How to buy a car if you are a college student on a tight budget
Students need money for lots of things: to pay for a college loan, to buy food, to share the room with a groupmate, to pay for college essay if necessary and other stuff. But one thing that every student dreams about is to be able to afford a car. This is possible only if you carefully plan your finances, don`t mind buying a used car and know a few useful hacks on choosing the best option for your budget.
How to get a great car in college
A car is one of the most necessary things in college as it gives you enough freedom and can even serve as a way of making money. That is why many students look for budget options if they don`t have a car, or their previous one is so old it breaks down every 100 meters. To get the best deal, you need to base your choice upon such factors as:
· Budget. Many students have part-time jobs but the budget is still limited. For $10 000 - $15 000 you will be able to buy a new but modest fuel-efficient car or a used vehicle of good quality
· Vehicle`s age. If your choice is a used car, we recommend considering the models that are less than 8 years old as they are usually in good condition and their parts are widely available in car repair stores;
· Cheap insurance. Having a car you need to be ready for monthly insurance payments, in addition to your rent and tuition fees. That is why you have to check if cheap insurance quotes are available for the car you are going to buy. Remember that more common car models are easier to insure, insurance for older cars is more expensive and mileage does matter;
· Fuel consumption. As fuel prices keep rising, buying a cheap car that consumes a lot of fuel is not logical. Consider cars with low fuel consumption rates before making a final decision.
Now when you know what to look at when buying a car, it`s time to talk about where to find the money.
1. Start saving early. Once you decided that one day you might need a car, it`s time to start saving money. Having more cash initially will help you shorten your monthly payments;
2. Buy from a dealer. It will give you an official guarantee that the car is okay even if it was already used and you will have no problems in use;
3. Pay cash. It will let you get a better deal so sometimes it`s worth waiting until you have enough. Credit funds will lead to paying more in the end;
4. Bring a friend. Two pairs of eyes are better than one, so have someone with you when you are buying. Maybe this person can also give you a good recommendation;
5. Increase your credit score. 700 or higher, remember? High credit score can get you an approval for better finance rates and, as a consequence, lower monthly payments;
6. Get a cosigner. If the credit score is bad, getting a cosigner will help you afford a car anyway. Just make sure you are able to make all the payments not to let this person down.