There are a few major purchases that aren’t made with cash. Most often, customers finance larger purchases to ease the stress on the budget and making them more affordable.

Cars are no exception with loan financial planning. Just as you would shop around for the car that is going to be purchased, it’s important to shop around for the car loan that is going to be used to finance the large purchase.

How can you make sure that you are getting the best deal on a car loan? Here are the top six tips for getting a car loan:

1. Check Your Credit
The credit score is the basis that is going to be used for customers that are applying for a car loan. High credit scores are going to have access to lower interest rates and more favorable terms. Get a free copy of your credit report before shopping for auto loans.

2. Set the Budget
Set a budget while shopping for a car. Use online calculators to determine the monthly costs of the loan and compare this with the current costs and expenses to find out if it’s affordable.

3. Know the Total Costs
Be aware of the total costs of the loan, including the interest that is going to be paid. Look at the big picture when shopping for car loans. Use this idea to consider the benefits of sacrificing now and putting down a larger down payment.

4. Insure the Loan
Insurance is available for financial service to ensure that the debt is going to be repaid in the instance that you, the owner of the vehicle, are unable to repay the loan due to disability or death. Insurance can reduce the cost of the loan.

5. Compare Loans
Shopping around and comparing the costs of the loans can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Compare prices from online lenders, credit unions, traditional banks and the auto dealership to find the best rate. You can apply for a car loan and compare with other online loan companies to find the best rates.

6. Choose a Flexible Loan
Are you looking for a loan that is flexible? Search for companies that allow you to repay the loan early to avoid interest. Read the fine print, ask questions and confirm that you aren’t going to be penalized for making early payments.