Will you be watching the Super Bowl this year? Aside from the cheering and half-time show, you’ll also likely see a ton of car commercials if you tune in to watch the big game.
Car commercials can be flashy and exciting, and may get you dreaming about getting into a new car. But with car commercials it’s super important to read between the lines; if an ad seems too good to be true… it is. Here are some things to look for:
Going to a dealership and leaving with a car without paying any money sounds pretty sweet! Unfortunately, this is the epitome of “too good to be true.” If you can make out any of the fine print, you’ll see the words “qualified buyers with approved credit.” And the fine print doesn’t disclose what qualifies as good credit. Offers like this are usually only available to buyers with the highest credit scores.
But, hey, maybe you’ve got awesome credit! If you did qualify for a deal like this, remember that “no money down” means that you’ll ultimately pay MORE in interest over the life of the loan. For example, if the car you’re buying costs $20,000, and you put $5,000 down and get $2,500 on your trade-in, you’d be financing $12,500. If you don’t put any money down with the same purchase price and trade-in value– you’d be financing $17,500!
Everyone loves cash back, right? Not when that cash has been built back into the cost of the car. The sticker price has already been adjusted – so that car over there that you’ve had your eye on cost $17,500 before the ad. Now it costs $22,500. When you subtract that $5,000 they’re paying for your trade-in, you’re paying the original sticker price.
This is just a way of saying you’re going to be paying a higher interest rate and the term will be longer. If you do take this offer, ask if there are any fees for repaying the loan early. If there aren’t, pay that loan off as quickly as reasonably possible.
Before you accept a high interest rate, long-term loan, check with a financial institution like MVCU. We have a long history of helping people get loans that work for them as they rebuild their credit.
You don’t have to play games with the car dealerships. Skip the haggling hassle altogether by simply using our Auto Advisor service. Our Auto Advisor experts bring years of car buying and selling experience to the table– but they’re on YOUR side! They can help you locate, negotiate, and finance your next car… for free. Learn more about Auto Advisor here!