Credit problems affect many people and when it comes to purchasing a vehicle it can be very challenging. Part of the challenge is getting approved, but another challenge that can be even more difficult to overcome is getting through the sales process of many car dealerships.
Chances are, you’ve noticed the difference in the tone and the way that salespeople act when they realize that you have bad credit. It’s not a good feeling to think that you’re being looked down upon. The fact is, there are many car salespeople that have bad credit themselves, due to the nature of working in a straight commission based job. So keep that in mind.
Proceed with caution…
One of the first tips that I would give anyone that’s looking to buy a car with bad credit, is to go about everything slowly and with caution. Keep your emotions out of the equation and read over everything carefully before signing anything. Take a pocket calculator with you to the dealership. When they offer you a payment amount for a certain number of months, multiply the two to see what you’re really going to end up paying for that vehicle. Out of hundreds of vehicles that I’ve sold or closed the finance on, I’ve never had one single customer pull out a calculator to do any math! Don’t you think that’s a smart idea when committing to buy a 10, 20 or 30 thousand dollar depreciating asset?
Don’t be intimidated…
Dealerships want to move cars off the lot. Your money or the money from your loan funding spends just as well as anyone else’s. Don’t let having bad credit make you feel like you’re in a weaker position to negotiate the price or any term related to your car deal. Haggle like it’s nobody’s business but yours and refuse to accept any offer, interest rate or price that you don’t feel comfortable with. Even if you feel comfortable with it, ask for a discount.
Know how to ask for a discount…
Why don’t you ask for a lower price or a lower interest rate? Many don’t know what to say. If that’s you, here’s a few tips that will surely give you an edge at bargaining time…
1) I like the car and can afford the payments, but I don’t think I would be making a smart decision by paying that amount. The total of payments equals XYZ and I don’t think that you would think I was very smart if I said I wanted that car at that price. If you can save me $1000.00 off the total of payments, I would think I was making a more intelligent decision.
2) You know, that’s a nice car and I can afford the payments, but I think that you would think I was an idiot for agreeing to this price. I understand that you need to make money as you do have expenses like light bills, commissions, etc., but I have expenses, too. If you can help me to save some money, I can help you make some money by buying this car.
3) As a general rule, I don’t like to spend more money that I think is reasonable. I appreciate the offer, but this is almost an insult to my intelligence. Yes, I have credit problems and part of that is because I’ve had more bills than I’ve had income. The last thing that I want to do is have a high payment that’s could be a challenge to pay should something unexpected happen. I’m thinking that you have the power to help me to save money, so what are you capable of doing?
Those are a few suggested “angles” that you can use if you want to save some money on the price of a car. Use them as you wish and hopefully they will give you some ideas.
Remember, the last thing a dealer wants you to have in your pocket is a calculator or an NADA car value book. So, make sure that you bring those along!
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