You arrive at the showroom. Make your way to the gorgeous, glistening Maranello red piece of auto artwork that’s been haunting your dreams for years. Open the door ever so carefully, yet with intense purpose. Breathe in the interior’s perfume of rich, hand-stitched leather and premium detailing. You slowly lower yourself into the driver’s seat - more of a cockpit, really - experiencing a sensory overload the likes of which you’ve never even heard or read about before. This is it. You are complete. The vehicle and you have decided together; you’re made for one another.
And then you find out that the $600,000 (and change) Ferrari 812 Superfast Coupe you fell head over heels for is more than a few hundred grand over what you’re able to afford, at which point your heart breaks into a million pieces and you’re never the same again.
Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure you get pre-approved for your car loan before you start focusing on specific makes and models and avoid negative life-altering heartbreaks when it’s time to buy your next car.
What conditional pre-approval is
When you initially speak with a lender about a car loan, they might be able to offer you what’s known as conditional pre-approval. What this means is that they can provide you with a certain amount you’re allowed to borrow depending on the details you give them at this point of the process.
It’s important to remember that the pre-approval amount that is granted by the lender is time-sensitive. That is, you don’t have unlimited time to then find a car you want; generally between 1 and 3 months.
Why getting pre-approved for a car loan is so beneficial
There are quite a few solid reasons to get pre-approval before heading out and car-shopping. These include:
Budget is determined
Because you know the maximum amount you’re able to borrow, this will help narrow which makes and models that fall within your budget. This enables you to focus your attention on researching vehicles in your price range and be realistic about what you can and can’t afford.
It’s an easy out when dealer finance is brought up
Some people can find it a little uncomfortable when, while talking to a salesperson in the showroom, dealer finance is brought up. And they will most certainly try their absolute best to get you on board with it, not only because it helps them fudge numbers during the negotiation but also due to the fact that a substantial amount of their commission comes from the money made selling their financing.
But when you have pre-approval, not if but when dealer finance is brought up, you can simply let them know you’ve been pre-approved and aren’t interested.
You have a bargaining chip during negotiations
When you have pre-approval for a specific amount (your ‘price ceiling’), unless you want to use additional savings the salesperson will either need to sell you a vehicle for that amount or you’ll have to walk away.
Also, in essence you are a cash buyer; that is, the lender has agreed to loan you the money already which means you’re serious about buying and there’s no stuffing around to find a loan later on - you’re there to buy (provided they can offer you the right price!).
Plus, after you’ve decided on a make and model, the salesperson can’t use any of their number smoke-and-mirror methods to take your attention away from the bottom-line sale price of the car. Approach them and ask for their best bottom-line driveaway price - if they umm and ah about that simple request, walk away and head to the next showroom.
How to obtain car loan pre-approval
In order to put your best foot forward towards getting yourself pre-approved for your car loan, it’s really important that you get some things together beforehand such as:
Collating the documentation that may be required
This might include a few months’ worth of payslips, information about credit cards and other loans (if you have any), identification documents and anything else you think the lender may want to see.
Finding out your credit score
Prior to submitting your application for car loan pre-approval, it’s worth checking up on the health of your credit score as this can not just determine whether you actually secure pre-approval but also how good your interest rate could be. You may find that it’s worth doing some work to improve the score before applying.
Get a good idea of the type of car you want
While the actual make and model may be determined by how much you’re eligible to borrow, you should still be aware of the type of car you’re after. Do you want a sedan? An SUV? Or maybe a 4WD? And what about some basic features you couldn’t live without? A bit of preliminary research can help give you a much better grasp on how much (roughly) you think you’ll need to borrow.
Speak with us to get pre-approved for a car loan today
Reckon getting conditional pre-approval for your car loan sounds like something you’re interested in? We’re here to help. After more than 2 decades’ experience in the finance industry, Stratton FInance has amassed a gigantic network of lenders we have available at our fingertips. That means whatever your personal requirements may be, we’re certain to find the ideal lender and car finance package to match.
Get a car finance quote and discover how awesomely low your monthly repayments could look like, and if you’re happy with the figure you can easily apply online in less than 5 minutes! For any questions or if you’d like us to help you through the process, call us now on 1300 787 288 or message us online and we’ll be in touch soon.
And if you’ve test-driven and decided which make and model car you want, why not skip the tediousness of negotiating and let our partners at carconnect take care of it for you? Once you’ve let them know what you’re after, they’ll tender your sale out to their nation-wide network of dealers to put their best foot forward, at which time you simply pick your preferred price.
Seriously, financing and buying your new car has never been easier!