The nuances of car loan pre-approval

Whether you are in the market for a new or used car, you should be armed with the knowledge that you need to make the process smooth and hassle free. Since financing a loan for your purchase, be it a new or used car, is probably something you are interested in, taking that little extra time online to get pre-approved will make for less stress down the line. Does the term pre-approved sound familiar? Well, we have probably all received offers for credit cards that scream “pre-approved�. So, in the context of a car loan and financing, what exactly does it mean, and what does the process entail?

Pre-approval can be done online using your chosen bank’s website or specialized portal, or when you get on the phone with a representative, answering some questions and finding out the answer. One great reason to apply for pre-approval is that you will get an idea of how much money you can get as a loan, towards your car purchase. Pre-approval, unlike the loan or finance approval, does not require you to have chosen a car, make, model, and narrowed down your choices or reached an almost final decision on which vehicle you want. Pre-approval application and approval takes place without the need for that level of information or choice having been made. The advantage, of course, is that you can get a good indication of how much you have to put down, and also what kind of financing you can expect. This in itself will be a deciding factor for many in figuring out what type of car and the price range they can afford and should be looking for.

It sounds too good right? So, what are the steps of getting a pre-approval? Most banks and finance companies will ask you to fill out some basic information online, using a form with a series of questions. And generally you won’t need to devote more than about 5 to 10 minutes to this endeavor. Of course, an integral part of getting pre-approved is providing credit history, and the information needed for the agency to run a credit check, so keep that information handy. Next, if you get pre-approved, and hopefully you will, you will receive a letter of confirmation from the institution, which will state the amount you are pre-approved for, and how you should go about availing yourself of the pre-approved loan.