Car Financing For the Unemployed – 5 Tips
Being both unemployed and without a car is not a happy combination. For most people, just looking for a job requires the use of a car, if just to be able to get to the interview or fill out an application in person. After all, showing up to your first interview in a bus is just not cool.
If you find yourself in the double-whammy situation of being both without a job and without a car, you’re probably anxious to get yourself into your own set of wheels pretty quickly so that you can more easily find work.
Here are 5 tips for car financing for the unemployed:
1. Save as much money as you can for your down payment: Most people who are looking for a job are short on cash. Or, at least they are extremely focused on saving enough cash to survive on until they can find gainful employment again. That’s why, if you are looking for the best car financing deal, you are going to want to get the smallest loan possible. One way to accomplish this is to try to scrape together as much as you can for a down payment. The more you can put down, the lower your monthly car payments will be.
2. Choose as low-priced an automobile as possible: Using the same logic as in #1 above, you are also going to want to buy as low-priced a car as you can. It goes without saying that a smaller purchase price will mean a smaller amount you will need to borrow – and lower monthly payments.
Of course, when shopping for a car, it is always tempting to want to get a model with as many of the available bells and whistles as you can. However, as long as you can find a car that is presentable enough to chauffer you back and forth every day to your new job, it’s wiser to hold off on spending big on a car right now. After all, once you land your job and a bit of time has gone by, you can always buy a better car. Right now, though, it’s all about saving the cash.
3. Be prepared to show evidence of a strong credit score: One challenge with getting approved for car financing is the requirement of many lenders to show proof of employment. However, if you have an excellent, good or even a fair credit score, you should be able to convince the lender of your credit-worthiness. Remember, their real goal is simply to make sure you are can pay back the loan. Don’t have strong credit? Don’t give up: some lenders will give you a loan anyway – just be prepared to pay a higher interest rate.
4. Be prepared to explain your unemployment: Since you are not employed, you will definitely be asked about the reason for your unemployment. To increase your chances of getting approved for car financing, it is in your interest to put your unemployment status in the best-possible light. Avoid lying, of course, but it is important to be ready to explain why you are currently not employed and what you are doing to get a job.
5. Negotiate for the best interest rate possible: In addition to the amount of the loan and the amount of your down payment, the interest rate of your loan is a very important factor in determining your monthly payments. Be sure to negotiate for the lowest rate possible. Hint: when you see your lender’s first offer, trying visibly flinching (if you are with them in the same room; if not, do it over the phone). A well- timed “Ooooooh” and then a nice, long pause after they make you an offer should get them to make you a second, more attractive offer from them at a better rate.