Avoiding Auto Loan Scams from the Get-Go

Comparing rates before you agree to the terms of a new auto loan is an important part of the car buying process.  But be sure that you apply only with trusted car lenders and auto loan brokers.

A good auto loan broker will take the approach of helping to educate you, the consumer.  For instance, a website that carefully guides you through the lending process and warns you of possible scams to avoid likely has your best interest in mind and will send your application only to reputable lenders.

A shady company running late night TV commercials, however, will make false promises, such as “no money down, regardless of credit.”  The same goes for outlandish or flashy websites full of promises that sound too good to be true.  A quick call to companies like these, and you’ll most likely be asked for your SSN, even though (according to their ad) they don’t require a credit score for auto loans.  You will also likely receive so many telemarketing calls after contacting them, you will want to change your phone number.

Look for tools like auto loan calculators and as much information on a lender as you can find, before applying.  If all you’ve seen is a big, loud ad promising things that seem too good to be true, they probably are.  Resist the sales ploys of their reps or salespeople who only want your SSN, but cannot tell you anything about their current rates.

Once you sign those dotted lines, you are legally bound to your auto loan agreement.  So before you get in bed with a lender, make sure you can live with their terms.