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New Car Loan Scams

Updated on April 23, 2019
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New car loans should be something that you look at very carefully before you put your signature on the bottom.

Used car salespeople are often looked at with suspicion from the very moment you enter the dealership, but new car dealerships can operate with unsavory tactics, too.

About The New Car Salespersons And Their Tactics

Fewer people are suspicious of the new car salesperson, though. They think they’re out to get the most money they can—which of course they are—but don’t consider that they might be willing to use less than ethical tactics to get that money.

When you’re looking for a new car, ask around and read reviews online so that you’re sure to get a reputable dealership.

And even then, who’s to say that one of their salespeople doesn’t use tactics the dealership wouldn’t approve of but manages to keep those tactics under the radar? There are a few common “scams” to watch out for.


Playing With Your Credit Score

A salesperson who’s trying to sign you up for higher APR financing may tell you that your credit score is too low for you to qualify for the better rate.

They may even have a piece of paper with an actual number written down. This tactic plays on the fact that many people are clueless about their credit score or what that number even means.

The only way to fight this tactic is to know your credit score, or even better have a copy of your credit report on you when you look at cars.

If you’re told you have a poor score and the financing will be higher because of it, present your credit report and ask where they got their information just for fun before you go somewhere else to buy your car.

Of course, this will only work if you do have good credit.

Car Dealership
Car Dealership

The Trick With The Cosigner

Another tactic some dealerships might use is aimed at people with not-so-great-credit. People who don’t have good credit can benefit from having a cosigner on a new car loan that has good credit.

This is something that’s been done for years and helps people who are just on the edge become able to secure a loan. But for truly awful credit, not even a good credit cosigner can help.

If you have poor credit, though, and the dealership says you’ll need a cosigner to get the loan, and by the way, it will help your credit, they may be on the up and up.

A few will trick you and your cosigner into putting the whole loan in the cosigner’s name with your name nowhere on the financing.

This is done because your credit is low enough that you couldn’t get financing even with a cosigner, but the salesperson wants to make that sale, so you’re tricked. You might be allowed to sign a contract at different times, or you’re given two separate contracts.

Avoid this one by signing together, and making sure you sign the same document. Read it carefully.

This will keep your new car loan from ending up solely in your cosigner’s name which burdens them with the new car financing and won’t affect your credit at all.


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