BHPHAutoDealers – Important Questions for the Finance Manager by Jenny Bunn

BHPHAutoDealers - Important Questions for the Finance Manager   by Jenny Bunn

Jenny Bunn, Contributing Editor

You will likely find that the finance manager at any dealership is quite a busy person. They may come off grouchy at the end of the day, but if you spent your day convincing banks to buy deals while being stalked by a team of salespeople nonstop, you may find yourself on edge too. Don’t pity them too much, they are well compensated.

You will also find that they talk quickly and go over paperwork fast. Sometimes, this is because they are so busy, but other times, it is because they are trying to hide something. Have your questions ready to ask! Make sure you get answers. Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down or explain something over again. If you are not getting the answers you want, go to another dealership. You have already secured financing; a different manager can call the lender and request the approval to be switched to one of their vehicles if necessary.

Are there prepayment penalties?

If you have bad credit, you already know you are getting a high interest rate, so the best thing you can do is make extra payments toward the principle. Ask the finance manager if there are any penalties involved with the particular lender you are entering into an agreement with.

How long is the term?

Fantastic! The salesperson got you the car you wanted in your ideal payment range. Will your toddler be entering junior high before it’s paid off? Long-term means more interest and an increased risk of dealing with negative equity, if you want to trade the vehicle in after a couple years.

What is the interest rate?

You might feel a hard blow to the gut if you ask what the interest rate is; ask anyway! Also, make sure that the rate is not going to change at any time during the length of the loan as well.

I didn’t ask for an extended warranty; why is there one added?

You will find that many bad credit lenders require an extended warranty on the vehicle to ensure that it is properly taken care of. Although finance managers will try to sell you a lot of things, this really is something you want. Is it easier to pay a couple extra dollars a month in your payment or come up with several hundred for a repair?

Do I have to have life and disability insurance?

No! The finance manager will likely imply that you do and tell you what a good idea it is but you aren’t required to have it. That being said, sometimes it is a good idea to add to your loan. Disability is actually pretty smart to have, because if you can’t make the payments due to a disability, your payments will be made for you. Just because you can’t work, doesn’t meant that your family won’t still rely on that vehicle. As far as insurance goes, it depends on your situation. Again, if you have a family, do you want them to be responsible for paying for the car if something happens to you? If you don’t have a family, are you really concerned with the car being paid off if you’re gone?

You want me to pay how much for window etching?

No, you didn’t read that wrong, some dealerships charge as much as $500 for window etching. Well, at least that is what the finance department charges anyway. Does it really deter thieves? Sometimes it does. Can you buy an alarm and have the glass etched somewhere else and save a couple hundred dollars? Absolutely!

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