Is it better to get a car loan through a dealership or through a bank?

I'm getting conflicting advice from friends and family on whether I should get a car loan from a dealership or bank. Which is the better choice for me?

If you can qualify for a car loan with a bank, it will almost always be preferable to dealer financing.
Dealers offer financing primarily to ease the process of getting you to buy a car. Such financing can be more costly. Dealerships act as an intermediary, working with lenders to arrange car loans for buyers. As a result, they’ll charge you a fee for handling your loan, which will make it more expensive.
With banks, their primary interest is getting the customer into a loan that suits them and that they will be able to repay. Depending on your credit score, down payment amount, and whether the car is new or used, a bank will generally be able to offer a lower interest rate than a dealer for a comparable loan.
Jim Donaher
Answered on Mar 08, 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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