Private party auto loans are one option for auto purchase financing. Private party loans often require thorough documentation, but may be a more available and reasonable option for individuals with less-than-perfect credit history.
CarsDirect helps more credit-challenged customers find car loans than any other website in the country. The company works with a network of dealers who specialize in car loan financing. The dealer has access to a number of financial institutions and will shop around to find you the best deal. Just fill out a simple application and you will be on your way to receiving a car loan.
What Is a Private Party Car Loan?
A private party auto loan is a used car loan that allows you to finance a vehicle through a private party or individual in place of a dealership. There are many advantages to opting for a private party loan, and depending on your circumstances it could save you a lot of money.
Private Party Auto Loan Advantages
Going with a private party car loan opens up several options to you as a consumer. There are a number of banks, credit unions and financial institutions with varying car loan rates all competing to service you. The Internet is a great resource to compare rates from different companies, and there are online brokers that will connect you directly with an auto loan lender to give you a quote within minutes.
If you have bad credit then a private party loan is probably your best bet. Because you can pick which loans to apply for, you can choose only loans that are accepting of people with a bad credit rating. It's important to realize that getting turned down on a loan can actually lower your credit score. You will also be able to find private party loans that do not require a down-payment, however if possible it's recommended to pay at least a little up front to lower your monthly bill. Private party loans typically have shorter payback periods resulting in higher interest rates. However, don't be put off by this because you can actually end up paying more on a loan with a longer payback period even if it has a lower interest rate. Also, with a shorter payback period It is more likely that your car will still be worth something when you are done paying off your loan.
Private party auto loans can also give you an advantage when negotiating with the person selling the car. Used car salesmen working at dealerships are trying to sell several cars to multiple people on a daily basis. This means that their knowledge of a car in question can only run so deep. With a private party loan you are typically dealing with the previous owner of the car so you should be able to get better information about the vehicle's history and any problems you should be aware of before you buy it. Another advantage in the negotiation process with private party loans is that you have to be approved before you make an offer for a car, and therefore you already know your spending limit. This allows you to take a hard stand with people when negotiating the price you can afford to pay, whereas a dealer may try to persuade you to borrow more through their financial services.
Private Party Auto Loan Disadvantages
There are several disadvantages to this kind of car purchase loan.
One of the disadvantages of private party loans is the length of the loan term. For auto purchase loans, the loan term length can be as long as six years. However, private party loans often are for a substantially shorter length of time. Usually, the a private party loan is offered for a maximum of four years or 48 months and very often private party loans are only offered for 36 months. For a borrower who is looking for a much longer period to finance the purchase of their car - and lower their monthly payments as a result - a private party loan can have serious disadvantages.
The ultimate result of a shorter loan term is that you are paying the same principal for the purchase of the car, but you are paying a higher amount of interest. This results in higher monthly payments, overall when compared to auto loans that are financed through a dealership finance company.
Another disadvantage of private party loans are the standard interest rates charged for these kinds of auto purchases. Typically, car loans obtained from the dealership may have largely reduced interest rates and may even be offered at zero interest if certain restrictions and requirements are met at the time of purchase. However, it is also possible to comparison shop for favorable interest rates if a borrower is able to dedicate enough time to this task.
One of the features that many dealerships have been advertising of late are dealer incentives that provide for purchase security should a borrower lose their job or income. However, in order to take advantage of these incentives, a borrower must make their purchase finance arrangements through the dealer financing company. By using private party loans, borrowers eliminate their ability to take advantage of these incentives, which could be significant if they find themselves without a job and unable to meet their financial obligations as a result.
The entire process of purchasing a car usually involves a great degree of negotiation, including not just the purchase price, but also the interest rate and the monthly payments. In most cases private party loans require pre-approval before the actual purchase of a car. This greatly reduces the ability of a borrower to negotiate since they are already locked into their loan obligation when they walk into the dealership.
This can also be somewhat of a disadvantage even if purchasing a car from a private party, since pre-approval is usually needed before even approaching a seller. Here again, borrowers may find themselves locked into a loan that is larger than their actual needs and regret it every time they make their monthly payment.
While private party auto loans can be an attractive option in dealing with a finance department of a dealership, they offer specific and significant disadvantages when it comes to the length of the loan, interest rates and ability to negotiate those rates and monthly payments.
How to Research Private Party Auto Loans
If you are car shopping and looking to purchase a used car from someone other than a car dealer, you will probably need to research some private party car loans. Use the following steps when conducting your research.
- Find lenders. Since the only difference between a private party auto loan and a traditional car loan is the fact that no dealer is involved, regular lenders will likely be able to supply you with a loan. The only lenders which are now out of the picture are captive finance companies, meaning that banks are still viable loan sources. Other options when looking for a private party loan are local credit unions. You may find them online or in a phonebook.
- Submit loan applications. The lenders you find will be able to guide you through the loan approval process. You should be 18 years of age or older; have proof of income of at least $1,800 a month; have proof of residence; not be bankrupt; and have a social security number. More may be required by certain lenders and they will tell you if this is so.
- Compare approvals. After submitting applications and getting approvals, you may compare them to find the best deals. Details to compare are loan rates, additional fees and any special options which you feel will be beneficial.
- See what kind of interest rates you can get >>
Researching private party auto loans can help you purchase a used car and save money on the loan for the best deal possible.