There are auto loans for bad credit customers everywhere you look, if you know how to look. But, just like any other financial product, there are lenders you can count on, and lenders you shouldn’t go near. How can you sort the reliable from the dishonest?
Do Your Research
Start with the Internet. Most lenders that have been in business for any length of time will have several reviews and news articles about them. Search for them online and see what people have to say. Be sure to consider the tone of the site, as well; some sites exist not to collect honest reviews, but to try and get lenders to pay them to take bad reviews down.
Ask Friends And Family
Similarly, don’t be shy about asking for recommendations from your friends and family. Realistically, most business in any industry get the majority of their advertising through word of mouth; the better things you hear about a lender, the more likely you should be to take your business to them.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled For Warning Signs
Most untrustworthy lenders will tell you, loudly, clearly, and repeatedly, that you shouldn’t be in business with them. In fact you’ll probably learn this quickly when you work with them. Among the signs you should find another lender are:
High pressure tactics: Most dishonest lenders will attempt, through pressure and distraction, to short-circuit your common sense and get you to sign a deal sight unseen. If a lender tells you that you need to accept their quote, right now, or it’s gone, it’s not a deal worth taking.
A lack of, or misleading, information: We’re all familiar with the fine print on a contract, and we should all make a point of reading it. If you’re not being given legal disclosures, or when you ask for information and they try to blow you off, that tells you all you need to know.
Bait-and-switch: If you get a quote, show up, and discover that suddenly that quote is “invalid” or a mistake, there’s no reason to stick around. That quote was a fake to get you in the door, that simple.
Focusing on your monthly payment: You should be aware of all the parts of your loan, and a responsible loan officer will work out both what the loan will cost you on a month-to-month basis and what you’ll be paying overall. If they act like you shouldn’t be calculating the interest on the life of a loan, or try to discourage you from looking at it too deeply, they’re probably hiding something.
Above All, Trust Your Gut
Despite what you hear about slick salesmen, few people are so slick they’re able to convince you take a bad deal when you can sense something’s not right. So, above all, and before anything, trust what you feel. If somehow the deal seems off, or you don’t like the salesman, or you just aren’t comfortable? Leave. Even if it’s just a mismatch of personalities, you’re going to be working with these people for a few years, and you should be in business with someone you trust.