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How can I buy a car?

How can I buy a car? Where do I start?

How can I buy a car? For some, buying a car can be stressful and frustrating especially if you go into the process unprepared. Your dream car can turn into an expensive nightmare if you overpay for the vehicle or don’t understand what kind of loan you are getting. Using our car payment tools and auto loan calculator to calculate your monthly payment before going to the dealership can boost your negotiating power and help you choose the best loan for your budget.

Where do I start first? I don’t even know how much I can afford…

The cost of a new car can be intimidating. With even the cheapest new cars priced over $15,000, the idea of purchasing one can feel impossible. Further, today’s financing options and the availability of high-quality used cars means that owning a vehicle is within reach.

First, start by figuring out a price range that you can afford. When you choose a realistic budget, your goal will seem much more attainable. Next, consider how much you have in savings, how much you earn, what car payment you can afford, and ways you can cut expenses to put the money towards a vehicle. If you have been pre-approved for an auto loan, enter the rate you’ve received in the car payment tools or calculators. If you have not been pre-approved, check out our PAL Program. Additionally, you can also apply now and we will contact you soon. If you need a general idea right now, check out our rates and terms.

buy a car
When preparing to buy a car, keep the following things in mind:

  • If you can afford to pay the full cost up front, you will save a significant amount on interest and may even be able to negotiate a discount.
  • If you do not have a credit history, let us help. With Pearl Hawaii’s Credit Create, we will help you establish a credit history and help you with your auto loan.
  • Costs such as titling, destination fees, and registering must be paid when you purchase a vehicle.
  • The more you can put down, the lower your monthly payments will be.
  • If you have a hard time understanding anything, ask for clarification. Don’t sign any financial agreement before reading it thoroughly.
  • Don’t forget about the added expenses that come with owning a car, such as gas, maintenance, and insurance
  • When purchasing your vehicle, also do not forget about taxes and fees when considering the total price for your car. Typically, you will have to pay state sales tax, a documentation fee, and registration costs.

Research Car Prices

As a starting point, check out our car research tool. From there, you can see approximately the cost for the car you want and afford.  When estimating, consider the vehicle’s sticker price, which is also called the MSRP. If you are interested in buying a used car, estimating the sale price is a little more complicated.  To get an idea of a fair price, use the online pricing guides and research tools or find the Kelley Blue Book Karpower Retail Value.

 

Choosing Loan Terms 

Typically, car loans commonly range from two to six years. Pearl Hawaii does offer up to eight-year terms on certain vehicles. Overall, when you choose a longer-term, you will be paying more interest. When you meet with a Pearl Hawaii loan officer, you will be able to see how much interest you will pay during the life of the loan.  Contact our loan staff at 808.737.4328 or email our loan team to get started.

While considering this, sometimes your monthly car payment may be more important than the total cost of the car. With our car payment calculators, you can quickly determine how much you will owe and what you can afford. A car payment has to fit in your monthly budget and your lifestyle’s needs.

 

Not All Car Loans Are Created Equal

Predominately, there are two major types of auto loans. With a simple interest loan, your interest is calculated based on your loan balance on the day your car payment is due. The amount of interest you pay each month changes. With a car payment that is made up of precomputed interest, interest is calculated at the start of your loan and based on your total loan amount. Essentially, did you ever have a loan where it feels that the loan amount owed barely budges although you just made a payment? Most likely, you had a precomputed interest loan. Pearl Hawaii only offers simple interest auto loans. For more information, check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). CFPB is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Get Started With A Car Payment Calculator

Overall, auto loan and car payment calculators are useful tools to assist you with educating yourself before visiting us or walking into a dealership. While you cannot calculate your exact monthly car payment, you can gain a good estimate and help you compare auto loan offers with confidence. Are you considering your next car, but you are not sure what the monthly payment will look like or how much you can afford? Certainly, the best way to estimate what your monthly payment might be is to check your credit and then use a car payment calculator. However, you won’t know exactly what rate and loan amount you qualify for until you apply for a car loan.

These car payments calculators will help you visualize how changes to your interest rate, down payment, trade-in value, and vehicle price affect your loan. Take some time to experiment with different values to find an auto loan setup that works best for your lifestyle and that does not break your budget.

Additionally, information from our car payment calculators is for example purposes. Our interactive calculators are educational tools. We cannot and do not guarantee their accuracy in regard to your individual circumstances. While a calculator can be useful, all examples are hypothetical and are for educational purposes. We encourage you to meet with a Pearl Hawaii Federal Credit Union loan officer for accurate car payment information. Contact our loan staff at 808.737.4328 or email our loan team to get started.

Our rates

Get Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan

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Get Help With Calculating Your Next Car Loan: Car Payment Calculators

AFFORDABILITY CALCULATOR FOR AUTO LOANS

AUTO REFINANCE CALCULATOR – TERM

PAYOFF CALCULATOR WITH EXTRA CAR PAYMENTS- AUTO LOANS

AUTO REFINANCE CALCULATOR – MONTHLY CAR PAYMENTS

LOAN RATE VS. CASH BACK AUTO FINANCING CALCULATOR

WHAT CAN I AFFORD?: TERM, DOWN PAYMENT, CAR PAYMENT

WHAT’S MY MONTHLY CAR PAYMENT? 

OTHER TOOLS

RESEARCH A VEHICLE

APPLY FOR A LOAN

FREE CREDIT REPORT

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: ABOUT FREE CREDIT REPORTS

KELLEY BLUE BOOK RESEARCH

 

Useful Terms For Car Payment Calculators

Trade-in and down payment: Enter the total amount of cash you will put towards the new car. If you have a trade-in vehicle, include the cost. Make sure to research how much your trade-in is worth.

Interest rate: You can enter the rate you’ve prequalified for or estimate your rate.

Number of months: Enter the loan term, or how long you plan to take to pay off the loan.

In addition to looking at the monthly car payment result, adjust your down payment amount, the interest rate, or loan term and see how the numbers change. Overall, see how the amounts impact your car payment and total loan costs so you can compare.

 

 

 

 

 

 


NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEXT CAR? 

If you need to borrow money, we can help you. If you’re still not sure whether a loan is a right option for you, call us at 808.73.PHFCU (737.4328) or visit one of our locations on Oahu (Waipio, Waianae, Ewa Beach, Honolulu,  Airport,  and Pearl Harbor). Our team is ready to look at your financial situation and recommend the best option for you. You can also apply online to get started…