After 10 years of marriage, I’m still enjoying living in the first home I moved into with my husband. Buying a first home can be one of the most exciting events in a person’s life. Before making this important expenditure, people need to first sit down and determine how they will successfully finance it. After all, a home will likely be the most expensive purchase you make in your life. Talk to a loan officer and determine how much money you can reasonably borrow. Then, decide how much money you want to use as a down payment. You also must decide how many years you will finance your home for. On this blog, you will learn about the process of buying a first home with a loan.
As a student, you know that college years can be tough on your wallet. But being on a tight budget doesn't mean that many of the needs of modern life just disappear. One of the hardest things for many students to get to meet those needs is a car.
To help you find the best and cheapest loan to buy that needed car, here are five steps to take before you go car shopping.
1. Check Your Credit. You may or may not have an established credit history and score yet. But it's the best first step because you may need time to correct the matter. You can check your credit report for free once each year through annualcreditreport.com. If you have bad marks on your history, try to wait until they age off of the report or report them if they are incorrect. If you have no history at all, you can often start one with a prepaid credit card or a small credit card through a local bank.
2. Find a Co-Signer. If you have little credit history or negative marks, you may need a co-signer who is willing to guaranty that the lender will get their payments. The co-signer will be equally responsible for the loan, so this is a big favor someone is doing for you. Many students can find a co-signer among parents, grandparents, older siblings, or longtime family friends.
3. Save a Down Payment. The larger your down payment, the less your payments will be, the shorter you will have a loan, and the better your interest rate will be. Saving at least 5% to 10% of the cost of the car shows lenders that you're a responsible person. And it gives you more room to maneuver when shopping for a loan with the best rates.
4. Get Stable Income. Before you shop for a car loan, try to establish a regular source of income. This can be tricky for students, of course. If you don't have a regular income source that covers all the bills, at least find one that covers the car payment each month to reduce your stress after you sign the contract.
5. Shop Around. A car loan is just like other products in that it's a good idea to shop around at least a little. You'll find different rates, different terms, different lengths, and different requirements. The best bets for students with little history can often be their — or their parents' — bank or credit union. Take the time to do the legwork in order to find a good rate and terms you can work with. It will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
These preliminary steps may not be a lot of fun, but they will help you be able to afford a car that gets you to class on time and allows for a little fun on the side. For more information on car loans, contact your local lender.