Rhode Island - 500 Down Payment - Used Car Loan


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I live in Rhode Island and have a 500 dollars down payment, will that be enough for a car I want to buy?

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Will a down payment of $500 get me the car I need in Rhode Island? That is a question that many people in our fine state have asked themselves over and over in recent years. I suppose the quick answer is a big resounding YES, depending on your credit rating. To quote William Shakespeare, "therein lies the rub". Many people, who have only $500 down, do not have a stellar credit history. If they did, they probably would not need ANY money down.

Here are some strategies that one can apply to secure an automobile with $500 down without a great credit history. You can start by seeking out dealers who specialize in this type of financing. Many of these dealers are "buy here pay here" dealers. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of pursuing this approach. The most specific advantage is obvious….these dealers do not rely on credit bureau reports to make decisions about getting you into a vehicle. That is a life saver to most people. After all, the reason why you are visiting this dealer in the first place, is because you aren't conventionally credit- worthy. Many of these dealers will finance the vehicle "in-house", and that is what you want. Oftentimes, the only requirement these dealers demand is that you have a job. Other determining factors are, how long you have been at your job, and how long you have lived in your current residence. These are prime indicators of stability and demonstrate to your dealer that you will pay them. Another advantage is, that many of these dealers will tailor a payment plan that you can handle comfortably. No dealer is interested in making someone pay more money at payment time than they can afford. That would only cause you to default and the dealer to repossess the vehicle. A dealer is not interested in repossessing a vehicle that they have readied for delivery. Another decided advantage is that, in Rhode Island, a dealer is obligated to provide the consumer with a safe and sound vehicle. One that is safety tested and is, in many cases, warranteed. That safety net for the consumer is mandated by Rhode Island state law. In Rhode Island, there is also a state funded watchdog commission where a customer can lodge a complaint and get a hearing to air their grievance in front of a panel of people. This process doesn't cost the consumer any money, and decisions are often rendered with the consumer in mind. In other words, if there is any doubt, the panel decides in favor of the consumer.

There are also a number of disadvantages of acquiring a vehicle from a dealer who finances in house. One, that many people have a real problem getting by, is that the dealer, in many cases, decides which vehicle THEY will allow the consumer to drive away with. However, temper your desire with your need. Life is all about compromise, and if you have put yourself in a tough financial spot, this may be your only chance to acquire a drivable roadworthy vehicle. Keep in mind that the dealer is trusting you to pay them after you have not been such a reliable risk. This comes with consequences. One of these is lack of choice during the buying process. Remember though, that many dealers will allow you to upgrade to the vehicle of your choice, if your payments to them are timely. Another significant disadvantage is PRICE! You are going to pay dramatically more for your purchase. That is how these Rhode Island dealers make their money. These dealers can charge whatever they want. Believe this one fact , if you do not believe anything else…..you will pay more money for a vehicle that, if you were credit worthy, you wouldn't pay nearly as much for. Just another one of those pesky consequences but, I'm sure you knew this. I'm not trying to lecture anyone here, I'm just trying to explain certain truths about the buy here pay here avenue of vehicle acquisition. Another downside is that it's very difficult to break from this contract once you agree to enter into it. It's often hard to save for a down payment on a more substantial, less expensive purchase, because of your current payment obligations. You could be in a cycle of buying from this dealer for many years, and that is exactly what the dealer wants. Reliable customers who buy at high prices are the lifeblood of any business.

So, weigh these pros and con very carefully. Above all, do not put yourself in an even more difficult position by biting off more than you can chew. Remember, ask a lot of questions, do your homework, and know your rights. Arm yourself with knowledge and your buying experience doesn't have to be drudgery…..it can actually be a positive!

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