3 Tips to Getting a Used Car with a Low Monthly Payment

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Even with poor credit.

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - November 30, 2018

When buying a car, people often make the mistake of focusing too much on one aspect of the sale, rather than the big picture. This can be hard to avoid, especially if you know you need something specific, like a low monthly payment. But, there are ways you can keep your monthly payment affordable without sacrificing your budget.

The Big Picture in Used Car Buying

When it comes to buying a used vehicle, especially with poor credit, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. If you focus too much on one aspect – like getting a low monthly payment – you may end up stretching your budget and the loan term.

Auto loan terms are now being stretched to 72, 84, and even 96 months, but this isn't generally a good idea. Seven, eight, or nine years is a long time to be paying on a car loan, especially if that vehicle is used and doesn't have a lot of equity.

On the other hand, if you take out a loan for too short a term, your payments may become unmanageable, and lead to the loss of the car through repossession. That's why it's best to find the right balance that allows you to comfortably make payments on your used vehicle while keeping the interest charges and the time you’re upside down to a minimum.

3 Tips for Lower Monthly Car Payments

You can keep your used car monthly payments low without stretching the loan term too far by following these simple tips:

  1. Make a Larger Down Payment – The more money you put down on a loan, the less you have to borrow. When you're financing a smaller amount, you reduce the monthly payment and save money on interest charges over the term of your loan.
  2. Purchase a Reasonably Priced Car – Sure, you may want that used Ford Mustang that's priced around $25,000, but choosing a more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle is a better idea, especially if you're struggling with credit issues. That affordable, reliable car comes with a lower monthly payment that’s easier to manage.
  3. Improve Your Credit – Interest rates have a big impact on your monthly payment, so if your interest rate is high, your monthly payment is going to be higher, too. A good way to ensure you get the best rate possible is to know your credit going into the car buying process. You can also take simple steps to improve your credit, such as paying bills on time, disputing mistakes on your credit reports, and lowering your credit utilization ratio by reducing your credit card balances.

Following these tips can help you keep your monthly payments manageable, even with a reasonable loan term. Another tip: pay a little extra each month, which shortens the loan term. Doing this reduces the amount of interest charges you pay over the life of your loan.

If You're in Need of a Vehicle, Start Here

Here at CarsDirect, we want to help you find your next used car. You can research vehicles with our new and used car pages, and when you're ready, you can even find a local dealership to help you get the financing you need.

We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers that have lenders available to help people in all sorts of credit situations, including bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy, and even repossession. Don't wait any longer to get the low payment used car you need! Just fill out our free, easy, online auto loan request form to get the process started today!

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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