto loan? Cosigners are not required in order to get online auto loans, even if you have bad credit or no credit history at all. However, the use of a cosigner can save you a lot of money and make the application process go much more quickly and smoothly. A cosigner is someone that puts their name on your loan application along with yours, guaranteeing that the loan will be repaid. The limit and maximum amount of your automotive loan will be determined by the cosigner's income and credit standing, not yours. So, if you choose to have a cosigner, make sure to pick one that has a high credit score. With a cosigner, there is really no need to look for first time buyer auto loans because you will be treated by the dealership as though the higher credit score and income were yours.
* What is the ratio of your monthly housing payment as compared to your income? A little known fact is that auto dealerships and lenders pay attention to this number. For instance, if you make $1,000 per month income, and your monthly housing cost is $300, then your housing cost takes 30% of your income. Anything over 40% will send up a red flag to the dealership/lender and they may need convincing that you can make your monthly payments on time. Take this into consideration when you complete your auto finance application.
Taking the above items into consideration, you should be able to get a clearer picture of how automotive dealerships and automotive loan lenders see you, and what you can do to control that image, at least to some extent. Once you have submitted your application, the die has been cast and you will see what the dealership offers you at that point.
It is important to be smart when applying for first time buyer auto loan programs and to take any advantage available to you, regardless if you are applying for auto loans online or in the dealership itself. Be prepared. After all, how high or low that your car payments will be every month for probably several years will depend on it.