Purchasing a Car
Apart from housing, buying a car could be the most expensive purchasing decision you will make. Before you drive away in the first car that catches your eye, think about how you plan to use and pay for the car. Whether you are buying a used car, a new car or the car of your dreams, doing your homework in advance will ensure you’re getting the vehicle and deal that’s best for you.
Checklist – Buying a Car
- Know your credit score and understand the factors that contribute to its makeup. The higher the score, the lower the interest rate will be on your loan. Your credit score is determined by the amount of new debt, the types of credit (mortgage, car loans and credit cards, etc.), length of credit history, amounts owed and whether or not you pay your bills on time.
- Review your credit report for errors by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Be sure to review the report from each of the three credit agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. If you do find errors on your credit report, communicate with the reporting financial institution directly to resolve them.
Tip: Need help reviewing your credit report? As a benefit of being a Delta Community member, you can contact BALANCE™ for a no-cost Credit Report Review.
- Consider attending a free workshop on buying a car offered by our Financial Education Center; check out our Events & Seminars page for upcoming workshops.
- Establish a monthly car allowance. Be sure to include your car payment, auto insurance, maintenance expenses, gas and state registration expenses.
- Evaluate new and used cars and the benefits and downsides of each. Use resources like CARFAX.com and truecar.com to get more information on the specific car you plan to buy.
Tip: Consider the benefits of add-on coverage such as Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) or Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP) when making your decision.
- Negotiate your new car’s sticker price before sharing with the dealership that you have a trade-in.
- Use Delta Community’s wholly owned subsidiary, Members Insurance Advisors, to consult with experts who will find the best rate and coverage options among A-rated carriers for the cars you’re considering. The age, value and safety rating of your vehicle will all contribute to the final cost, in addition to your age, driving record, credit history and claims experience.
- If you’re navigating car insurance on your own, make sure you have liability coverages higher than the state minimum. Many drivers purchase the cheapest insurance, not realizing it’s putting their current assets and future income at risk.
- If you’re financing elsewhere, check whether the financial institution or dealership charges a pre-payment penalty for the car loan. Delta Community does not charge a penalty for paying off your Car Loan early.
- Look at payment holiday options if you encounter short- or long-term financial difficulties. At Delta Community, we understand it can be difficult to manage unexpected life situations that affect your finances. That’s why we can provide an opportunity to assist by allowing you to defer and delay eligible loan payments.
How We Can Help
Applying for a Car Loan is easy! If you're already a Delta Community member, simply log in to your account and select Apply for a Loan under the Loans tab or under More in the Mobile App. Or, you can call us at 800-544-3328 or apply in-person at any of our Delta Community branches.