Used Auto Loan Rates: Tracking the Trends

Used auto loan rates are typically higher and more volatile than new auto loan rates primarily because, while both are affected by many of the same economic conditions, the value of used cars is more difficult to determine. Within a single metropolitan area, lenders' offers may even vary by 2% under the same terms. To track the trends of used auto loan rates and determine whether you should immediately take advantage of the lowered rates and are getting a fair offer, you have several options.

Online

The most up-to-date and reliable source of used auto loan rates and their trends is HSH Associates (found at http://www.hsh.com/graphautoloans.html). Bankrate also offers its statistical services, and will yield information on trends based on zip code and loan terms so that you can personalize the trends you view according to your situation and local area (found at http://www.bankrate.com/crc/rate/auto_home.asp). A good way to check not only local trends, but also to acquire a list of specific lenders and their auto loan rates in your area, is to use online loan rate calculators.

Ask the Experts

Loan brokers are excellent resources for learning about recent and long-term trends in auto loans. Give a local expert a call or find one online. Not only can they help with providing valuable information about the direction that rates might continue to follow but can also point you toward those institutions that tend to offer the best deals specifically because of the trends associated with used auto loan rates.

So What's the Trend

As with just about everything else, the economy has a decided affect on used auto loan rates. So in times when the economy begins to fall with the inevitability like the waves of the sea, buyers and sellers come out of the woodwork in order to take advantage of the inevitable downturn in rates that almost always follows. This means that those with their ears to the ground will try to take advantage of these trends in any number of ways. Buyers will seek out those lenders who are being forced to follow the rate decline while dealers will try to attach hidden fees and penalties or fantastic introductory rates to draw in those same buyers. Remember that trends tending toward lower and lower rates on used auto loan rates can not only be a benefit to buyers but can also create an incentive market for dealers who use the lowered rates to attract unwary buyers into loan terms that only serve to increase their profits in the long term.


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