How do I use a pre-approved car loan?

The lender I'm thinking of using for my car loan says I can get pre-approved. However, I don't understand what that is or how it'll benefit me. How do I use a pre-approved car loan?

Lauren Smith · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Pre-approval involves some of the same steps as legitimately applying for a car loan, like a hard credit inquiry. During this process, your credit score will take a slight and temporary hit. But your credit report gives potential lenders a more accurate understanding of your financial picture in order to determine whether you’d be approved for a car loan and, if so, for how much.
This all allows you to get your finances in order and negotiate. You can better budget because you know the amount of the loan you would be approved for.
When you walk into a dealership, you can choose a car within your budget and use your pre-approved loan amount to negotiate the price of the car you want to buy. This can save a lot of time and hassle.
No matter what, you will also need car insurance. It’s illegal to drive off the lot without it. You can get car insurance fast with the
app. Jerry will compare 50+ top insurance companies, like Nationwide, Allstate, Safeco, Progressive, and Travelers, so you can compare competitive quotes and avoid overpaying.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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