You are probably searching high and low for the cheapest car loans if you're considering buying a new car. Everyone wants to get the best interest rate they can and it is possible even if you have bad or less than perfect credit provided you take your time and shop around. You might also be considering refinancing an existing car loan as interest rates or your credit rating may have improved since you took out your initial loan. Keep a few of these simple strategies in mind when trying to get the best annual percentage rate on your new or existing car loan.

Even if it takes you a little longer to build up the cash, use as much money for your down payment as you can when buying a new car. This is a good move, since you'll end up borrowing less money and paying less interest on that loan, saving you cash.

Do not let a pushy salesperson drive your purchase or financing decision. Be aware that the salespeople at the car lot are out to make money for themselves and the dealership, not cut you a deal or make sure you get the cheapest car loan available.

It can be a savvy economic strategy to get your car loan on the Internet. Often the cheapest car loans can be found online. If your only experience in getting auto loans is in person at your bank or at a dealership, however, you might be a bit wary of obtaining financing online. First, make sure you know the sticker price plus taxes of the car you want to purchase when you apply for a car loan online. If you are still undecided about which make and model of car you want, put in the most expensive of the models you are considering. You will then get a blank check from your lender as soon as they approve the amount you want for your loan. In the event you need less than you thought, write the check for the exact amount of your purchase and the lender will reduce the loan amount. It will help if you ask for slightly more than you think you need, since it would be a hassle to ask for more money later if you need it.

You could also sell your old car directly to an individual instead of trading it in. You can often get more money selling the car privately. It is almost always well worth the extra time and effort it takes to sell your car yourself rather than trading it in. You will get more money for it than a dealership will give you and you can use the sale proceeds for the down payment on a new car.

If you are still making payments on an existing car loan, you can refinance the loan and that can save you some money in the long run. You can get your interest rate lowered through refinancing, especially if your credit rating has improved or loan market conditions have changed since you first got it. There is no appraisal needed, since auto refinancing revolves around the amount of debt you have left on the current car loan instead of the car's true value. However, some lenders will not refinance their own car loans, so you may have to go shopping for a new lender in order to find the cheapest car loans for refinancing.

Having a good credit rating can be crucial to finding the cheapest car loans. Credit scores are figures ranging from 300 to 850 with the average person scoring somewhere within the 600 to 700 range. A lot of factors like payment history, length of your credit history, amount of new credit, and total debt figure into your credit score. Paying your bills on time, using a low percentage of your total available credit and making sure your credit report contains no incorrect information can result in a higher score. If you do not need a car right away and your credit is not great, take some time to try to improve your credit rating before applying for a car loan.

An improvement in your credit score can make the cheapest car loans available to you. Use cash often, and pay bills in a timely manner. Do not continuously apply for new credit or acquire more credit than you need. If you must carry a balance on your credit accounts rather than paying them off each month, try to maintain a balance below a quarter of your account limit. Closing credit accounts you do not use can negatively impact your score as the amount of credit you have available and the length of your credit history influence scoring. Look at you credit report regularly to make sure there are no inaccuracies.

Finding the cheapest car loans is a matter of being smart and patient. Stay in control of the buying process and your credit history. If you take your time and comparison shop, you can find the car you want with financing at a rate you can afford.