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Pre-approved car loans
Pre-approved car finance puts you in the driver's seat when looking for a car loan.
If you’re looking for finance to help you buy a car, the typical vehicle-buying process involves you finding a car, then applying for a loan to help you purchase it. Pre-approval is available from some lenders, so you can head to a dealership knowing how much money you have to buy a vehicle. Discover everything you need to know about pre-approval and compare some of your options on the page below.
Compare pre-approved car finance options
What is pre-approval?
Pre-approval (or conditional approval) is given when you’re initially approved for pre-approved car finance. Based on the details you provided during the pre-approval process, the lender says you can borrow up to a certain amount. Lenders have restrictions with the types of vehicles they will finance, so need to be sure that the car you’re looking at fits within these restrictions.
If it does, then they can then give unconditional approval to go car shopping.
The ins and outs of pre-approved car finance
When you apply for pre-approval, the lender evaluates your financial position based on the details you provide to determine how much you can afford to borrow. It’s important that you understand pre-approval is only valid for a short period.
A significant benefit to a pre-approved car loan is that it gives you an advantage when it comes to negotiating the price of a vehicle. You know how much you have to spend and you can make an offer immediately. However, it also means you know your budget limitations, and if the salesperson can’t match your negotiations you have to walk away. So, if salesperson is offering competitive dealer finance you may not be able to take advantage of it.
How to get pre-approved car finance
- Get a copy of your credit score.
- Ensure you have all your documents and pay slips.
- Compare a range of loans.
- Contact the bank or financial provider with whom you wish to apply.
- Shop around for your next car.
The pros and cons of a pre-approved car loan
- Buyer confidence. Pre-approved car loans give buyers confidence that they have a good chance of getting finance for their chosen car.
- Understanding of your financial situation. The lender has already assessed your financials and has confirmed that you can afford the loan and therefore the car purchase, before you go out and buy it.
- Bargaining power. Pre-approval can give you the upper-hand when negotiating your price at the car dealership.
- Shorter periods of time. Conditional approval on some loans is only available for short periods of time.
- Limited choice. There aren’t a wide variety of lenders who offer pre-approved car loans, so you have limited choice.
Pre-approved car finance features
You may get some of the best features and interest rates on the market with a pre-approved car loan:
- Secured against your vehicle. Interest rates are lower on loans that are secured which saves you money and keeps your repayments manageable.
- Fixed interest rates. Keep your repayments the same each month to make it easier to manage your finances.
- Up to seven-year loan terms. Longer loan terms can help make the regular payments more affordable. Fixed rate loans may come with a maximum loan term of up to five years.
- Flexible repayment options. Payment choices may differ among lenders, but you can typically choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.
- Extra repayments. Does your car loan allow you to make fee-free additional repayments to pay it off sooner?
- Early repayment. Can you pay your loan off in full at any time without being charged an early repayment fee?
Things to consider before applying for pre-approval
There are a few things you should do before buying a car, and these vary from person to person. Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Research your car. The make. The model. The year. The colour. You also need to take into consideration the vehicle’s fuel consumption.
- Check your financial standing. Car loans are a considerable financial commitment. Ensure you have the necessary funds or pre-approval.
- Test-drive the car. If you take the car for a test-drive to find out if there are any issues.
- Shop around. It is a good idea to not to buy the first car you see. You may find suitable cars at several dealers, so check out a few before you make a final decision.
Have more questions about pre-approval?
You asked, and we listened. Here are the top questions you have about receiving pre-approval for your next car loan.
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