Here is an example:

You are looking to buy a new car and looking to finance $25,000.00. You tell the dealer you would really like your payment to be around $400.00 per month. You know you have good credit so getting approved won’t be a problem.

The dealer then comes back and says we can finance the car for $363.90 per month. Sounds great! Right?

The deal they presented to you would be for 84 months at an interest rate of 5.89%. The total cost after you’ve made all the payments is $30,567.60.

But… what if you ask about the term and figured you could pay just a little more per month. After all, you were thinking about paying $400 per month when you started. The same loan for 72 months at a rate of 4.99% is $402.51 per month. Yes, it’s almost $40.00 more per month, but the interest rate is almost an entire point less. After you make all the payments, the total cost would be $28,980.72 with a savings of $1,586.88. Just for paying an additional $38.61 per month you saved a year of payments and almost $1,600 in interest.

If you’re the type of person who stops everyday for coffee… buy two less cups of coffee per week and you’ll have your additional $38.61 per month for your payment. Just food for thought, I always recommend to anyone who asks, take the shortest term possible that you can live with. You probably won’t notice that ten dollars a week but in the end, you will have saved a nice chunk of change.

(This blog post is for educational purposes only)

Vince Lobosco

SVP, Consumer Lending