When you take out almost any loan, you’ll be required to pay the lender interest for allowing you to borrow money. In a nutshell, you’ll need to pay back the money you borrowed, plus whatever interest you accrue according to the set loan terms. Interest charges are usually included in your monthly loan payment.
So what determines your interest rate? There are various factors at play when calculating interest, including the borrower’s credit score, the loan term, and the down payment. In this article, we’ll cover the way car loan interest is calculated, the factors that affect rates, and how you can minimize your interest rate.
How Car Loan Interest Rates Are Calculated
Lenders usually calculate auto loan interest rates in two ways: simple or precomputed. Most auto loans are simple interest loans. In a simple interest loan, interest is calculated based on the loan balance the day the car payment is due. Thus, the amount of interest you pay changes each month. With a car loan with precomputed interest, interest is calculated at the start of the loan and is based on the total loan amount. In this case, you pay the same amount of interest each month.
Interest Rates vs APR
The cost of borrowing money from a financial institution is determined in two ways: interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR). The interest rate is how much you pay each year to borrow money, which is expressed as a percentage. APR reflects the interest rate plus any additional loan fees. Having a higher APR or interest rate means that more money will come out of your pocket until you pay off your loan. So, when shopping for loans, pay attention to APR as it will reflect the total financing cost.
[H2] Factors That Affect Car Loan Interest
Lenders determine interest rates after they review a borrower’s credit history and finances. Various factors can affect the rate offered. Generally, people with good credit scores are more likely to qualify for lower interest rates. Another thing that can influence an interest rate is the type of lender, whether that’s a bank, credit union, or online lender. Lenders tend to charge higher interest on loans with longer terms. Other things that influence rates include the size of a down payment, whether the car to be financed is new or used, and the current economic climate.
Finding the Right Montana Car Loan
Interest charges on Montana bank car loans can add thousands of dollars to the amount you have to repay. But the good news is that there are ways to minimize the impact interest has on your account, such as refinancing your existing loan, going for shorter loan terms, or paying off your balance early. To learn more about auto loans in Montana, contact Whitefish Credit Union.