After asking your friends and family for rides anywhere and everywhere, you have finally come around and decided to buy your own car. This is an exciting decision that can alleviate the burden of hitching rides from everyone you know and grant you complete and total freedom. However, there’s one problem. Like many first time car buyers, you may be unsure of how to go about making such a grand purchase. The good news is that there are numerous ways to feasibly buy a car by having the right financing strategy. While buying a car can get a little stressful, it’s important to know your options. This guide is here to get you started in the right direction to financing your first car.
**Research and Prepare**
Before you deep dive into your car inspired daydreams, get realistic. The most important aspect of buying a new or used car is to start by gathering the information. Understand what you’re looking for and [consider what works with your budget](https://www.carmax.com/articles/car-financing-top-10-questions). A huge factor of what car you are able to finance stems directly from your monthly and annual income. This should be your golden rule when deciding on the car on want and knowing this information before you hit a dealership is a definitely time saver.
**Check Your Credit Score**
When you apply to finance for anything, knowing your credit score. This information is used by loaners to determine how much money they can loan you. From credit cards to home mortgages, it’s vital that you pay your bills on time so your credit score doesn’t take a hit. Another thing to keep in mind is that some credit is better than no credit. If you don’t own a credit card, you should strongly consider applying for one so you can start building credit. It’s wise to manage your money strategically so when the time comes to buy a car, nothing will stand in your way.
**Consider A Cosigner**
Sometimes, a first-time buyer will [consider having a cosigner](https://www.thebalance.com/how-a-car-loan-affects-the-credit-of-a-cosigner-527158 “consider having a cosigner“). This is a great option for buyers with little to no credit. Your cosigner can be a family member or a friend with a good credit score. Their name is also the one going on the loan, meaning you will both be affected if you miss a payment.
**Understanding the Process**
Now is the time to hammer out the details. When everything is set and ready to go, it’s time to pick a dealership and check out your first car. Taking your time is important here as buying a car is nothing to rush into. Make sure that you give it a day of research and thought before pulling the trigger on a vehicle. Go online and get a good idea of the vehicle’s market value and how other people feel about that same model. Now relate this to how much you’re able to pay and your feelings on the car. If the price seems fair, then go back and do your thing. PRO TIP: Always say that you’re ready to sign that day, but only for a lower price. If they can’t honor this, don’t be afraid to walk. Now, its [time to get financed](https://www.carmax.com/articles/car-financing-for-first-time-car-buyers “time to get financed“)!
**Thinking About Financing**
All you have to do now is to let your salesmen or dealer know you’re ready to move forward with purchasing and financing your vehicle. You’ll need to be prepared with your social security number so they can check to see if you qualify. Financing your car with a dealership can actually be quick and painless when you know what to expect. If your credit score isn’t so perfect, you’re going to have a few more bumps in the road. Good thing you prepared, right? This process can be daunting, but going into it prepared will make it that much easier. Bringing someone along for the ride is always a good idea, too, so they can stop you from making rushed decisions. Now you have a few more tools under your belt and its time to get that car of yours – good luck!