College Advice 101: How to Get Your First Car in 10 Steps


couple near white chevrolet coupe
Photo by Hamann La on


  1. Open a student account with your local credit union. You want: a free account with no maintenance fees, interest on savings, APR rates ranging from 2.99%-15.99% at the most. In layman’s terms look at APR as x% on the dollar = 15.99% is 0.16 cents per dollar.
  2. Deposit money into that savings account regularly. (best are accounts that pay you: ally bank, state farm bank etc)
  3. Determine your credit score. No credit. Build it with a cosigner? No cosigner or reliable source? Do it yourself WITHOUT traditional retail cards. I detail how here.
  4. Haggle and barter on prices. Get a car that is nice enough to make you proud but doesn’t break the bank. Why pay three or four years on a car?
  5. Build your credit score by making payments IN FULL & ON TIME. Repeat for 6 months before car shopping.
  6. Save 1500 as a possible down payment. It would be better to buy in cash for a smaller asking price but I digress…
  7. Attain a credit score of 700 at least. Fico Score 719 I was able to get a used car with no down payment.
  8. Before you sign a damn thing remember your account with your credit union. A magical word like IN HOUSE FINANCING. Basically means that the place your at, whether a dealership or your bank, is looking to tell you how much you should pay on a car loan if you cannot pay in cash. So that means, ask yourself, who would have your best financial interest at heart? Certainly not a car dealership. Therefore, do your own in house financing at a lower rate between 2.99%-15.99% no more.
  9. Stay on your family’s car insurance plan. Save money for car repair and one full set of tires.
  10. Schedule your payments for your loan and set reminders in your phone so you will be on time.


Athena’s Purse | Make the Wise Choice


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