Auto Financing Tips

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Are you looking to buy a new or used car or truck, but unsure how to pay for it? Auto loans are a popular way to get the vehicle you want now and distribute the payments over time. However, it’s important to understand factors that affect your ability to qualify for a loan, as well as the interest rate you will pay and your monthly payments.

Consider the following to help you get behind the wheel and ahead of the curve:

  • Know Before You Go. Your credit score helps determine the loans you can get and the interest rates you’ll pay so it’s good to know your credit card score in advance. Better credit scores often translate into lower interest rates. You can request your free credit report from one of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year.

Want to take a deep dive into better understanding your credit score? First Commerce offers a free service through its digital banking platform called Credit Score powered by SavvyMoney that lets members monitor and manage their credit score online.

  • Consider Your Overall Budget. Before you hit the car dealership or begin your search online, determine what monthly car payment you can afford and how it fits in with your overall budget. It’s also helpful to know some basic loan terms:

Down payment: This is a payment you make upfront when purchasing a vehicle. In general, the larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount, and the lower your resulting monthly payments may be. It can be uncomfortable to write a large check, but you’ll enjoy more flexibility, less interest expense over time, and potentially lower monthly payments. In addition, if you plan to trade in your current vehicle, the trade-in credit can be used for your down payment.

Monthly payments: These are regular payments you make toward your loan for a specified period of time. Keep your payments at an amount that works within your budget and allow some room for unanticipated events or expenses that could affect your overall budget.

Do you have a vehicle you plan to trade in, or money to put down at time of purchase? This can help to lower the amount you will need to finance. Not sure how much your trade-in is worth? Consult trade-in values from multiple sources, such as Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds. These appraisal tools ask for additional details about your car, such as current mileage and vehicle condition level, to calculate an estimated value. With these figures you can set a target trade-in price range for negotiations.

  • Work With a Lender You Trust. It’s important to find a lender who will take the time to understand your unique financial situation and help you get pre-approved for an auto loan that works for you. Taking this step before you shop gives you buying power when you find the car or truck you want!

Ready to get ahead of the curve and behind the wheel of your new ride? For a limited time, First Commerce is offering auto loans with No Payments for up to Six Months. This special offer ends August 31. First Commerce also offers a fast, secure online application backed by local decisions and local servicing. You’ll see why we’re consistently ranked as the premier lender in North Florida and South Georgia!

If you’d like to know more about what First Commerce can do for you, visit us at for terms and details.

That’s The Power of You getting your next auto loan with First Commerce!

*Offer good June 1 – August 31, 2022, and subject to change. Loans subject to credit qualifications and approval. Your rate will be determined after a credit review and term of loan is selected. Six months until first payment feature will be available to qualified borrowers. Autos being refinanced must be currently held by another lender. Interest will accrue during the six months until first payment and will cause a slightly higher payment overall throughout the life of the loan ($5-$15 per month on a typical size auto loan) depending on the term of your loan, loan amount and rate. There is no penalty for paying off the loan early. You are not required to wait six months until the first payment. Call 850.488.0035 or 1.800.533.5772 for details about credit costs and terms. Insured by NCUA. Equal opportunity lender. NMLS # 774895