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A car is a very significant purchase for most people, and one that is best made when your credit score is solid. Yet, when most people set out to purchase a vehicle, they tend to focus on the more trivial questions first: color, new versus used, special features. Then reality sets in and the more serious, financially based considerations come into play:
All of these questions are important. It’s worthwhile to take a good look at your finances to be sure it’s the right time to purchase a car. But it’s equally important to look beyond your budget and consider your credit. Having a good credit score can really expand your opportunities when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. The two biggest components of your credit score are your payment history and how much you owe.
There are a couple of reasons to be knowledgeable about your credit situation and your credit score before you decide to take out a car loan:
Visit any UFCU location for a free credit review. We’ll help you understand your credit score, answer any questions, and help you find your unique path to financial well-being.
When you think you’re ready to buy, follow these steps to leverage your credit and get the best deal on your new car:
Before you buy a car, take the time to look at your finances carefully to see what you can afford. A car is a huge purchase and one that is best made when your credit score is better than average. Do your future self a favor and make sure you can make the payments easily so you can live without stress for years to come.
*There are three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Your credit history and credit score may vary from agency to agency as not all lenders report their credit histories to all three agencies. It is important that you check all three agencies periodically to be sure that you get a complete picture of credit. UFCU has partnered with myfico.com. Through myfico.com, you can get a copy of your credit report, including your credit score online (visit their website for pricing information). Their site is maintained by Fair Isaacs and Co., the developer of the credit scoring system. Visit their site for more details.
Research the value of your vehicle.
How much will you owe?
Buying with plastic can cost you little or plenty - depending on how you use it. Knowing the true price of credit before you charge can save countless dollars and hours of anxiety.
How much car can you afford?