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How to Shop for a Car Loan Online

When buying a new or used car, it’s natural to lean on the dealership to assist you with financing. While this is an option, you should also consider the benefits of shopping for a car loan online — without any outside assistance or influence.

Many people shy away from shopping for a car loan online because they assume it’s a challenge. They assume it’s much easier to sit across from a dealership finance professional and let them take the lead. 

But this is the wrong line of thinking. It’s just as easy to shop for a car loan online. Not to mention the fact that it puts you in full control from start to finish.

If you’re ready to shop for a car loan online, here are five simple steps you can take:

1. Know what you’re looking for 

What term are you looking for? How much money do you need to borrow? What’s your down payment? Will your credit score work in your favor?

The more you know about what you’re looking for, the easier it becomes to locate and apply for the right loan from the right lender. 

2. Cast a wide net

Don’t hold yourself back by only considering one or two lenders. It’s faster and more efficient than ever to shop for a car loan online. You can easily compare three to five lenders — or more — within a matter of minutes.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for at first, continue your search until you do. This is a big decision that will affect you now and in the future. 

3. Compare the pros and cons of each lender

There are good and bad aspects of almost every lender. Compare the pros and cons of each one, focusing closely on the details that most closely align with your financial circumstances and goals. 

4. Ask questions 

Just because you’re shopping for a car loan online doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. You can do so via email, phone, or even live chat (depending on the lender). Don’t let a question go unanswered. Unearth the information you need to make an informed decision. You’ll never regret clearing the air by asking questions. 

5. Compare to what your dealership offers

Even if you’re confident in your approach, it’s good practice to compare your online quotes to what your dealership has to offer. You’ll either confirm that shopping online is the right solution or that your dealership has something better to offer. Either way, you’ll end up in the right place. 


Even though there’s more work for you to do, shopping for a car loan online — without assistance — gives you full control, confidence and peace of mind. Let the five tips above guide you on your search. 


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