Buying a Car

Page 9 of 15

tiny red sports car

If a car purchase is in your future, congratulations! You may know what paint color you want, but there’s so much more to consider. Where do you start? Below are some things to think about when making your decision.

Know What You Can Afford

Really look at your budget. Consider every expense that comes along with a new car – monthly payment, insurance costs, maintenance expenses and fuel.

You don’t want to strap yourself with added expenses that make your monthly budget unmanageable. Be honest with yourself when deciding if you have enough wiggle room to afford a new car payment. Remember, factor in any future student loan payment when considering what you can afford!

If money is too tight, buying a quality used car may be more your speed. To learn more about financing and insurance options visit

Know What It's Worth

Whether you decided to buy new or used, it’s best to do your homework before negotiating a car deal. It’s important to know what the dealer paid for the car, that way you know if the asking price is fair, plus it gives you a starting point for price negotiations. is a great resource for finding new car prices and locating the best local deals.

Don't Make an Emotional Decision

Keep your game face on. If the dealer knows how badly you want the vehicle they may not be as willing to haggle with you. Try to hide your enthusiasm and don’t be afraid to walk away in an attempt to try to get a better deal. Sometimes the most powerful negotiating word can be “no.”

For more in-depth information on purchasing a car, visit our Auto Loans 101 module.

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