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First Time Auto Buyer

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First Time Auto Buyer


Buying a vehicle for the first time is one of the most liberating feelings. With being a first-time buyer, though, there are many things you need to watch out for to make sure you don't become a scam victim. Below are some tips on things to check before buying a car.

  • Take it to a Mechanic – If you have a family friend who works on cars, take it to them before buying. If you're a first-time buyer and not very familiar with the internal car parts, there could be things wrong that aren't obvious. Take the car to someone you trust and have them thoroughly check it over to reduce surprise repairs.
  • Know what you need from a car – It's important to know what features are important or unimportant to you. You may not be able to afford a top-of-the-line vehicle with every bell and whistle imaginable, but find important ones (remote start, heated seats, sunroof, etc.) and go from there. Think about how far you drive to work. Will you put a lot of miles on your car, or can you purchase a car with a little higher mileage? You can search for vehicles online or at a lot with those specific features to find the right car for you.
  • Go to a reputable dealership – Not all dealerships are the same. Go to a dealership that has been around for a while and has a good reputation. You need to trust that the dealers are seasoned and trustworthy to spend your hard-earned money on their vehicles.

While it can't be guaranteed, the three steps above will increase your chances that buying your first vehicle won't be a lemon and will suit your needs. Many people need to finance their car purchases. Below are a few things to ensure your car payment stays within your budget.

  • Interest rate – Investopedia defines interest as the monetary charge for the privilege of borrowing money, typically expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). Be sure as you're financing your car to see what interest rate you can qualify for, as that can make a difference in your payment amount.
  • Finance ahead of time – Many people don't know that you can do your financing ahead of time at the financial institution of your choice. When you finance at a dealer, they can run multiple credit pulls on your report as they send the application to many places to see who can approve you at the best rate. Stopping by your financial institution to get a pre-approval can help determine how much you can spend.
  • Protection Products – If anything should go wrong with your car, you won't have to worry as much about repairs and costs if you're protected. American 1 Credit Union offers many protection products on most vehicles, including Injury & Illness, Life, and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP). Stop in and talk to a member service specialist for more information.

By taking the precautions listed above, you can increase the chance of having a reliable car for your first. Click here to learn more about American 1 Credit Unions' protection products.

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