What's the best way to shop for a car loan, online or in-person?

Answered by Car Loans Expert Eric on January 15, 2021

Sarah asked

I want to get a car loan, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Which is better, shopping online or in-person?

expert avatar

Eric

Car Loans Expert

The answer to this question depends on your preferences. Both online and in-person car loan shopping have their advantages. In-person car loans often provide a personal touch, allowing you to work with an individual financial service representative. These professionals may be more reliable and are free to address questions and concerns. For some car buyers, this can provide peace of mind over online lenders. In addition, shopping for a car loan in-person may get you a better rate, as many banks and credit unions offer promotional APRs or may give you a discount if you have other accounts or loans with them.

Shopping for a car loan online also has its perks. Not only does it allow you to compare rates, but you can also apply for a loan with several companies or banks at once. This means you’ll only have one hard inquiry on your credit, lessening the impact on your overall credit report. However, these lenders may also sell or share your information, causing an onslaught of emails or phone calls. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that the website you use agrees to not share your information.


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