More often than not, buying a motor vehicle is going to affect your long-term finances negatively. Unlike a piece of real estate, a car will almost certainly make you poorer. It will not increase your wealth over time, for it can depreciate quickly, especially when new. Apart from its diminishing value, a motor vehicle can cost a lot of money to run, maintain, and insure.
The least you can do to minimize its impact on your financial health is to purchase it with prudence. You can start by choosing the right lender for Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kia, or VW car finance. Car loan lenders might be in the business for profit, but you should pay attention to those who try to skirt the rules to milk more money out of you.
Considering that you might not be familiar with the vehicle finance process, pay attention to the red flags below to determine whether your prospective lender is about to rip you off.
You Receive an Ambiguous Disclosure Statement
A car loan lender is legally obliged to provide you with a detailed disclosure statement. This document gives you a clearly defined breakdown of your costs. It should say the total amount you owe, your interest, your payment terms, and other applicable fees or charges.
More than just a list of numbers, your disclosure statement should also explain the calculation of the overall interest balance. It should also talk about what happens if you default on your loan.
If your lender provides you with a somewhat unclear disclosure statement, you should be suspicious and skeptical enough to get to the bottom of it.
You Can’t Get Good Explanation for Unreasonable Fees
Speaking of unclear details in your disclosure statement, watch out for strange fees or charges. You might be unfamiliar with all of the terms, but do not keep quiet if you encounter costs that do not explain themselves.
A reputable lender should be able to provide you with reasonable answers as to why you are in charge of such fees. If your questions are not addressed to your satisfaction, take it as a cue to take your business elsewhere.
You Are Given an Inaccurate Copy of the Contract
After your conversation with your prospective lender, you should receive an exact copy of your contract. It should be given to you, so you can review it at home and make sure you understand everything before you sign on the dotted line.
The copy of your contract should share the same content as your official deal. Otherwise, something might have been tweaked without your knowledge to trick you. Raise any inconsistency you find before signing off the formal contract.
You Are Told You Can’t Cancel the Contract
Your disclosure statement should also include a provision about your cancellation rights. If you change your mind after disclosure, you should be allowed to back out of the deal within five working days. If the other party keeps you from doing so despite what says in the disclosure statement, report your lender to the authorities.
Applying for a car loan should not be complicated, and yet it often is. Exercise due diligence to be aware of common scams, protect your best interest and avoid marrying yourself to an unscrupulous lender.