AlumniFi Credit Union



Become A Car Buying Expert: Five Tips To Getting The Most For Your Money

2 min read

Ready to hit the road? If you are in need of a car, you can prepare yourself for the purchasing process with these five tips.

1. Know your budget
Before you even start looking at cars, you need to review your finances to determine what monthly payment you can afford. Seeing where a car payment fits into your current budget and saving for a down payment will put you in a better purchasing position. Be sure to include in your budget the costs of insurance, gas, and maintenance.
2. Review the value
Once you have determined the car you want to buy, arm yourself with its current market value by reviewing a pricing guide such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. This way, you’ll walk into a car dealership with some idea of what to expect to pay.
3. Rate matters
The annual percentage rate (APR) is the cost of borrowing money from a financial institution to purchase a car. It’s how your monthly payment is calculated. It’s important to factor the APR into the overall vehicle cost.
4. Get preapproved
You can be more prepared to car shop with a preapproved car loan. Having this will make it easier to negotiate price as you have a set amount to spend.
5. Mind the GAP
If your car is ever totaled or stolen, there could be a gap between what you owe on your loan and your vehicle’s value, leaving you to pay the difference. A Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) program may reduce or even eliminate the gap between what your auto insurance will give you and what you owe on your loan.

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*Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) means a percentage rate reflecting the total amount of dividends paid on an account, based on the dividend rate and the frequency of compounding for a 365-day period. This rate assumes that a set amount is on deposit at the beginning of the dividend period, no deposits or withdrawals are made during the dividend period, and funds remain on deposit for one full year at the same dividend rate. Fees may reduce earnings. Rates for accounts are variable and may change.

AlumniFi accounts are held at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union where savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the NCUA and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. APR = Annual Percentage Rate. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. View our Privacy Policy and read our disclaimer regarding links to other sites via our Disclosures.

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