The high cost of new and used cars makes getting a car loan necessary for most people. It’s crucial to know what lenders look at when deciding if you qualify for a loan and what rates you’ll receive. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best car loans in Tallahassee to make getting behind the wheel more affordable.
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The average sale price of new cars continues to break records every year. Analysts at Kelly Blue Book reported cars were sold for an average of $37,577 in December 2018. This was 1.3 percent higher than the previous year.
While paying out-of-pocket for a vehicle is difficult for most, car loans make the dream of owning a new or used car a reality. There are various places you can get a car loan in Tallahassee. Some of the most common options include banks, credit unions, dealerships and online lenders. Car buyers also benefit from getting pre-approved for a loan, which gives Tallahassee residents:
The opportunity to compare multiple loans
The knowledge of your budget when shopping
Cash-buyer status when purchasing a car
Negotiating leverage at the dealership
How to qualify for a car loan in Tallahassee
The primary factor lenders consider when you apply for a car loan is your credit score. Loan applicants with high credit scores are more likely to be approved and receive favorable terms and interest rates. Tallahassee residents with credit scores of 720 or higher get the best rates on auto loans.
Other aspects lenders take into consideration include your annual income, down payment amount and debt-to-income ratio. Most lenders also require there be no active bankruptcies on your credit report.
Comparing car loans in Tallahassee
When comparing car loans in Tallahassee, the most critical factor to look at is the total cost of the loan. The amount you pay over the life of the loan is determined by multiple factors, including:
Annual percentage rate (APR): The APR of a car loan is the interest added to the principal each year, plus any recurring fees your lender charges. Tallahassee car buyers with good credit receive APRs between 3 and 5 percent, while those with bad credit may receive APRs in the low to high teens.
Loan term: Vehicle loans are commonly three to six years in length, though some lenders offer loans that are paid off over eight years or more. Longer loan terms result in lower monthly payments but increase the total cost of the loan because of the additional interest you pay.
Down payment: A substantial down payment reduces the total cost of your loan and lets you make lower payments or shorten the term length. Paying more upfront may also reduce your APR.
Additional costs: In addition to paying a loan origination and documentation fees on your loan, other charges that may increase your total cost are title and registration fees, a destination charge for your vehicle, sales tax and mandatory car insurance. Make sure the total amount of your loan is high enough to cover all initial costs.
It's good to ask your lender if there are prepayment penalties in case you want to pay your total car loan balance off early.
Getting a car loan with bad credit in Tallahassee
If your credit score is 650 or under, you may have difficulty getting approved for an auto loan. If you can wait to purchase a new car, you can improve your score by paying bills on time and using less than 30 percent of your available credit.
If you don’t have time to work on your credit score first, you may be able to obtain a car loan in Tallahassee by:
Working with online lenders that specialize in serving people with lower credit scores
Having a cosigner who agrees to take responsibility for the loan if you default
Making a more substantial down payment
Going with a second-chance lender after being turned down for a conventional loan
Using a credit union for financing
Whether you’re buying a car from a licensed dealer or through a private sale, it’s good to be aware of your rights as a consumer before starting the car loan and buying process.
Finding your car loan rate is easy with LightStream's online calculator, and the lender beats competitors’ offers by 0.10 points if you find a lower interest rate. LightStream prides itself in being an uncomplicated lender, and glowing customer reviews from Tallahassee confirm the loan process is straightforward and fast.
Buyers can get auto refinancing quotes in minutes with Auto Approve. Individual loan consultants walk you through the process from start to finish and find the best refinancing deals for you. Auto Approve also takes care of DMV paperwork. Tallahassee customers appreciate the lower rates they received with Auto Approve.
LendingTree’s website is packed with resources, tools and articles to help you make the most informed decision about your car loan. To make loan shopping easier, LendingTree matches you with up to five lenders when requesting a quote. Repeat customers in Tallahassee love LendingTree’s efficiency and customer service.
MyAutoloan.com is a full-service auto loan center with options for new and used auto loans, refinancing and lease buyouts. myAutoloan.com has simplified the car loan process and offers up to four offers after you submit your application. Tallahassee customers are pleased with the terms and rate of their loans.
Interested borrowers can pre-qualify for a loan from Capital One with no impact to their credit score. The lender’s auto loan calculators also let you easily estimate your monthly payment or loan amount. Users who refinanced their auto loan with Capital One saved an average of $50 per month. Tallahassee customers appreciate the company’s online tools.
Regions Banks lets you purchase or refinance a car by applying for an auto loan online or at a brick-and-mortar store. Borrowers can also view or manage their loans on their online portal. Reviews from Tallahassee recommend the company for its excellent and helpful personal bankers.
First Florida Credit Union
First Florida Credit Union’s loan comparison tool shows the best auto loan offers available to you. Loan benefits on a new car include no payments for the first 90 days, and you can apply online, by phone or in person. Tallahassee customers say they found the best rates for car loans with First Florida Credit Union.
Our partners independently research and analyze the companies mentioned in our guides and work with subject matter experts to add valuable information that helps consumers make smart purchase decisions. Our partners will not include companies on these guides that do not meet specific quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear.
Our partners independently research companies, and use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Best Value) based on their staff’s judgment or subject matter expert’s judgment. Our partners do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and do not receive compensation for these designations.