So, 60- vs. 72-month car loan—which is better?
Unfortunately, with both loan terms, you’re at a much higher risk of going “upside down,” which means owing more than the car is worth over the life of the loan due to depreciation. But, if you are someone who likes to hold onto your car for a long time, this may not be an issue. Overall, if you’re choosing between the two, a 60-month loan is better because you’ll pay off the loan faster with a lower interest rate, and you’d be paying less overall for your car.
If you’d like to make more auto loan comparisons, this article on common car loan terms
Is a 72-month car loan worth it?
Because of the high interest rates and risk of going upside down, most experts agree that a 72-month loan isn’t an ideal choice. Experts recommend that borrowers take out a shorter loan. And for an optimal interest rate, a loan term fewer than 60 months is a better way to go. You can learn more about car loans here
Tips on taking a detour from a longer car loan term:
- Shop around. Many experts agree that it’s best to do some research before autographing auto loan forms. It also helps to get pre-approved beforehand so that you have a better idea of the loan amount you qualify for and monthly payment amounts. It’s also a good idea to look for a loan with a low APR to help lower interest payments.
- Refinance your long-term loan. If you’ve already pulled the trigger on a long-term loan, know that there’s still hope. You can look into refinancing your ride, and with good credit, you’re more likely to get a better interest rate. Our auto loan refinance calculator can help you decide if refinancing makes sense for your situation.
- Make a larger down payment. It’s a good idea to save at least 10% for a down payment for a used car and 20% for a new car. If you’re not sure if it’s better to get a new or used car, you may find this article to be helpful.
If you absolutely cannot swing a shorter-term loan, and you’re in dire need of transportation, it’s okay to get a long-term loan to free up more cash every month for other necessities. However, it’s a good idea to put down more money on your monthly payments than agreed upon when you can. Just be sure that the additional amount goes towards the principal balance of your loan and that there aren’t any pre-payment or pre-payoff penalties.
What credit score do you need to get an auto loan?
Fun fact, it’s a myth that people have just one credit score. The truth is that you have many credit scores! One of the most common scoring models is FICO®, which offers a FICO® Auto Score that weighs many different factors into account—with credit utilization having the most impact.
How FICO® categorizes credit scores:
- Exceptional: 800-850
- Very Good: 740-799
- Good: 670-739
- Fair: 580-669
- Poor: 300 to 579
However, it’s important to note that not every lender uses the same scoring model for credit scores, and they have their own categorization methods. Typically, borrowers need at least a 661 to qualify for an auto loan. Keep in mind that lenders will also weigh income heavily into account when reviewing applications. The better your credit scores and income, the better your interest rate will be. If you’re looking for ways to improve your scores, this guide
provides some helpful tips on how to do so.
, just remember that applying for a car loan can typically involves a “hard” credit inquiry. This means that with a formal application, lenders reach out to the credit bureaus to get your score. Too many hard hits will raise a red flag for credit bureaus, which can lower your score. Typically, you can apply for a handful of places within a two-week timeframe before it does any damage to your credit.
What is a good interest rate for an auto loan?
Interest rates will vary based on credit score, term, location, income, debt, loan amount, and type of car you’re buying, to name a few. But, knowing the average auto loan rates can help give you a better idea of what to look for when shopping.
The average interest rate
is 4.05% for new cars and 7.98% for used cars for borrowers with credit scores in the range of 661-780. Here are some helpful tips on applying for a used car loan