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As we creep towards being able to finally purchase one, I wanted to ask your opinion in regards to who and how to go about purchasing a vehicle via an auto loan.

When I bought the 2013 FIT a couple of years ago, the sales rep at the Honda dealer offered me a 5 year plan at 0.9% APR. Given that Wells Fargo (my bank) was offering a 2.7% APR at best at that time, it was pretty much a no brainer to go with Honda.

I may or may not get a similar deal with Honda this time, but I, for other reasons, may go with my bank this time anyways, especially if I don't get that 0.9% APR offer this time. However, given that supply of the HRV will be short and waiting lists probably long, they may not allow me to first go to my bank with their quote and secure that loan and then return to the dealer with the money without going ahead and selling the car to the next person in line.

So perhaps it would be wise to just go along with Honda so I could drive it off the lot that day.

Thoughts?
 

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It really depends on inventory and what cars need to move off the lot. Probably will see lots of low interest deals on the 2015 cars this summer but nothing for the 2016 models.

I recall last summer when the 2015 Fit was released there were tons of deals for 2014 Civics and Accords. They even pounced on me via email when I scheduled an oil change for my 2008 Fit to see if I'd like it assessed for trade in while getting my service and offered me a screaming deal on a Civic.... I told them to calm down and call me when the Vezel/HR-V showed up, but to feel free to appraise my car for trade in since I was curious how much it would be worth. They said they only appraised if I was going to trade in that day. That guy must have been so desperate for a sale that month he was combing the service appointments. Gross. It's definitely given me pause about going back to that particular location for my next purchase despite being loyal since 2008 for all my service.
 

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I see civic

0.9% APR for 24-48 months or 1.9% APR for 49-72 months.

Would be great if HR-V was the same.
I don't see why they would do it different, we'll see what the final numbers are but it is safe to assume these will be it for the HR-V too
Some might disagree but in my view is not worth it, for example my credit union offers 1.45% for 60 months (the term I have planned)
At 1.9% (best guess for honda financing) the monthly payment per 1000$ borrowed is 21.65$
for 1.45% is 21.46%; that is a 1% difference in monthly payments, for the amount I am planning to borrow the difference is about 235$ over five years, not to mention that a lot of dealers give a discount if you go with their financing, erasing any savings with the lower rate. Aplying for credit with the credit union takes more time than the expedited dealer application and might delay getting the car, its all about how much your time and pattience are worth in the end...
 

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Before I was ready to buy any car, I went to my AAA office, and they pulled my credit score (740) and shopped around for a 2.24% rate for $14,000 for 5 years for a used CR-V (needed a VIN to run the numbers).

When I decided to buy the HR-V, I told the dealership they would have to do better. The finance guy pulled my credit score from another source, and got a lower score (692). They said they couldn't do any better than 2.79%, but the difference each month wasn't a lot.

I went back to AAA with sales agreement for the HR-V EX CVT AWD I wanted to buy, and said I would need $16,000 for a $24,000 car. She said that with that much of a down payment, she could get me 1.96% for 5 years. I took the check back to the dealer, and they were not happy. They told me I could not use my credit card for more than $2,500 (I wanted to charge more, get the 1.5% back, then withdraw the money from savings and pay the credit card in full at the end of the month.) The dealer would not take a personal check unless I financed with them, and the AAA credit union check had a typo. They really wanted to me to finance through them, and actively tried to discourage me from doing it any other way.

Ironically, I had been dropped off at the dealership with the AAA credit union check, my credit card, and my checkbook. I could not leave until I had my car or someone came to get me. Quite an impasse, with the saleswoman going back and forth to her manager, once even with my cell phone in her hand showing I had enough cash (and not much more) in my checking account, if they would let me charge $4,000. We finally broke the logjam when I offered to take a final test drive to get a new credit union check with the dealer's name spelled correctly, and a bank check made out to the dealer, if they would charge $4,000 to my credit card.

