Auto Loans Online

Auto Loans Online: A New Source of Financing

Although we Americans have embraced the Internet with a fervor exceeding that of the rest of the world, most of us simply haven't yet realized all the implications of this new medium. For example, take car loans. Until you started reading this article, did you know that you could get auto loans online? You can, and you'll find that the rates rival anything you'll find down at the local bank or credit union. Best of all, you don't have to leave your house -- it's all done online.

When you search for auto loans online, don't think you'll be stuck with companies you've never before heard of. While those do exist (and you should, of course, be leery of them), you'll also discover that major banks like Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan, and SunTrust are right there, with a wide variety of offerings. You'll also find several reputable dealers who specialize in online auto loans, including Capital One Auto Finance and E-Loan.

All auto loans online are not created equal

One of the things that might surprise you about online car loans is the variety. While surfing to find car loans is easy enough, you'll have to do some digging to find the best deal for you, and you'll soon discover than many of the factors vary widely from company to company -- whether it's customer service, rates, or types of applications. You'll still need to do your homework, but at least you won't have the face your bank manager over that intimidating desk of his. That's one good reason that getting your auto loans online is better than getting them any other way!

Here's another: online car loans have lower interest rates than most car loans. In the real world, you'll be hard-pressed to find a 48-month car loan offering less than 7.5% interest -- but not online. While not all lenders will give you the best rates ever, with a little due diligence you can get comparable auto loans online for much less than bank rates, especially if you sign up for automatic payments when you apply. Many purveyors of online car loans offer substantial deductions if you'll let them take the payments directly out of your checking account once a month.

The rest of the story

One of the most useful aspects of applying for auto loans online is the fact that it'll take just a few minutes for your loan to be approved -- or not. If not, it's not the end of the world, because there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Of course, there's the possibility that you might have to settle for a slightly higher rate. Even if you do find a whiz-bang deal, be sure to look at it carefully; some companies charge hidden fees for administrative tasks, paperwork, and the like. Be sure the read the proffered contract carefully. It won't matter if you shaved a percentage point off your interest rate if you end up paying several thousand dollars extra for fees no one told you about upfront.

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