Check Your Credit

Physician's Money Digest, Nov30 2004, Volume 11, Issue 22

Car buyers:

Check your creditreport before you go shopping. Allthose dealer ads that mention goodieslike interest-free financing usually tackon a disclaimer that they are for qualified buyers only. Your credit report islikely to be the main benchmark a dealerwill use to decide if you qualify. Evenif there is no incentive on the table, theinterest you pay on the car loan will bebased on your credit score—the higherthat number, the lower the interestrate. With a score below 650, you mayget slammed with a 19% car loan,while a 750 score may earn you a 6%rate or lower. To find your score, go towww.myfico.com. If your score is inthe range of 650 to 700, you may bebetter off negotiating a bank loan foryour car purchase instead of financingit through the dealer.