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Does the internet contain a trustworthy loan interest rate aggregator/advisor?
September 16, 2012 11:46 AM   Subscribe

How do I find out what constitutes a "good" car loan for a given set of circumstances?

There are a zillion online loan calculators, but their parameters are typically limited to principal, size of down payment, term of loan, and a user-supplied APR.

What I'm looking for is some way to figure out what to put in the "APR" field based on:

- The current interest rate climate
- My own credit score
- The age/condition of the vehicle
- The term of the loan
- Any other factors I'm not considering that might affect the rate

Is there any way to get a ballpark figure for this other than filling out applications with a bunch of different lenders and seeing who among them offers the best deal?
posted by contraption to Work & Money (2 answers total)
 
Bankrate.com gives rates from various lenders. I have no idea how competitive they are (it's been many, many years since I've gotten a car loan), but it's a starting point...
posted by primethyme at 11:51 AM on September 16, 2012


When I was last preparing to buy a car, I just asked the loan officers at a few institutions what the current rates were. They had charts showing, for example, what the rates were for different model years and payment terms. They also explained their particular rules about credit ratings and minimum loan amounts. Different lenders structured their rules differently, which would make it tricky for a website to automatically compare them. In any case, you don't need to actually apply for a loan to learn what a bank will offer you.

There's not much point in spending a lot of time comparing a great many loans. Banks are selling money, and since all money is the same it's a very competitive market. For a given term, the cost of most loans will be pretty similar. Keep the term short, the interest rate down, and avoid substantial application / origination fees and early repayment penalties.
posted by jon1270 at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2012


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