Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 4
One of the options listed here has always left me confused:

"Be especially careful when car shopping because Detweiler has heard lots of complaints from consumers whose scores dropped when they had several dealers pulling their reports for financing options. Rather than let a dealer shop your credit, choose a lender you like beforehand and get pre-approved for a loan."

Okay, it's been a while since I took out a car loan, so maybe everything's changed lately. But about ten years ago I was in the market for a used car (and a used car loan) and taking advice like this, I approached the bank where I had a checking account:

Me: Hello, I'd like to get pre-approved for a car loan.

Them: Which car?

Me: Um.

Them: How much does the car cost? What year is it? How many miles does it have? What color is it?

Me: I don't understand your questions. I haven't set foot on a car lot yet.

Them: No problem. Go find the car you want to buy, then come back and ask us if we'll loan you the money.

Me: See, here's the thing. The sort of car I am going to shop for depends on what kind of loan I can get. It would be pointless for me to pick out, say, a $20,000 car if you'll only loan me $10,000.

Them: We can't tell you how much we'll loan you until you tell us what car you want.

Me: That would require me to go to a car lot, tell them I want to buy a particular car, and then leave the car lot to come back and talk to you. I have a hard time doing that. I know you'll snicker at me later, but I struggle with high-pressured sales people. The only way I can leave a car lot without having bought a new car is by brandishing weaponry.

Them: Ah, I see the problem. Okay, let's do this. You put up $20,000 in a secured account, and then we'll pre-approve you for a $20,000 car loan.

Me: You're funny. If I had $20,000, I would use it to buy a car, and I wouldn't need a loan.

Them: Well, perhaps you can save up the money and come back when you're ready to see what pre-approved loans we can offer you.

Me: Yeah, sure. <Walks away grumbling.>


And so what inevitably happens is that I let the dealership handle the financing, seeing as how they already know what color car I want to buy.
Print the post  

Announcements

UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.