I did not like that the dealer's finance guy was not working hard to get me the best rate (although at the end he offered to match it). I understand their reluctance to take a personal check, because if they financed it, they could add to the total amount financed if there was a problem with a personal check. I had heard of other people buying cars on their credit cards for frequent flier miles, so I was surprised that the dealer would not take my cards for as much as I wanted to put on them. I figured agreeing to MSRP and then letting them keep the car to show it over the weekend was enough of a concession on my part. They were not happy I did not take their financing, or they were putting on a show to make me think my deal was better than it was.

Bottom line, my costs would have been almost $400 more if I went with the initial dealer financing proposal. It's not that much over 5 years for a $24,000 car, but it was their pocket or mine. I just spent a lot buying a new car, so I needed the money more.

I recommend shopping around to know what rate you can get elsewhere, so that the dealership finance person has some incentive to match or better it. Finance as much as you want to, but make sure you can prepay without penalty to save on interest charges. And then everyone will be happy!
 

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If your credit is really good check out Lightstream. I have not used them yet but they claim 1.9% for a 60 month loan for people with good credit (like me!). You apply online and then the next day they call you with a few questions. Once approved they transfer the complete loan amount to your bank account so when you go to the dealer it's like you're paying cash. You just whip out your check book and tell the salesperson you're ready to write a check right on the spot. Sweet! No dealing with the finance people or putting up with those extended warranty pitches! There is also no lien on the vehicle. Sounds like a great concept but again I have not tried them yet. Just reporting experiences I've read about online.
 

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Bought my HR-V today. Dealer pulled an 809 on me and a 750 on my husband. Best they could do was around 4.5%.

I got preapproved by Lightstream yesterday at 1.99%, so I ended up just writing the dealer a check. I was able to finalize all my documents with Lightstream on my phone while in the finance guys office. Had to provide checking account info along with a credit card number to complete everything with them. I've never done business with them before, but they're through Suntrust, and I had my first mortgage through them.
 

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I purchased my HRV this afternoon. The dealer was not offering any deals. they told me that best deal was with my credit union at 1.9% for 48 months. This is what I went with.
 

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HRV-Guy, I took a loan from Lightstream. Its true they will give you 1.99%. I don't know about 5 years, but I took for 3 yrs @1.99 %. They asked for my paystub and next day emailed me informing Loan was approved. They asked me what day I want money in my account and to choose payment due date( choice was from 19th to 29th). First I asked for $20K but then increase to $25K and they approved immediately. My Credit score was 797 but they check Equifax and it was 730 there. There is another Credit Union (DCU.org) who gave me $25K @1.76% for 5 yrs but I went with LightStream because the title will be under my name and I can keep the title. Don't have to send the title to them.
 

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HRV-Guy, I took a loan from Lightstream. Its true they will give you 1.99%. I don't know about 5 years, but I took for 3 yrs @1.99 %. They asked for my paystub and next day emailed me informing Loan was approved. They asked me what day I want money in my account and to choose payment due date( choice was from 19th to 29th). First I asked for $20K but then increase to $25K and they approved immediately. My Credit score was 797 but they check Equifax and it was 730 there. There is another Credit Union (DCU.org) who gave me $25K @1.76% for 5 yrs but I went with LightStream because the title will be under my name and I can keep the title. Don't have to send the title to them.
I got 1.99% for 60 months. I asked for 20k. I did not have to submit a pay stub or anything, just confirm a few details over the phone.
 

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I have light stream approval - submitted last night, approval at 8 am and link to set up account and transfer funds by noon. I will complete at dealer as aatx did. Want to make sure I find the right car tomorrow before I finalize loan. Drove LX MT this week but really want EX - closest one is 500 miles away. Will probably get AWD EX but need black interior. Decisions, decisions!
 

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On of the things about Lightstream I'm wondering about is say you ask for $25K and that gets deposited in your account, but after making your deal all you need is $20K or less. Are you supposed to pay back the excess to Lightstream immediately? Can you even do that? Or are you stuck with paying interest on the excess amount for the term of the loan? Lightstream almost seems like an extended credit line that credit cards offer.
 

