Buying a car is an important step, and one that requires much consideration. There are many aspects you’ll want to consider before purchasing a new or used vehicle, but a major piece of the car buying puzzle is deciding whether to pay cash upfront, or to finance your new ride.
So, how do you choose?
Well, there’s no one right answer for everyone. But if you are a foreign national in the United States and need a car, there are a few factors that you should consider before making a decision. Learn more about your options in this Car Payment Guide for Internationals article.
What’s the difference between paying cash and financing?
You have two options when you purchase a car through a dealer.
- Option 1: Pay cash, and leave the dealership with full ownership of your car. You have paid the price tag (or negotiated) amount in full. This means if you had $30,000 in your bank account and purchased a $25,000 vehicle, you now have $5,000 left in the bank, and a new car in your parking spot.
- Option 2: Finance. When you finance your new or used vehicle, you only pay cash for the down payment, a percentage of the total cost of the car. The remainder of the cost is broken down into monthly payments, with added interest. You have an auto loan.
Now, you may be thinking that by choosing to finance your car your total cost goes up due to the added interest of the course of your loan. If you have the money in the bank to cover the price tag, what’s the point of adding interest into the mix? Shouldn’t you try to save as much money as possible, to get the best deal?