As a military member, you may either be looking into purchasing your first car or upgrading your vehicle to something a little more attractive or eco-friendly. When looking for military car loans, though, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Check With Your Command
Before getting into any kind of auto loan, but particularly those specializing in military car loans, it is highly recommended to check with your chain of command. Many commands have lists of trusted lenders and those recommended to stay away from. If you stick to the recommended lenders on the list, you're more likely to get command support if something goes wrong.
Rank Does Matter
Your lender will take your rank into serious consideration when you apply for an auto loan. They will be able to tell how much money you make per month, and they will be better able to base your monthly payments on your pay. While this is helpful, you should do a full budget of your expenses - both bills and discretionary money - to understand what you can afford prior to going in to the dealer.
Check Your Interest Rate
Be sure that you are getting the best interest rate possible. Interest adds up exponentially and can turn a $10,000 car into a $40,000 car instantly. Read the wording of the loan paperwork to make sure that if you choose to, you can make extra payments toward the principal of the loan without any penalties.
Just as you may incur fees for paying in advance, you may also incur fees when it comes to paying off your loan early. Be sure you read the loan paperwork thoroughly.
Military Discounts and Specials
Not many places will advertise, but they may offer special military car loans, so don't hesitate to ask if they provide any discounts or special arrangements.
Being in the military means you get to travel, and whether that's traveling the globe or to the grocery store, you'll need a reliable vehicle. Do your homework before getting a military car loan, and you'll be sure to get a good vehicle that you can afford.