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On of the things about Lightstream I'm wondering about is say you ask for $25K and that gets deposited in your account, but after making your deal all you need is $20K or less. Are you supposed to pay back the excess to Lightstream immediately? Can you even do that? Or are you stuck with paying interest on the excess amount for the term of the loan? Lightstream almost seems like an extended credit line that credit cards offer.
There is no prepayment penalty. They do say the loan must be used for the purpose you said and you may be asked to provide documentation. My entire purchase price was under 25K, so I personally would not have felt comfortable saying I needed that amount. Now, 24.5K would have been safe for me as I could have shown the purchase price of the car was more than this. (No trade-in.) They may never call you on this, but I don't like to mess around.
 

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I had my preapproved 1.99% loan ready to accept if needed. Honda offered 2.99%. I said I was preapproved for 1.99% and could also pay cash. Got honda 1.45% 48 month loan today.
 

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On of the things about Lightstream I'm wondering about is say you ask for $25K and that gets deposited in your account, but after making your deal all you need is $20K or less. Are you supposed to pay back the excess to Lightstream immediately? Can you even do that? Or are you stuck with paying interest on the excess amount for the term of the loan? Lightstream almost seems like an extended credit line that credit cards offer.

Nope you dont need to pay interest. . Its a daily simple interest loan. They charge interest on daily basis. Below information is in my agreement with LightStream and I believe its common for everyone who is taking loan from LightStream. Hope this answer your question hr-v guy.

DAILY SIMPLE INTEREST LOAN: This loan is a daily simple interest loan. This means that the amount of interest is calculated each day based on the unpaid principal balance of this loan using the Annual Percentage Rate shown in the Disclosures section above. Because of this daily calculation, the Finance Charge shown above may vary depending on when we receive your payments. Any such variance could affect the amount of your final payment. For example, payments made prior to the Payment Date would reduce your final payment because there would be less interest accrued on this loan. In contrast, payments made after the Payment Date would increase the amount of your final payment because more interest would accrue on this loan. Your final payment will also vary depending on the number of days from the date of Funding to your scheduled first Payment Date. The number of days to your scheduled first payment will range from 19 to 53 days after Funding. The actual date depends upon the date of Funding and the Payment Date that you designate when you electronically sign this Agreement. The fewer the number of days after Funding to your first scheduled payment, the smaller your final payment will be because less interest will accrue on this Agreement. After you make your final payment, we will send you a refund check for any amount we owe you if this amount is $1.00 or more.

PREPAYMENTS: You have the right to make additional payments on this Agreement, in full or in part, at any time before the final Payment Date without penalty

Important Reminder from LightStream when I got my load approved:
Do NOT have LightStream listed as a lienholder on your vehicle title or loss payee on your insurance policy. If your lender or insurance company inquires, just tell them that you did NOT use secured financing. This will save each of us paperwork hassles in the future. Thanks!
 

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Thanks Ben. By the way, I read in a user review of Lightstream to be careful how you make pre-payments. I think someone said they made one on a date different than their monthly payment date and it screwed things up. So I guess we need to check with Lightstream before making a pre-payment to make sure its done the way they want.
 

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Thanks Ben. By the way, I read in a user review of Lightstream to be careful how you make pre-payments. I think someone said they made one on a date different than their monthly payment date and it screwed things up. So I guess we need to check with Lightstream before making a pre-payment to make sure its done the way they want.
Didn't knew about that. Thanks hrv-guy. Will discuss about this with LightStream.
 

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Thanks Ben. By the way, I read in a user review of Lightstream to be careful how you make pre-payments. I think someone said they made one on a date different than their monthly payment date and it screwed things up. So I guess we need to check with Lightstream before making a pre-payment to make sure its done the way they want.
It looks pretty easy to do through their system, but just note that it is a $100 minimum to make an extra payment.


 

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You can get a 60 month loan from the dealership for less than 2%, they just won't be happy with it. They offered me a loan through a CU for 2.3%, let them know that I could get 1.99 for 72 months, the returned with an offer of 1.9 for 60. I really didn't want to pay for 72 months anyway :)
 
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