As "Cash for Clunkers" Ends, CreditFYI Gives Buyers 5 Ways to Save Money on Car Loans

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Knowing where your credit score stands before negotiating loan terms is vital.

The federal government's "Cash for Clunkers" rebate program helped drive car buyers to dealer showrooms in such overwhelming numbers that the Obama administration declared an end to the program as of 8 p.m. Monday, August 24, because car buyers have drained the funds available for the program.

CreditFYI, an educational consumer website on consumer credit, personal finance and fraud, encourages car buyers to look for additional ways to save on new-car purchases and provides recommendations for shopping for a new car loan. "Savvy car shoppers will achieve the biggest savings by combining car-dealer incentives with attractive financing terms that are available to borrowers with the highest credit scores," said CreditFYI spokesperson Rob Wyse.

To help car shoppers maximize their savings, CreditFYI offers five tips for getting the best deal on an auto loan:

1.    Order your credit report and credit score before the test drive. This will let you know where you stand in the eyes of lenders. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you may qualify for on your car loan. The difference between a low score and a high score can equate to thousands of dollars in interest payments.

2.    Get pre-qualified for a loan before you negotiate price. Picking out a car can be an emotional decision, but working out the terms of the purchase shouldn't be.

3.    Make a bigger down payment. A bigger down payment means smaller monthly loan payments and less interest paid over the life of the loan. Your ability to make a bigger down payment may also compensate for a lower credit score, qualifying you for a better interest rate.

4.    Opt for a shorter loan term. Go for a three- to five-year term at most to save money. A car's value can depreciate fairly quickly, so a shorter term will also help you avoid owing more than your car is worth, should you need to resell it.

5.    Refinance later, if needed. If your current credit score forces you to settle for a higher rate than you'd like, make sure to make all your payments on time. You then stand a better chance of refinancing later at a lower interest rate.

For additional information about car loans and how credit scores can influence them, visit

About informs and educates consumers on a wide range of credit and debt issues, personal finance topics and identity fraud concerns. Designed to empower consumers to take charge of their household finances, CreditFYI distills the often-complex financial issues that affect consumers' daily lives into informative, easily-understood content that helps consumers make informed decisions and improve their money management skills. For more information, please visit



Rob Wyse
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