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Laker Cents: What to Expect When Asking for a Vehicle Loan

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and knowing it’s all “yours”…but before that can happen, most people need to secure the financing for it. Although institutions do their best to make the process of getting a vehicle loan easy and relaxing, it can be a nerve-wracking thing for some. The more you know what to expect, the more prepared you will be, and the quicker you’ll be driving away in YOUR new (or new-to-you) vehicle!

Lock it down: Many places have an open door policy, allowing loan-seekers to walk in and meet with an available loan officer. Setting a meeting in advance is a good idea, though. You’ll have more time to prepare all the documents/info that you need so the process moves smoothly.

Be prepared for a Q&A: Plan to bring in your paystub from your employer as proof of income. Many times, you will be asked about your residency over a period of time. Write down the addresses of all the places you have lived in the last 2 years so you aren’t struggling to remember on the spot. The same will go for employment. Be prepared to answer where you’ve been working, what your title was/is, and who your supervisor was/is. Lastly, you should have a reference prepared for your meeting. The loan officer may ask for the name and information of someone they could call in the event that they can’t get ahold of you in the future. Confidential info is never disclosed to them.

Know your vehicle specs!  If you are just looking to get pre-approved for a vehicle loan, no worries. You’ll still need proof of income/pay stub to get pre-approved, but vehicle specifics will be covered when you find one. If you already have a vehicle in mind, be prepared to explain the make, model, and other details of it. You’re also going to need proof of insurance for loans over a certain amount. Check with your bank or credit union to determine if you’ll need the proof of insurance before getting the loan.

Prepare some collateral: Some loans need to be secured by collateral. If you know your loan will need collateral, have the information ready. This includes the VIN/title, year, make, model, etc. All of this helps the loan officer determine the value of that collateral.

Remember: the loan officers are there to help you. If you have questions in advance, call and ask! It wont be long before you’re on the road with your new wheels.

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