How much money should I put down on a car that I'm financing?

I don't want to put more money down than necessary. What's the percentage figure I should be aiming for?

Answer
Generally speaking, you should put down as much as you can afford to minimize the amount you are borrowing. This will save you interest over the life of the loan.
The caveat here is when you are borrowing in a low-interest-rate environment. With low interest rates, the savings you get from putting down more cash are lessened or nullified.
Conservative advisors suggest a down payment of at least 15% to 20% of the price of the car. This applies regardless of your credit score.
If you have a short credit history or a poor credit score, you may not be approved for a loan at all unless you put at least 10% down.
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Jim Donaher
Answered on Mar 12, 2021
Jim Donaher is a freelance writer and manager with over 35 years' experience in the insurance, banking, and investment management businesses. He provides expertise on a range of topics and is able to explain complex industry information in layman's terms. Jim is the author of two books, including Call Him, He's Home: A Guide to Prayer for Regular People and Then Larry Smiled, a novel about life, death, accountability, and salvation. Taormina, Sicily is his happy place!
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