As the car showrooms fill up with the latest must have models the dealers may well entice you in with their offers of zero percent finance. Approach these offers with a level head as they only actually apply to a very small percentage of buyers with the most excellent credit scores and an income to match the repayments. Even if you do qualify for zero percent there are certain considerations to investigate before you are tempted to drive away in the car of your dreams.
In order to avoid the disappointment of false hope check your credit score before applying for zero percent finance. Only those with the highest FICO scores will qualify but there is nothing to prevent you from contacting a dealer in advance and asking what their cut off score is. If it is a figure beneath your credit score and you know it in advance, it may well help to improve your negotiating power.
The savvy customer should not be distracted by the attraction of zero percent finance to the exclusion of negotiating still further, and losing out on other discounts. The offer of zero percent finance will still allow room for maneuver for those prepared to negotiate.
It is important to check exactly how long the zero percent APR applies to the loan: some loans carry the offer for the full length of the loan, whilst others offer it for an introductory period only. It is more than likely that a large down payment will also be required in order to secure a loan with zero percent finance, so check in advance how much the dealer requires.
Find out how long the offer is in place for and arm yourself with available offers from rival dealers so you will have a stronger negotiating hand. This is important as the car may be priced higher as it offers free finance, and you should still try to negotiate a lower price for the vehicle even if the auto loan is at zero percent.
Keep in mind that most manufactures are willing to offer a rebate to buyers but this is rarely offered in conjunction with zero percent finance. If you took the rebate and used it to increase the down payment then the overall cost may well work out less with a low percentage finance deal rather than with a zero percent deal.
Auto loans with zero percent finance are typically short term of around 36 monthly payments which may make the monthly payments high, but are worth it if you can comfortably afford them. The car will be paid off more quickly and you won’t tire of paying for a vehicle you may have grown out of.
If you are interested in purchasing a brand new car and have the credit profile to qualify then remember to still negotiate for the best possible price, and be prepared to forgo the zero percent offer if the rebate makes more fiscal sense. If you do qualify you are a rare customer, so make it work in your favor and leave the dealership in no doubt you are quite willing to take your custom to a rival if they aren’t prepared to negotiate to your advantage.