If you want to buy anything big, like a car, you may need to take out a loan to pay for it. Personal and car loans are two of the most common financing options, and they can be rather simple to obtain if you match the lending criteria.
So, what exactly is the distinction between the two?
Key distinctions between car loans and personal loans
The first major distinction between a car loan and a personal loan is that a car loan is typically secured, with the car serving as collateral. As a result, most car loans are for new or very new vehicles. You can receive an unsecured vehicle loan, but it will usually come with a considerably higher interest rate due to the lender's greater risk.
Any personal loan allows you to borrow money for various reasons, including funding a vacation, a car, home improvements, or debt consolidation. While you may need to explain the purpose of the purchase – in this case, purchasing a car - you may be able to borrow more than the car costs and put the additional money towards another purchase or improve your cash flow (provided you can meet the repayments). Loans can be unsecured or insured, and they can have a fixed or variable interest rate.
When to get auto loans?
Auto loans are the most affordable option to finance a new or used car. Some lenders and dealerships may not require a down payment, but you will get a better rate if you do.
These loans are usually used to buy out a lease. You may potentially qualify for a cheaper rate if you have been paying on time for a year or more and your credit has improved.
Benefits of Getting a Car Loan
Cons of Getting a Car Loan
When do personal loans work best?
When borrowers don't want to put down payment and are willing to pay a higher rate for unsecured funds, it calls for acquiring a personal loan.
Unlike an auto loan, a personal loan does not burden your vehicle, allowing you to sell it before paying it off.
Benefits of buying a car with a Personal Loan
Cons of buying a car with a Personal Loan:
Which is right for you?
Pre-qualify for a vehicle loan or personal loan by asking yourself these questions:
Do I know my car?
Before granting you a car loan, a lender may want to know all about the vehicle. They may ask for the manufacturer, model, VIN, and even the color. You can receive a car loan if you have these facts. A personal loan may be better suitable if you merely want a loan and then go automobile shopping.
If you still want a car loan and want to go car shopping, apply for pre-approval. No assurance, but it indicates how much the lender will finance you when you return with your desired vehicle.
Is it a new or used car?
For example, some lenders won't allow you to buy a used car, while others accept up to five years old. A personal loan may be more likely to be approved for a used or older car.
How secure will my finances be during the loan term?
Personal and auto loans normally range from one to five years but can go up to seven. If you have a consistent income and your circumstances are unlikely to change, a car loan may be better than a personal loan. A car loan frequently has fixed repayments, making it easier to budget for that period.
A personal loan may be more suited if you know your situation will change, such as having a child or buying a property. Personal loans are often more flexible, so you can make bigger payments for a year or two before returning to the minimum. Personal loans rarely charge for late payments, although car loans frequently do.
Do I need to borrow more than the automobile is worth?
If you're a head turner, you may want to customize your new wheels. If you can't afford it and need a loan, a car loan is unlikely to help. Car loans are just for the purchase of a vehicle, which is why approval is so strict. Personal loans aren't usually tied to specific items, so you can borrow $5,000 more than the car's worth and put a dirty subwoofer in the boot.
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