For the month of October we want to share with you an article from GreenPath with helpful tips on purchasing a vehicle!

Five Steps in Buying a New or Used Car

If you are thinking about a new or used car in the New Year, now is the time to do your homework.

Here are five steps to get you on the road:

Step 1 – Research

Many people buy cars based on what they look like or what they are familiar with. Instead of buying the same type of car that you’ve always driven, it may be wiser to list the options you are looking for, and then do some research. Really think about what you want versus what you need.

Know your credit history ahead of time. Pull your credit report(s) at and see if there are any red flags that might prevent you from getting a good auto loan interest rate.

Step 2 – Find Financing

Once you know what you are looking for, think about it you would like to buy new, used, or lease. What financing options are realistic for you, based on your income and credit? Don’t borrow more money than you are comfortably able to repay. And remember, your credit score will directly impact the interest rate you will pay on your loan.

Step 3 – Take Your Time

Now that you have a better Idea of your price range, start shopping around for selection and dealer incentives for your particular car choices. Do not rush out and buy the first car you see on an impulse. It’s better to exercise some patience and be sure about your choice. Shop online as well as in person — that helps you compare prices for similar models.

Step 4 – Determine Payment Amount

Getting a lower monthly payment isn’t always the best route. Sometimes a dealer will simply increase the number of months on your loan in order to lower your monthly payment, but that often means you’ll pay mush more in interest over the life of the loan. Be careful about ending up in car loans that last six, seven, or eight years — that’s a long time to have a car payment (and it’s a lot of interest to pay!)

Step 5 – Consider Other Costs

Your total transportation expense will include the vehicle payment, as well as everything else — insurance, gasoline, oil changes, ongoing maintenance, license plate fees, etc. Make sure that you have added all potential costs into your budget. Once everything looks good, you’re ready to buy that car!

By doing your research, knowing exactly how much car you can afford, and by taking your time, you can turn your car buying experience into a pleasant one!