How to Find 0% Finance Deals

January 27, 2012

Finding 0% car finance deals can be helpful when you are looking to save money on your next auto loan. Lenders supported by auto manufacturers support no-interest loans on new and certified pre-owned vehicles. As zero percent loans are only available on select new and pre-owned vehicles, you must visit a dealership to qualify for these programs. In addition to visiting a dealership, you must also qualify for credit approval from the captive lender. Captive lenders, those that lend to new and used car customers of a particular brand, have higher credit requirements than independent banks and credit unions. This guide helps you find 0% finance deals on new and used vehicles in your area.

Step 1: Visit Manufacturer Websites

Before visiting or contacting dealerships, check manufacturer websites to see what special offers are being advertised. The only downside to visiting the manufacturer's website is that some of the fine print surrounding each offer may be overlooked. While new car 0% offers are routinely advertised on TV and in newspapers, 0% finance deals on used cars are not always advertised, so you can find information on certified pre-owned 0% offers by visiting manufacturer websites.

Step 2: Contact Dealerships

You can contact dealerships by visiting their websites or by using a service like CarsDirect. When you contact dealerships, you will be put in touch with Internet sales managers who can let you know about any current 0% financing offers. These sales staff members can also let you know about the terms available with these special rates; for example, many 0% finance deals are only for short term loans of 36 months or less, while other loans may offer extended-term financing for up to 72 months.

Step 3: Research Your Credit History

Before agreeing to a 0% finance deal, research your credit history. Use a website like myFICO to research your credit score and your credit report. Finance companies have very high requirements for 0% financing offers, so be sure to correct any inaccuracies on your credit report before visiting a dealership.

Step 4: Visit the Dealership

Once you have a contact person at your dealerships of interest and have confirmed that you're eligible for the 0% auto finance offers, it's time to visit the dealership. Even though you're getting a zero percent financing deal, you should still negotiate to get the best price possible on your new car. Once you find the right car and negotiate a price, you must give your credit information to the finance manager. The finance manager will submit your credit information to the lender, who will accept or decline your credit application. As long as your credit score is more than 700, you should expect an approval for your new or certified pre-owned car.

Step 5: Complete the Paperwork

Once you find a 0% finance deal on your ideal car and have an approval from the lender, you will visit the finance office and complete all your title and finance paperwork. When you work with the finance manager, be sure to avoid costly add-ons like rustproofing and extended warranties, which you can purchase for less from private insurance companies.

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