Looking for an auto loan? Head to your bank

The car buying process is a lengthy one that can't be rushed through. It's not as easy as ordering merchandise online from your favorite retailer.

Once you have a budget in mind and find a  make and model you want, you have to settle on the financing part of things. You have two options at your disposal: leasing or buying.

Each provides a unique set of benefits and some drawbacks. No matter which option you choose, you will have to make some form of monthly payments.

Should you decide to purchase a car, you'll most likely need to take out an auto loan to cover the rest of the costs after you make a decent enough down payment.

As you search for that auto loan, you'll want to shop around for the best terms and interest rates because they will vary. It's not a smart move to go with the first option presented.

Whether you're new to the car buying process or an experienced buyer, consider heading to your local bank for an auto loan to help you purchase the car you have your eyes on.

Why the bank?

Heading to your local Landmark Bank branch to kick off the car buying process is a good first move to make. It's in your best interest to shop for the car and loan separately as well. This way, you know exactly what you can afford.

Dealerships are helpful for helping you understand the car you're interested in buying and the features that may be included - for a price. It's not uncommon for buyers to be roped into spending more than they envisioned because of the sales tactics at a dealership.

As such, visiting your bank and obtaining prequalification for a loan up to a specific amount will help keep you in your budget range.

Relationships matter

Local banks hold a significant advantage over dealerships. Because you're already a customer and frequent the bank, you have built meaningful relationships with many of the branch's employees.

It's not uncommon for individuals and families to have many of their finances handled through one bank. Your checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgage and maybe even a Certificate of Deposit may all be with the same bank. If you're happy with the services, why not get an auto loan from them as well?

By having a relationship in place, it's likely the bank will work with you to secure the best possible loan and competitive interest rates. And, according to Autotrader, banks will not mark up rates because there are no middlemen. This means rates on an auto loan from your bank will likely be better than from a dealership.

Additionally, your local bank will work with you to develop a cohesive repayment plan. In the event you face financial difficulties and fall behind on payments, your bank may be able to work with you and help you out during those times.

Developing a meaningful relationship with your bank is more important than you might realize. As you're shopping around for a new auto loan, always consider working with your local bank to secure favorable terms and interest rates.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

Back to Blog