Q:

How do you learn about auto loans?

A:

Quick Answer

The Federal Trade Commission offers free information on auto loans in general, while the Center for Responsible Lending educates consumers on predatory auto financing practices. The latter organization is a nonprofit group that aims to protect individuals and families from predatory lending practices.

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Full Answer

The Federal Trade Commission's literature on auto financing options, available on its website, highlights the differences between dealership financing and direct lending, detailing the pros and cons for each method. It also urges those shopping for a car or truck to become aware of state laws that potentially affect the vehicle financing process.

The Federal Trade Commission also offers information on determining how much a prospective buyer can afford when purchasing a vehicle, both in terms of the overall vehicle price and the monthly payment amount. It offers pointers on negotiating a vehicle's price and the length of the credit contract.

The Center for Responsible Lending cautions against falling for overpriced add-on products that jack up the overall price of a vehicle loan. Such products include vehicle service contracts, credit life and disability insurance and theft deterrent packages. The organization also warns of mandatory arbitration clauses in financing paperwork. Such clauses make it nearly impossible for a customer to later sue.

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