So you want a new quad and you're saving your pennies as best you can, but every time you check your piggy bank, it's as empty as a Raptor's gas tank at the end of an all-day trail ride. At this rate, you'll be able to afford a machine sometime around the year 2020 (provided prices don't go any higher than they are today). Don't despair- there's another way to have your dream wheeler while you're still young enough to enjoy it. The answer is simple: Let the banker help!
A lot of riders see a new quad as a luxury item, and others (like the editors of ATV Rider) think it's one of life's most crucial necessities. If you're of the luxury item camp, then you're probably not as likely to want to . finance the purchase, preferring instead to save up for the large outlay of cash a new purchase requires. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, and we admire your self-control, but don't ignore the other side of the equation. Even if you're paying northwards of $8000, buying a new four-wheeler isn't really an expense. Sure, you're tying up some money, but if you take good care of the machine, you're going to get most of that investment back when you sell it or trade it in. Financing the purchase simply means that you're tying up less of your own funds, but of course you're paying the bank to use theirs. Let's take a closer look at a financed transaction so we can see what's really involved.
For the purposes of illustrating, let's say that you've been to the dealer and you're totally in love with a new 450 sport machine. You know you can't possibly swing the $7199 cash price, so you, at the urging of the friendly salesman, decide to . ll out a credit app. Here comes what for most guys is mistake No. 1: If you . ll out a credit application without already knowing if you're creditworthy, then you've jumped ahead to the middle of the finance transaction. We need to back up a bunch and see what the banker is going to look for, and discuss how to get your credit in better shape.
Nowadays, your "creditability," or your creditworthiness, is largely determined by your credit score. This is a numerical score determined by a computer analysis of your credit history. Typical scores usually range from a high of 800 to a low of 400-450. Points are awarded based on factors such as: Do you have any credit cards? Have you made your payments on time? Are your credit balances near their maximum limits? As well as other assorted variables. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be approved for financing, but more importantly, higher scores mean lower interest rates. If you're a better financial risk to the lender, he's going to give you a better rate, pure and simple. So our goal here is to show the best credit score possible, not only for the approval, but for a lower interest rate as well.
There are three national credit bureaus that provide your credit info to lenders. They are Transunion, Experian and Equifax. All three use similar methods for computing your score, but due to variances in reporting it's normal for your score to be different depending on which bureau your local lender consults. Most banks will check two or sometimes all three of the bureaus to see your scores, and they'll normally rate you according to the higher one. How do you . find out your score yourself? Glad you asked that! This is the first step in financing a new ATV-to raise your periscope and see where your credit score is rated today, before you go to the dealership. Knowledgeable buyers visit www.equifax.com at least once a year to check their personal credit rating. You have to pay for the service, but the price is reasonable, usually under $15. Some states require the credit bureaus to provide this info free once a year to consumers, but it's pretty convenient just to go to the source and check it for yourself.