Having a car in Buffalo is a necessity unless you live and work near an NFTA stop. Even then, the limited schedule and lengthy waits aren’t practical if you want to have a late dinner in the Chippewa Entertainment District. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best car loan companies in Buffalo to help you get on the road quickly.
While many Buffalo residents will start their search by looking at available cars, it’s often better to be secure a car loan before shopping. You can be pre-approved for a loan from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Getting a pre-approved loan has many benefits, including:
Sets a budget: Having your loan in place lets you know how much you can afford and helps you refine your search for a car. Setting a budget is also useful when negotiating the price of a vehicle and prevents you from being pressured into adding features that increase the cost.
Saves time at the dealership: Buying a car can be a long, complicated process. Having to negotiate financing at the same time extends the process.
Lets you shop at multiple dealers: Unlike a loan arranged through a dealership, pre-approved financing lets you search for cars at multiple dealers in Buffalo and gives you additional options to find the best price.
Comparing car loans in Buffalo
The easiest way to compare loans is to look at the overall cost over the life of the loan. This is determined by several factors, including:
Interest rate: Lenders generally use credit scores as the primary factor in deciding the interest of your car loan. People with excellent credit score usually receive an annual percentage rate between 3 to 5 percent, while a person with a bad credit history will likely receive loan offers with interest rates between 12 and 18 percent.
Term length: Most car loans are paid off over 36 to 72 months. While a term paid off over a longer period will result in lower monthly payments, it will cost more over the life of the loan. Longer-term loans may also come with higher interest rates.
Down payment: Those with poor credit may have to make a more substantial down payment. Paying more money upfront will lower the total amount you owe, resulting in lower monthly payments and letting you pay off your loan faster.
When looking at used cars in Buffalo, take a look at the price of similar vehicles. Googling the car’s year, make and model will reveal sources for comparison with dealerships. Once you’ve determined the price range of the desired vehicle, you’ll have a realistic picture of the loan amount you will need.
If you are happy with your car but stuck in a loan with unsatisfying terms, many lenders will refinance your loan. Refinancing can reduce your interest rates, lower your monthly payments or change the length of time left on your loan.
Getting a car loan with poor credit in Buffalo
Having poor credit makes getting a car loan in Buffalo more difficult, and you’ll receive less than favorable loan conditions. One way to get a better loan with bad credit is to have a family member or friend co-sign the loan, which means they take responsibility if you default on your loan payments.
It can be also be challenging to get a car loan if you are going through an active bankruptcy. Talk to your attorney and the judge presiding over your bankruptcy case before applying for any car loans.
LightStream is an online lender that offers car loans and refinancing options. The company will match any qualified rate and can deposit the funds for your car into your bank account on the same day. Buffalo customers appreciate the straightforward application process and competitive rates.
Auto Approve offers refinancing for existing loans. The company assigns you an individual loan consultant who will work with you to find the best options available, and your first payment isn’t due until 45 days after financing. Reviewers from Buffalo praised the company’s customer service and ability to research different rates and terms.
LendingTree doesn’t directly provide loans but can select up to five lenders based on your criteria to compete for your loan. The company’s website lets you compare the loans side-by-side to make it easier to choose. Customers from Buffalo enjoyed personalized customer service and access to their credit score as part of the application process.
myAutoloan.com is an auto loan broker that provides quotes from up to four lenders. The company offers loans to purchase cars or refinance your current vehicle, and its website has a payment calculator and rate estimator. Buffalo customers appreciated the simple and straightforward application.
Capital One is a national bank that offers car loans. Users can pre-qualify online without affecting their credit score, and the site allows customers to browse available cars. Buffalo customers with low credit scores say they were able to get loans through Capital One after being turned down by other lenders.