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Just as the Internet has made it easier to find auto insurance quotes, credit card deals, and life insurance, so has it made getting a good deal on a car loan easier.

It has always been true that the best way to get a good deal is to shop around.  But when shopping around meant calling each individual lender to get a car loan quote, it wasn't exactly an efficient process.  But now you can get car loan quotes from a number of different lenders at once.  Shopping around has never been easier! is used by millions of individuals and referenced by many of the most reputable newspapers.  So it's a good start to find out what prevailing interest rates are for auto loans and to even get auto loan quotes from a variety of different lenders.  E-Loan and Lending Tree also offer online car loan quotes.

New car loan rates are almost always lower than used car loan rates, and new cars can usually be financed for longer terms than used cars.  So if you have a small down payment and are financing most of the purchase price, it may be more cost effective to buy a new car than a used car.

Most car dealers (both used and new) also offer financing.  Check out what kind of car loan your dealership could give you — just don't take that as the best offer.  Instead, compare it to the car loan quotes you received from other lenders.  And don't be afraid to negotiate with the car dealer.

Another benefit of shopping for car loans before you hit the dealerships is that you'll know how much car you can afford.  It's always so hard when you've fallen in love with your dream car, only to find out later that you can't afford it.  Save yourself the heartache by knowing your financial limits before you start drooling over the latest BMWs.

While shopping around for a car loan will help you get the best deal possible, ultimately the most important factor that affects your car loan is your credit score.  If you have a lower credit score, you'll probably pay a higher rate.

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