Whether you decide to buy your vehicle at the Glockner Family of Dealers or somewhere else, here's what getting an auto loan typically entails. You discuss your private money information with one or more members of the finance team. You then wait while they check your credit score and look at your credit report. You then receive approval for a loan that may or may not cover the car that you've set your heart on.

You can avoid all this lack of privacy and waiting, and receive other benefits if you get pre-qualified.

What is Pre-Qualification?

Pre-qualification means getting approved for an auto loan before you come to the dealership. And that becomes its first benefit. You can take your time in filling out our online form from the convenience of your home. There's no hurry and there's no pressure. If you have any questions, you can ask them using the online Text box or by giving us a call.

Benefits

The following lists some of the benefits of pre-qualifying for any auto loan.

  • You can estimate your monthly payments even before you fill out the form. All you need to know is the price of the vehicle, your down payment (if any), the Annual Percentage Rate, and the loan term in months. If you discover that your payment is more than your budget, you can adjust such factors as your down payment, trade-in value, and the length of the loan to lower your monthly installments.
  • You gain more privacy at home. While we do keep your financial information as secure as possible at the Glockner Family of Dealerships, if you go for a traditional auto loan, you will still need to reveal your private money information to a relative stranger who will then need to relay that information to a third party to check your background. Pre-qualification keeps everything online. You won't have to face anyone about your money situation.
  • If you need to check on documentation to make your loan application more accurate, you're more likely to have it close at hand at home than at the dealership.
  • You know in advance the amount of loan that you're approved for. You can then narrow your choices to only those vehicles that fall within your price range.
  • Checking your credit for pre-qualification is not considered an inquiry and so does not affect your credit score. If you check your credit for an auto loan, that is considered a hard credit pull, which lowers your credit score.

Your Credit Score

The interest rate and payment terms that you receive for an auto loan depend on your credit score, which is a number between 300 to 850 that measures your ability to handle money. Scores above 700 are considered good while those above 800 receive the best terms for being excellent. Scores under 600 get the highest interest rates.

You can view your credit score by asking for your credit report, which is free once a year from each of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. While you can contact each bureau individually, you can also order each report from AnnualCreditReport.com, also for free.

After you receive your credit report, check it for mistakes. If you find any, contact the merchant who reported the issue and ask them to correct it.

Improving Your Score

You can improve your credit score by doing the following:

·         Make the payments on your credit cards, loans, and bills early or on time. Your payment history forms a major part of your credit score.

·         Pay off as many balances as you can. You want to use only a small percentage of your available credit.

·         If it's not costing you any fees, keep unused credit and loan accounts open. The average age of all your credit accounts factors into your score.

·         Have a variety of credit accounts including installment accounts, such as a car loan or mortgage, and revolving accounts, such as credit cards.

Because it takes time for changes to reflect in your credit score, you want to do these steps several months before you pre-qualify for an auto loan.