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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  My First Auto Loan Date:  3/2/2009  1:33 PM
Author:  IslandFoolin Number:  285627 of 312185

For the past two years I have been without a car thanks to my city's top notch public transportation system. I now find myself in a new city that I love even more than the last but requires one to have a car. The move was unexpected and I have not saved up for an auto purchase. I've been hemming and hawing on making a purchase but the time has come to buy.

I do not own a home and have never taken a line of credit other than student loans and well managed credit cards. I have no idea what my FICO score is but I have a clean credit report. My "mandatory" debt to income ratio is 25% (25% of monthly income must go to contracted expenses) and I enjoy this. I understand that purchasing a car via loan will require certain insurance premiums and with this in mind I would like to keep my monthly auto loan & insurance expenses under $250/month, $200/month would be even better, however I feel this is asking too much.

I have been shopping for vehicles costing $8,000 or less and would prefer to purchase from a private seller. How do I go about inquiring what type of loan terms I can expect without adding a bunch of lines to my credit report? I bank with WaMu and Chase and have the option of joining a federal credit union through my employer.

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