Jill Merriam Key Hyundai Blog

Car Buying Secrets: Tip #1 Know Your Credit before Visiting a Dealership

April 27, 2010

I think it’s true, everything you need to know you definitely learned in Kindergarten.  It’s just a matter of remembering it.   I am going to reveal the three simple ways to buy a car over the next week or so through little anecdotes that will make it more fun.   The first secret revealed is to understand your personal finances better than the car dealer does.

 My six year old, Brady, had his first lesson on budgeting last night.   I was putting him to bed and he said, “Mom, how much did our house cost?”  I was honest with him and told him the amount.  I then proceeded to explain to him that it was more money than we had so we had to borrow it from the bank.  I told him that we would be paying the bank back for the next 24 years, until his is 30 years old.   That’s why I have to go to work everyday at Key Hyundai.  But, we bought this house because it was in a great neighborhood and we knew we could afford the amount we pay each month.

I could see his wheels were turning and he wanted to know more.  So, he said, “mom, was the house cheap or weak?”  I wanted to laugh but I controlled myself.  I explained that both words meant and I explained that the house was medium priced. 

Afterwards, I realized that this was his first life lesson on money and budgeting.  Friends always ask me whether they are getting a good deal on a car.  I think it’s so sad that the whole car buying process has gotten over-complicated.  It’s not really that difficult.  The first thing you need to do before you buy a car is to understand your credit and the interest rate you qualify for.   Don’t let a car dealer have to explain your credit to you unless you know and trust that dealer.  You can go to  Transunion  and run your credit bureau for $14.95.    It’s well worth the money.  Once your armed with your credit score, go into your local bank and find out what auto rate you’ll qualify for.  Then, when you go to buy a car, you can present the dealer with that interest rate and see if they can meet or beat it.  Financing through the dealership may be a better option for you because it’s more convenient and the interest rates can be very competitive.  But, that should be your decision to make. 

I also understand that some people have had setbacks in life and may not be able to get traditional financing through a bank.  In that situation, the dealer really is your best option. But, you should still be armed with your credit report and understand where your issues are.   At Key Hyundai, we have relationships with banks that help people with bad credit.  And, in the State of CT, you can’t get crushed on the interest rates due to the usury laws that cap the maximum amount a bank can charge on an auto loan.

If you ever need no pressure advise, please feel free to reach out to me at jillcares@keycars.com or visit my consumer information website at http://jillforthepeople.com .  My name is Jill Merriam, I am the owner of Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT and Key Hyundai of Milford, CT and the Dealer for the People.


2 Responses to “Car Buying Secrets: Tip #1 Know Your Credit before Visiting a Dealership”

  1. Rob says:

    This is good, reasonable commentary on car financing.

    The car itself is also a practical concern along with the financing. Hyundai cars are excellent values due to their 60 month warranty. I’ve test driven the Elantra and it is definitely on par with similar sized Hondas and Toyotas. Not only do you get a 60 month warranty, but you’ll average 30MPG around town. Hyundai is now leasing cars again on 6 of it’s models. Here are the special offers:


  2. ElizabethL says:

    Great tips! I think it’s extremely important to get your finances in order before thinking about buying a car. http://www.londoffadvantage.com/blog/2010/03/getting-your-finances-in-order-before-purchasing-a-car/

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