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?

 should you finance a car or buy cash

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?

Not always.

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If you’ve already read our guide to buying a car, then you know that getting covered by car insurance is an important step in the car ownership process in the United States. Not only is insurance important to protect you in case of an accident, but it is also required by law.

car insurance for international students

A quick search of “car insurance” yields endless results; there are differences in what coverage is required even between states here, and the number of options are endless. We know that the process of getting insured from start to finish can seem overwhelming to anyone, especially foreign nationals just getting the hang of things the American way, so we put together the International Student Guide to Car Insurance. We will discuss:

  1. Deciding what coverage you need
  2. What paperwork you need to gather
  3. How the quoting process works
  4. How to get the best price
  5. Deciding which insurance company is right for you
  6. What to do once you are insured

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The United States is a nation built on having an automobile. Everyone has a car, with many families owning more than one. Large highways traverse the nation, and the idea of a road trip is a long-romanticized way of seeing the country. car financing for internationalsIt seems that owning and driving a car is inevitable, but is it?

With cities becoming more densely populated and easy access to on-demand ride services like Lyft and Uber, the way we get from point “A” to “B” is changing.

We think it’s worth exploring a simple question — “Is it better living outside the city with a car, or living in the city with a car?” It’s a complex question with varied answers, so we’ll break down some of the most common areas and explore what could influence your decision. People are increasingly moving into larger cities, with a 12% increase in urban populations between the years 2000 and 2010.

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car financeIf you want to borrow money to buy a car, it’s important to understand how auto loans work, the interest they charge, the repayment terms, and how much you could end up paying back. You need to make an informed choice that works for your budget, especially as an international moving to the U.S. from overseas.
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car loan for international students
If you’re a student, deciding to study internationally can be a fantastic way to expand your horizons, get exposure to a different culture, and enhance your perspective. But, it also introduces plenty of challenges, and you need to be ready for them. Finding accommodation, settling in, and getting the right car are vitally important.
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build credit historyRelocating to the U.S. can be both an exciting and daunting experience. So many things to figure out before leaving your home country, so many things on your to-do list upon your arrival. Where do you start? We suggest starting with your money matters. After that, everything else will pretty much follow smoothly. And here is some useful information to get you started. Read more

car financeManaging your finance in the U.S. is a big deal, especially for international students. You have tuition to pay, perhaps loans you’ve taken; you might be receiving financial aid or stipends, and you’ll probably want to transfer some money from home when you first arrive. A U.S. bank account will make all that much easier, but that could seem a bit confusing. Here’s some information to help you figure it all out. Read more

car loan for expats
It’s time for a new car and you’re a bit lost as to which option makes most financial sense? As always, the answer is not a clear-cut. You’ll have to consider your needs, financial means and lifestyle in order to choose the best option for you. Ask yourself when trying to make this decision: What kind of car do you want? How often do you plan on replacing your car? Can you commit to a minimum of 3 years in the U.S.? Do you require unlimited mileage? As experts in this field, here are some of our best learnings.
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