Car Loan Process

Car shoppers spend much of their time on find the best new or used car and getting the best deal. The most often overlooked part of the car buying process is an auto financing. The cost of your car over time is as much about the auto loan as it is about the car price. Finding the best auto financing to suit your needs and budget is a critical step and will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

The first step is to determine your credit score, never apply for a car loan without knowing you score. Your credit score is the major factor in determining your interest rate you will pay a loan. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate and auto loan payment. Conversely, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate and auto loan payment. Prior to applying for your auto loan, evaluate your credit and find ways to increase your score to lower your rate. A quick fix is to pay down your credit cars debt which will help increase your credit score.

Next set your budget which is the amount your can afford on a monthly basis. How much of your income do you plan to use cover your car expenses. Item not to be overlooked are auto insurance, auto maintenance and fuel. Your budget will ultimately set your car buying threshold or vehicle price.

Research auto loan rates to determine by your credit score the average interest rate you will pay. Most lenders have interest rate tiers to determine the rate given. The credit score is one of the largest factors with a score above 720 considered to be good, below 720 to 620 considered to be fair and below 620 to be poor credit. Increasing your score if your can move up a level is a smart move to decrease your vehicle costs. Search auto loan rates on the internet to be informed on current rates and what you can expect when applying. Good car shopping means finding the best auto loan at the best rate.


Car Buying: What to bring to the car dealership

f you are ready to purchase a used vehicle here’s a list of things to bring with you to the an auto dealership.

Pen and paper – You’ll need to write down some basic information for research before you buy the car. Write down the VIN#, year, make, model and mileage.

Calculator – Divide the number of miles by the age of the vehicle. Keep in mind even though it may be a 2006 it could have been sold in the fall of 2005. Check the inside of the driver’s side door panel for the manufacturer date. If it is more than 15,000 miles per year you may want to be a little cautious.

CD – It is always a good idea to check the cd player (if equipped) to make certain it is in good working order.
A preapproval loan – It is a good idea to get an auto loan quote at or prior to going to the dealership if you are planning on financing the vehicle. If you go through the banks the dealership uses there may be hidden fees or even a higher interest rate.

Paystubs, W-2, and a recent bill – If you need specialty financing this documentation may be needed for income and address verification. If you do not receive any bills in your name at your residence, you can call an insurance agent and have them mail you an estimate. This will usually suffice for address verification.

Hand towel or small cloth – You will want to check the oil and transmission fluids. If the oil has a milky look, this can be a sign of major engine problems. Smell the transmission fluid, if it smells burnt, it may have a bad transmission.

Laptop – If you have a laptop, bring it along and do a VIN check on the vehicle. The VIN# can be found at the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side, or on the inside panel of the driver’s door. You can find out if the car has ever had flood damage and also if it has been in any accidents. You can also look up the book value.

List of used cars and price you are willing to pay – Do some research on the cars you like. Write down their book values and options. Also look at your local market and check the average asking price for the different cars in which you are interested. Keep in mind, this is only their asking price. They will usually sell the car for less than they are asking.

A penny – This coin can be used to check the treadwear of the tires. Turn the coin sideways with the top of Lincoln’s head downward. Place the coin between the treadlines of the vehicle. The tread should at least reach the top of Lincoln’s head.

Driver’s License – You won’t be able to test drive without it. In some states you may also be required to have proof of insurance.

Downpayment – If you are serious and want to get the best deal have your downpayment with you. It is hard for a salesperson to pass on an offer when he sees the downpayment in your hand.

Coolant Tester – This tool can be picked up very inexpensively at any auto parts store. Since you’ll want to check the level of the fluid anyway, you might as well test it too. No need to remove the radiator cap. Just open the overflow and test the fluid there. Simple instructions are on the package.

Name and location of a local garage – You should have enough time on your test drive to take the vehicle to a local repair shop. Have them do a vehicle inspection, they usually advertise a 29 point check or something to that extent. There will be a minimal fee, usually $25 – $75, or maybe even free if it is your regular mechanic.

And last but not least, a mechanic or someone with mechanical knowledge – Don’t be afraid to ask a friend who is very biased to go with you, they will be flattered. You will need someone who is willing to look underneath the vehicle for any leaking fluids. Be sure to have them look before and after the test drive. This person can also check the fluids for you. It is a good idea for both of you to test drive the vehicle too.

