How Long Does It Take to Finance a Used Vehicle?

For most families, purchasing a used vehicle is a major budgeting decision that requires extensive research to understand your options. If you choose to finance your vehicle, learning about the timeline of this process can help you find options that will best match your budgeting needs and preferences. Here is what you need to know about the car financing process at North Coast Mitsubishi of Akron.

What Does It Mean to Finance a Used Vehicle?

Analyzing Financial Data

Analyzing Financial Data” licensed under “CC BY-SA 2.0” by Dave Dugdale

Financing gives you the opportunity to take out a car loan and pay it off over time, instead of paying for the used vehicle all at once. You typically select a loan option from a trusted financial institution like a bank, credit union, or online lender.

When making this selection, it’s important to determine the contractual terms of the loan. For example, you may want a specific time frame for the pay-off or an offer with a low monthly interest rate. Finding the best loan option for your circumstances can be an involved process, but it’s often worth the wait and effort.

How Do You Finance a Used Vehicle?

The process of financing a vehicle can require some research if you want to get the best deal. Here are some steps to take that will help you secure the right financing option.

Start Researching Your Ride

Before beginning the car financing process, make sure you’re serious about purchasing a quality used vehicle. Do some in-depth research about the type of vehicle you want and its expected price. For example, you can check out our extensive pre-owned inventory today. You can also start checking out our special offers to find an affordable ride.

However, you don’t have to have a specific vehicle in mind before beginning the loan application process, as you can continue researching throughout. In fact, starting the financing process first can help you research effectively. Walking onto the lot with your loan already pre-approved allows you to select a vehicle you love with confidence.

Gather Your Information

Before beginning the loan application process, you should gather and examine your financial information. Lending institutions will review your financial information and credit history to decide whether they want to offer you a loan. They’ll also use it to determine the terms of your deal.

To speed this process up, try determining your credit score before beginning a new financing application. This numeric rating between 300 and 850 reflects your credit history and can be affected by things like missed or late payments. If you have a credit score that falls in the “good” range (often 670 to 739 or higher), you may be more likely to get a high-quality loan.

If your credit score is in a low range, try to pay any outstanding bills or report any credit errors before applying for a new loan offer. You can also begin gathering other critical documents like proof of income before reaching out to financing companies to get started.

Consider Different Lenders

Before applying for any loans, consider researching your options. Some financial institutions, like banks, may have special incentives for their customers, like offers for first-time car buyers or financial aid programs for those with low credit scores. You can also contact your dealership to see which financing options are available. Our friendly finance center is here to help you and answer any questions you have.

Apply for Loans

After you’ve researched some of your available options, apply for the loans that work for your circumstances. To increase your odds of success, you can apply for multiple financing options in case some don’t work out. Another benefit of applying for multiple loans is that you can accept an offer with the most favorable terms.

Select an Offer

As your financing offers roll in, compare every option available before selecting one. Each car loan may have different terms, like the length of payment, fees required, or monthly interest. Think about which terms are most important to you before selecting. When you’ve made your decision, you can head to your dealership and get ready to drive off the lot in your quality used vehicle.

What Is the Timeline for Financing a Used Vehicle?

The timeline for a car loan can depend on the lending institution you select and your desired terms. Finding a lender can be an extensive process, especially if you want to research multiple options first. As soon as you decide to purchase a used vehicle, you can begin your research. Depending on the lending institution, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to get a loan approval or denial notice. 

As you complete these preparations, you can also start thinking about your preferred time range for paying off the ride. Used car loans are generally available in 12-month increments, ranging from 12 to 96 months or two to eight years. Depending on which time frame you select, you can also make weekly or bi-weekly payments until you’ve paid off the vehicle in full.

Which Payment Option Should You Choose?

The length of your payment can depend on your available monthly budget. In most cases, it can be better to pay off a car loan as soon as possible so that you can minimize interest payments. However, this can mean larger monthly payments. When you select a loan, consider how much you can dedicate per month to paying off your vehicle. You can always discuss loan length options with your lender to see what’s available.

Need Help With Your Auto Financing? 

At North Coast Mitsubishi of Akron, we want all of our customers to drive off the lot in a vehicle that works for them and their budget. Financing your ride can be a complex process, but with a little preparation, it can help you purchase the car, truck, or SUV of your dreams.

If you have questions about financing or would like to start your car-buying journey, you can always contact us today. We’re excited to help you drive off into your future.