How to find the right $20,000 car loan
If it’s your first time shopping around for a car loan, it can be a bit tricky knowing where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions to get you on the right path when it comes to finding the right car loan for you.
Types of loans available
When it comes to car loans, there are two types: new and used car loans. As both their names suggests, a new car loan can be taken out to purchase a brand new car, while a used car loan is a loan used for purchasing second hand cars. Used cars tend to be cheaper, so you can often borrow less, with car loans often available from $5,000.
When you are buying a new car, often you will have the option to take out a secured car loan. This means that you secure the car against the loan and in exchange you get a lower interest rate. Lenders will usually have some kind of age limit to cars that can be used for security (usually up to 4 years old), this is why if you are buying a used car, you’ll have to choose an unsecured loan.
Fixed vs variable interest rate - what’s better for a $20,000 car loan?
Once you start shopping around for the right $20,000 car loan, you’ll find that there a two types of interest rates available: fixed and variable interest rates.
With a fixed interest rate, you’ll be able to lock in your rate over the loan term, meaning your repayments won’t ever change. This could be a good option for you if you like the comfort in always knowing your repayment amount.
On the other hand, a variable rate fluctuates with the market, so it is subject to change which means it can go up or down during your loan term.
What should I be comparing in a $20,000 car loan?
For many Aussies, finding the perfect car is a lot more exciting than finding the right car loan. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to shop around on car loans, as you’ll soon find that just like cars, they’re not all the same. Here are a few things to look out for when you start comparing car loans:
Like any other loan, the interest rate is possibly the first thing you look out for. The loan term is another important factor to consider, as it will impact the amount of interest you pay on the loan.
For example, say you took out a $20,000 car loan to repay over five years on an interest rate if 7.99%, using our car loan repayment calculator, you’d pay $4,326 in interest. However, if you took out the same loan but for a term of three years, you’d pay $2,559, a difference of $1,767!
The comparison rate is the rate that sits next to the regular interest rate and is the ‘true’ cost of your loan, as it takes fees and other costs you may encounter over the life of your loan. But while it can give you quick insight into how much the loan could cost, it is still an advertised rate and may not accurately reflect the real cost.
Speaking of fees, you’re likely to pay a few fees on your $20,000 car loan, like an upfront or ongoing fee.
Also known as an application fee, an upfront is usually charged at the start of your loan. Just keep in mind, these can get pricey so it’s worth weighing up whether this price is justified against the other loan features. Ongoing or service fees can be charged on either a monthly of annual basis. Think of these as a maintenance cost associated with keeping your loan going.
Other fees you could come across include discharge fees or late payment fees.
These days, loans come with more than just a interest rate, such as repayment features that can help you reduce your interest payments and pay your loan off faster. For instance, some $20,000 car loans may come with an extra repayments feature, which allows you to make additional repayments on top of your regular monthly repayments. One thing to remember is that there could be a limit to the amount of extra repayments you’re able to make.
And if you ever need access to those additional repayments for an unexpected expense, some loans come with a redraw facility. This allows you to withdraw any extra repayments you’ve made, just keep in mind there may be a fee each time you do this.
Many lenders also offer flexible repayment options, so you can make your repayments on a time that suits you best, whether that’s monthly, fortnightly or weekly.
More frequently asked questions
Can a car loan only be used to purchase cars?
Not necessarily. A car loan can also can also be used to purchase a motorbike or van.
What do I need to apply for a $20,000 car loan?
This will depend on the lender, as each will have their own application requirements. Aside from proof of ID, some of the more common details your lender may ask to see include:
- Your savings history - To show that you can be responsible with money, your lender may ask to see past bank statements, so it’s a good idea to start building a savings stash before you apply.
- Your employment status - You may be asked to provide payslips to prove you are employed as some lenders may not approve your loan application if you are unemployed or do not have a steady flow of income.
- Any other debt you may have - If you have any other type of debt, like credit card debt or a home loan, you will need to inform your lender as they need to be made aware of all your existing liabilities.
Can I get a $20,000 car loan with bad credit?
While you might be itching to pick up a brand new car, applying for a $20,000 car loan with a bad credit score isn’t always a good idea. Not only do bad credit car loans come with super high interest rates, but there’s a bigger chance of you being rejected, which will also go onto your credit history. In this case, you could be better off repairing your credit score before taking out a car loan.
What’s the best loan term for borrowing $20,000?
Every lender will have a minimum and maximum loan term, however with most car loans this range is from 1 to 7 years. Of course, the lower the loan term, the more your repayments will be so it is important for you to strike a balance between paying the loan down quickly with as little interest as possible, without putting financial strain on your household budget.
Both loan term and loan amount play a role here. The table below shows how a $40,000 car loan and a $20,000 loan, paid back over different terms but both at a 7% interest rate, can cost you very different amounts.
|Loan amount||Loan term||Monthly repayments||Total interest over life of loan|
We have a car loan comparison calculator on Mozo, so you can have a play around with this to see what the best loan term will be for you.
How often do I have to make loan repayments?
When you take out the car loan, your lender will give you the option of making weekly, fortnightly or monthly loan repayments. It is a good idea for you to set up automatic repayments or a direct debit so that you can be sure that your loan payments are made on time and in full on the due date.
Late repayments will not only attract a late fee, they will also get recorded and will show up in your credit report.
How long will it take to get my loan approved?
These days, with online loan applications you can get conditional approval pretty quickly. Some lenders will give same day approval, while others might take several business days to complete the process and fund the loan.
If you want fast loan approval the most important thing is making sure that you have all the information that you’ll need like: proof of income, copies of bank statements, list of assets and liabilities etc.
What happens if I want to pay out my loan early?
If you’ve taken out a $20,000 loan over 3 years and you’ve managed to get ahead on your repayments, if you are on a variable interest rate, you’ll be able to pay the loan out early. You might have to pay a loan discharge fee but this will be the same fee that you would have had to pay, had you kept the loan for the full term.
If you choose a fixed rate loan, it will depend on the lender and the remaining time left on the loan. Some lenders will let you pay out a fixed rate loan early without penalty if you’ve only got a few months on the loan left. Others will charge an early repayment penalty and the cost of this will depends on the lender and the loan. Be sure that you check all the rates and fees prior to signing any loan documents and if you are choosing a fixed rate loan, find a loan term that will be best suited to you sticking with the planned repayment schedule.