Make sure you obtain a copy of your credit report before you go car shopping, so you will be aware of any black marks on it and you can take steps to fix them before you finance a car.
Another good reason to take your credit report with you, when you go car shopping, is because every time someone other than you accesses your credit report it brings down your score. By bringing it with you, you can negotiate a deal and then take it or leave it with your credit most likely only being run once.
What many people do not realize is that auto loan rates vary by state and sometimes by region or city, so shop around especially if you live in an area that is close to another state. Car loan rates can vary widely by state. You can check the auto loan calculators that you can find online to see how much a single percentage point will cost you overall and how important 1 or 2 interest points can be.
Those commercials you often see on TV that promise 0% or 2% financing usually come with certain requirements that are hidden in the fine print. The truth is only a few people ever actually qualify for these rates.
Be aware that commercials and ads that promise to get you into the car of your dreams, if you have poor credit, are going to end up costing you much more in finance charges. If you absolutely have to go this route, you may want to get a used car instead of the one of your dreams. By paying this loan in a timely manner, you may be able to get a better rate next time and you will have probably improved your credit.
If you belong to a credit union, you may be able to get a better rate there than a bank and certainly better than what the dealership will offer. If you shop for your auto loan rate before you shop for your next car, you will know what you can afford so you can steer clear of the cars that would put you in the poorhouse. After all, your dream car will not be much of a dream if it causes you to have nightmares.