For many, buying a car can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. American Bank & Trust Personal Bankers are here for you with these car buying tips on how to make the process simpler and more affordable.

Do Your Research

The time to consider what car you want is long before you step into a showroom. Buyers today have more information than ever before. TrueCar and Kelly Blue Book are both great resources to get data on vehicles in your area. Use them to:

• Read expert reviews
• See what real customers have to say
• Find consumer and safety reports
• Discover what others in your area paid
• Seek out incentives and discounts

Doing your homework beforehand not only arms you with information, it helps you at the dealership. When you’re prepared, you’re less likely to be influenced by sales tactics or fancy showrooms.


Get Pre Approved

Much like buying a house, it’s important to get pre approved for car financing. A pre approved auto loan from your American Bank & Trust Personal Banker gives you estimated terms, interest rate and the best snapshot of how much you can borrow.

Knowing what you can borrow helps you plan your budget before shopping. Even though most dealers have a number of financing options, it’s usually a good idea to have your own car loan. Remember, the dealers financing programs, while perhaps competitive, are usually structured in the best interest of the dealer.


American Bank & Trust is currently offering a limited-time promotion with consumer loans starting at just 2.99%* when you finance with us. Use this special rate on a car, truck, RV, ATV and more. You’ll also get prompt, local decisions and attentive service for the life of your loan.


Visit Several Dealers

With all the car makes and models out there, there’s no excuse not to visit a few different dealers before you buy.

Competition to sell cars is intense. That means dealers have an incentive to work with you on the pricing of your vehicle. A good salesperson naturally wants to make the most on their sale.

There’s nothing wrong with making a profit, as long as your salesperson is acting ethically. However, be prepared to politely walk away if you’re not feeling comfortable in a high pressure situation.

Reputable sales people understand you will be shopping around. So negotiate in good faith, be transparent and direct. Let your salesperson know that experience matters. And when you have a good experience, you are likely to share that with other people.


Don’t Focus on the Monthly Payment

Focusing on the monthly payment is a common mistake most buyers make. Naturally, you may have calculated what you can afford or are willing to pay. But it’s not a good way to set your price.

When you focus on the monthly payment, you’re overlooking the entire price of the car. For example, you may be pleased to get a payment down to say $350. However, if you’re on a 72-month financing term, you’re paying more in interest over the life of the car. Our online calculators can help you determine the total interest paid.

Also, make the most of your pay periods. Most employers pay bi-weekly, which means some months, you get three paychecks. Set some of that money aside for an extra payment. Doing so helps you pay down your car earlier.


Enjoy Yourself

When you’re prepared, you’re relaxed. As the buyer, you have the ultimate power.

Any purchase that requires financing is a big decision, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a little fun. Enjoy the process and have confidence in the decisions you’ve made.


*Annual Percentage Rate (APR) promotional rates effective from September 9, 2019 through October 31, 2019. APR reflects 0.25% discount with automatic payment from an American Bank & Trust Checking account. As low as APR assumes excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may differ based on your credit history, approved loan amount, collateral, and term.


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