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A short guide on buying your car for college students

Author: MK

A Brief Guide on Buying Your Car for College Students

Buying a car during college is a difficult decision. Think about the reasons why you want to buy one. Maybe you live far from the campus, and there is no effective public transportation system in your home. Perhaps, you take evening classes, it is dark by the time you finish, and you are worried about your safety. Do you like going out without having to worry about how you are going to get there? Are you pursuing a job with studies that requires you to go to a different part of the town? If you said yes to any one of them, then getting a car may be the right choice for you. So if you need some help in choosing the right vehicle or guide to the whole process, here is everything listed below; 

Finding the Right Car

Search online extensively. Spend time on different websites, don’t be obsessed with a particular make or model. Be open to other options, speak to your friends who have cars, ask about their experiences, and read online reviews. Remember that apart from the vehicle’s price, you will also have new expenses such as car insurance, gas costs, occasional repair, and oiling costs. Factor those in while making the decision. 

Do the Math

As a college student, you will most likely need a loan to buy a car. Determine the amount of savings you have, how much loan you would need, the monthly payments you will have to make by taking into account the interest. There are several online calculators that can help you do it. If you have a part-time job or are into a work-study program, you might not need very high loans. Have a look at your credit scores and debt to income ratio. A debt-to-income ratio of below 40% is ideal. Many college students do not have a credit history. In that case, be ready to produce a co-signer. A co-signer is anybody who will have to repay the loan if you fail to. A parent, spouse, or a close friend can be a co-signer. 

Down Payments 

This is the money you have to pay upfront. Look around your living space; is there anything that can be sold? If you have an older vehicle, you can also sell it to have some cash in hand while making the down payments. As a general rule, pay 20% of the car costs as a down payment, so you don’t have to borrow as much money from lenders. 

Get the Best Rates

Use your tech-savviness to scour the web for the best type of loans, offering lower interests, appropriate repayment schedules, and reasonable terms and conditions. Lenders can be banks, credit card unions, or online lenders. 


If you are someone who earns well despite being a college student, then having your car is an excellent option to look into. It makes things easier for you when it comes to day to day commute. Since you won’t have a very long financial history, it is easier for you to maintain a smooth record and have good credit to get the best loans if you need them. However, you need to do a lot of research. You should know what your needs are and then choose a model of the vehicle accordingly. Once you have decided on the model, you should do some market research to find the best car loan provider to get the right car at affordable rates. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the car loan deals. Good luck and happy shopping!

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