Zero Percent Car Financing

The Truth About Zero-Percent Car Financing

What does zero percent car financing really cost? Car dealers have been very successful with their zero percent financing campaigns – so successful that the concept has been repeated in other industries such as electronics, furniture sales and credit card companies.

According to CNW Research, only one-third of buyers who apply for zero percent auto financing actually qualify and only 10% of those deals actually close according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. CNW Research goes on to state that many zero percent car financing qualifiers overpay for their car, since they assume they’re getting the best deal available and they fail to negotiate the price. Automotive manufacturers use their own financing companies to underwrite these zero percent car financing deals, each of which have their own credit qualifications. Generally speaking an applicant must have close to perfect credit to qualify for zero percent financing.

If you have been one of the fortunate ones that didn’t get lured in with the zero percent offers only to get switched to a higher rate because of “blemishes” on your credit and the dealer is now offering you that “free” money, here are some drawbacks you should be aware of before signing that deal.

  • Shorter Loan Terms. 36 months is average which means your monthly payments will be much higher.
  • Limited Inventory. The zero percent financing offers are generally reserved for models that are suffer from low sales and is not offered on any pre-owned inventory.
  • Cash Back. Have you every noticed the “or” clause in those zero percent car financing advertisements? You may have seen ads stating “0% or $10,000 cash back” That $10,000 you lose by opting for the zero percent financing is the actual cost of borrowing. This often equates to an interest rate much higher than a traditional car loan.

Adding up the Numbers

A recent search of the website of one of the Big 3 automakers shows an offer of zero-percent financing on a 2008 mid size sedan. This is how the numbers work out.

Annual Rate

6.95% (New Car)
Cost of Car $29,999 $29,999
Less Rebate$0 $5000
Amount to Finance $29,999 $24,988
Monthly Payment $625 $596
Total Cost $29,999 $28,608
Savings $0 $1,391

Based on 48 months. Does not include taxes, administration or other fees dealer may charge.

Online Credit Applications

One of the most streamlined ways to secure financing for a new vehicle is to use one of the many online Canadian car loan services. These companies allow car buyers to fill out car loan applications free of charge.

This method is recommended for car buyers with all types of credit ratings. It can certainly help people with poor credit ratings secure the loans that they need, but buyers with good credit can benefit from them as well. Oftentimes, more than one dealership or lending partner will vie for your business, which enables you to choose the financing that is best suited to your budget.

Having a service arrange your financing also affords you the opportunity to spend your time focusing on other aspects of the car buying process. This time could be wisely spent researching what cars you can afford, and determining what your needs are. Armed with that information, and a loan secured at a dealership or from a lending partner, you’re ready to begin shopping for a new car as a prepared and knowledgeable consumer.

Apply Now : And be driving your best priced used car in days.