Although buying a used car with cash may be the ideal situation, many consumers realize this is not reality. They soon come to the understanding that their only option is to take advantage of a used car loan.

If you find yourself in this position, it would be in your best interest to compare multiple loans. This is the only way to guarantee that the deal suits your every want and need.

Here are three tips for finding the best used car loan:

Start with the dealer. The dealer’s finance department can help you secure a loan. This is a good place to start, as you don’t have to do any of the work.
But here is what you need to remember: they may not be as thorough as you would like. So, while there is nothing wrong with starting here, you don’t want to end here unless you are 100 percent comfortable with the loan product made available to you.

Do your own homework. When the time comes, don’t shy away from contacting lenders on your own time. You can do this via phone or online. Either way, it gives you the opportunity to learn more about what is available.
Don’t be surprised if you find a loan that is more competitive than those offered by the dealer.

Make a checklist of what’s important to you. For some, the interest rate is the only thing that matters. Others, however, also focus on details such as the reputation of the lender and their customer service experience. With a checklist in hand, you can focus on the details that you consider critical.
Anybody can find “just any” used car loan, but you don’t want to stop there. You want to find the loan that is best for your situation.

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