Many consumers believe you can’t finance a used pickup truck or car. The fact is, used car dealers have some of the best financing available. They work with credit unions and banks to get the most attractive terms and pass them onto you. Like all loans, making a down payment is advantageous. But how much should you actually put down on a pickup truck?
A down payment isn’t always required for purchase, but it’s definitely a good idea.
- It will reduce the amount you’ll need to borrow.
- It improves your chances of loan approval.
- You may get better terms with a down payment.
- It will reduce your monthly payment.
First, let’s define down payment.
The phrase is actually derived from the old practice of putting money down on the table to show a seller good faith when negotiating a deal. Today, the down payment is simply a way of reducing the amount of risk a lender has to take when helping you make a substantial purchase.
Down payment isn’t always cash.
Your trade-in vehicle can serve as a down payment. If you still owe on that loan, the amount of “equity” you have can serve as your down payment. “Equity” is the difference between your trade-in’s loan payoff amount and the actual cash value of your car.
If you have a trade-in, and if you can swing it, any additional down payment – even a few hundred dollars – has a very positive effect in the long term.
For more pickup financing tips, check out our post: “Answers to Your 6 Biggest Used Car Financing Questions”
To determine the amount your down payment should be on a pickup truck, consider these two important factors.
1. Credit Score.
Before attempting to finance any purchase, you should always know your credit score.
Check your credit report as soon as you start thinking about buying a used car or truck, even if it’s months in advance. If you’ve got less-than-ideal credit, taking this action will help you even more…and save you tons of time and money.
By cleaning up your credit before applying for a loan, you improve your chances of being approved with decent terms. Cleaning up your credit will include paying off past due accounts, disputing credit report errors, and adding positive information to your credit report.
ProTip: You can obtain a FREE credit report.
FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Website: You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.
2. Your Monthly budget.
The bigger your down payment the lower your monthly payment will be.
For a used pickup truck loan, you generally want to put down 10% or more of the vehicle’s sale price if you want to reduce your monthly payment. For example, if you want to finance the purchase of a $15,000 pickup, you should plan to put at least $1,500 down. Lenders may require more down payment depending on your creditworthiness.
Generally, for every $1,000 of down payment you apply, you can expect your monthly payment to drop by about $25 to $30, depending on the interest rate.
Depending on your credit score, current interest rates and the type of pickup truck you want to buy, you may not need a large down payment. Some people like to finance as much as possible and keep their cash for other things.
Where do I go to learn more?
Each vehicle sale is different but at Dye Autos, we’ve sold thousands of pickup trucks and we’ve helped a lot of people who thought they’d never be able to afford a vehicle.