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How to Get a Car Loan: A Comprehensive Guide to Financing Your Dream Ride

Car loans are one of the most popular and easy ways to finance a new car. Ready to take the plunge? There are a few things you need to know about car loans before you get started. 

Understanding car loans

Before we answer how you get a car loan, knowing what a car loan is is helpful. Car loans are a way to buy the car you want without paying upfront. You can borrow the money needed to purchase the car and then have the flexibility to repay your lender with interest over a set repayment period. It allows you to spread the cost of the car over a number of years, making the cost of purchasing a new or used car more manageable. 

A car loan from Handy Finance can be used to purchase any car. We don’t have a vehicle age limit: buy a brand new car from a dealer or a secondhand model. Some side expenses can also be covered with a car loan, such as stamp duty or luxury car tax costs – however, most of the loan needs to go towards purchasing your car. If you need a loan to cover these items specifically, speak to the team at Handy Finance first. Our credit team will advise you on the best type of loan that will allow you to finance buying a car and the other costs that come with it.  

At Handy Finance, we offer car loans between $2,001 and $75,000. These car loans can be repaid over a term of one to seven years in fortnightly, monthly or weekly instalments. All interest rates for our car loans are fixed, meaning your repayments will stay the same over time rather than adjusting based on marketing conditions. Once you’ve paid your establishment fee, no other fees are owed on your Handy Finance Car Loan – we don’t have any monthly account-keeping fees. We have a $0 early repayment fee on all our car loans, so you can pay out your loan early without any extra financial charges. 

Secured vs unsecured car loans: what is the difference?

At Handy Finance, we offer secured car loans. This means that when you take out a car loan, you’ll use the car you purchase as security for the loan. This gives lenders like us a bit more security, as we can recoup our losses if you need to default on the loan. It can lead to more favourable terms than taking out an unsecured car loan. We don’t offer unsecured car loans at Handy Finance.

Any car can be used as security against your car loan – you aren’t restricted to buying a brand new car with your loan. 

Before applying

Whether you are approved depends on your financial situation. At Handy Finance, our credit experts offer terms tailored to your financial needs so that you don’t have any unnecessary financial stress. 

However, you can do a few things before applying to check your buying power and ensure your application is as strong as possible.

Set your budget

It’s a good idea to know how much the car you want will cost you. Research the features that are the most important to you, and you can begin to narrow down the options available. You can also use the Handy Finance loan calculator to work out how much you can afford. Once you know this, you can get a better sense of what you can afford to pay. You can use your loan to fully or partly cover the cost of your car. 

Check and improve your credit score

Before applying for a loan, it is a good idea to check your credit score. Your credit score will impact the interest rate you are offered, so ensuring it is in good standing is key. You can take steps to improve your credit score, but this can take a while to show. It’s a good idea to do this check early so that by the time you are ready to apply, your score will be at a good level. 

Several credit agencies in Australia can provide you with this information, including Equifax, Experian, and Illion, which offer free credit checks.

Use the Handy Finance Car Loan Calculator

Once you know how much you may need to borrow, you can use our loan calculator to understand your buying power. This calculator allows you to input your ideal loan amount, credit score, repayment frequency, and loan term. It will then provide you with an estimated interest rate and repayment sum. You can easily adjust the prompts on this and get a good idea of what your regular financial commitment will be with a loan of those terms. 

Applying for a car loan with Handy Finance

You know what a car loan is, and you’ve researched the car you want. Now, how do you go about actually getting your car loan?

At Handy Finance, we’ve developed a streamlined car loan application process so you can access your funds as soon as possible. Here are the steps you’ll need to take: 

  1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria for a car loan: the criteria are the same for all personal loans with Handy Finance:
    1. You must be over 18 years of age
    2. You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    3. You must be currently employed (or self-employed)
    4. You must not have a history of bankruptcy or have outstanding or unpaid defaults
  2. Make sure you have documents to prove you meet the criteria: this includes a form of ID, such as your passport or driver’s license, and three months’ bank statements. Our recommendation is to submit your bank statements through Ilion Bank Statement service, a secure platform that allows the Handy Finance credit team to view the information they need to approve your application. Neither Handy Finance nor Illion are able to make transactions on your account through this platform. You can submit bank statements manually, but this means a longer processing time for your application.
  3. Apply online: once you have everything you need, head to our online application form to submit your application. 

How to manage your car loan

At Handy Finance, we have a whole team of credit experts here to help you. They can answer your questions about what products are right for you, help you effectively manage your repayments, and provide information if you have significant changes in your financial situation. 

Our credit experts can help you adjust your repayment schedule. Handy Finance loans can be repaid in weekly, fortnightly, or monthly instalments, and this schedule can be changed during the loan term. 

If you can’t make a repayment, contact the team immediately. They can help you work out the next steps. 

Drive away in your dream car with financing options from Handy Finance

Thorough research is key to finding the right car and loan option for you. Before applying for a Handy Finance loan, weigh the pros and cons of our secured car loan against your financial situation. Use our car loan calculator tool to get an idea of your buying power, and check your credit score to ensure you have the best chance of being approved. Do your research about what kind of car will work for you – remember, our car loans cover brand new and secondhand cars. We don’t have any vehicle age limits. 

Contact the Handy Finance team today to discuss the available fair and flexible car and vehicle loans.