AIM Unveils DealerLocal, “Local” SEO Tool

Millions of people each month are utilizing hundreds of sites to shop for vehicles, find dealerships and rate their experience in both sales and service. The challenge for almost every dealer is to make sure they can be found in these sites and ensure they are aware of all consumer ratings – both good and bad.

DealerLocal is an online solution that provides dealers with information and ratings about their dealership across more that 1200 popular search engines, online directories and local search sites.

“We saw an opportunity to help dealers get their arms around this critical aspect of managing their online information and reputation,” said Mike McDonnell, CEO and Co-Founder of AIM. “I learned how much time and effort it takes us to do all this work for and realized that most dealers aren’t going to take the time and effort to do if for their site. It’s very important because many consumers are using these sites to find your store and learn about other’s experiences. And as importantly, it can help your site’s SEO ranking.”

Customers are not only searching on popular search engines, but also multiple online directories such as,, and many more. Countless dealerships are not listed in these directories or they have inaccurate information and some even have negative reviews that the dealership doesn’t even know about.

“Our program does most all of the work for the dealership. We look online at various search engines and directories to see if the dealership is listed, and the depth and detail of their information. If anything is missing or the information is wrong we correct it,” said Tony French, President and Co-Founder of AIM. He continued, “It’s not as easy as submitting information and then you’re done. Most all of these sites have their own process and usually takes weeks if not months to get a dealership listed or information changed.”

DealerLocal continues to submit, manage and monitor a dealer’s information on these sites until everything is up-to-date. The program also produces a monthly report with details on the dealership’s online reputation and notifies them of the number of ratings and their average score per site.

“It’s very important for dealerships to be found online, but once the consumer finds the dealership it’s equally important to have a good reputation,” said Tony. “We make it very easy for dealer to be listed everywhere online and to know what their customers are saying about them.”

About Automotive Internet Media
Automotive Internet Media, Inc. (AIM) headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a premier integrated media and lead distribution company that manages Auto Classifieds . AIM encompasses an integrated network of highly specialized Used Cars Online websites that leverages search engine optimization to drive online traffic and connects digital advertising with our clients’ brand objectives.

With a solid foundation for growth, AIM is simultaneously building its current brands while continuing to grow through launching and managing other properties and programs.

Auto Financing Tips

Purchasing and paying for a new car doesn’t have to be intimidating. Beyond the acquisition of a new home, bringing a new vehicle into your life is the largest purchase most people will ever make. So it makes sense to do your homework before you approach the car dealership, develop a plan of action, and then keep your wits about you as you negotiate.

Know Your Credit History
If you haven’t done this in the past year, log on to the home page and click on “get credit score” and get a credit report. Make sure the information is correct and file a dispute if it isn’t. Clear up any collection items that may be listed and pay down some of those credit card debts. The best interest rates go to those with the best credit history. It may take time to clear up some of those issues on your credit report, but it is well worth your while in the interest shopping department.

Save Up for A Down Payment
Oftentimes, the best interest rates are not only reserved for those with good credit scores, but also for those with a down payment on a vehicle. Aim to pay at least 20% of the value of the new car up front, either with a trade-in or cash. Not only will you get a better interest rate, but you will have a better chance of avoiding being upside-down on your loan. That is, owing more than your car is worth!

Shop Around
The dealer does not always have the best interest rates available. Before you go car shopping, click on “auto loan quote” to inquire about pre-approval and determine what interest rates they can offer you. Have a good idea of what you want to purchase, what the value of your trade-in is, and what your total loan amount will be. This research can be done with the help by shopping around on You can then get a good idea of what they can offer you in terms of loan rate and term.

Negotiate a Good Deal
Approach the dealership with your research and negotiate for a fair price on the vehicle that you desire. If they attempt to offer you low interest financing, it may or may not be a good offer. Do the math! How much interest will you pay if they give you $3,000 cash back versus paying 0% interest on the full price car. If you pay less interest than $3,000 take the higher interest financing and the cash back. If they can’t offer you a good financing deal, then turn back to your pre-approved bank loan. Never negotiate a car deal based on monthly payment amounts. Yes, you need to know what you can afford each month, but you will get burned if you agree to pay $250 a month over 6 years versus $300 a month over 5 years. Know how much interest you are paying over the life of the loan and aim to keep that to a minimum, not your monthly payment!

Pay Your Bills
After you’ve secured your auto financing, remember to make that monthly payment and keep your credit history solid for your next major purchase.