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Auto Loan FAQs (Answered)

a happy couple looking inside the driver's side window of a car at the dealership
Posted in Loans

Buying a car is a huge purchase for many people. The financing process can be daunting, confusing, and seem opaque. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top auto loan FAQs related to car financing to help you understand your automobile loan and your options at Baton Rouge Telco. 

What does APR stand for? Is it just the interest rate?

APR is the Annual Percentage Rate on a loan. It includes the interest rate and any other fees you pay to finance a car each year. The interest rate does not include the fees charged for the loan. APR does, making it a measure that encompasses the total cost of borrowing money each year. 

How do I decide on a car loan?

Start by considering your needs and understanding the personal factors that influence your loan options – know your credit score, the general amount you want to spend each month, and whether you are buying a new or used car

Start by searching for the options that different financial institutions offer. Then, use a calculator to determine how much you will be paying each month and in total. Check out our auto loan calculators. There you’ll be able to determine how much you will be paying each month and in total, as well as compare two different loans.  

How do I apply for an auto loan?

Many financial institutions now allow you to apply online or in person.  Baton Rouge Telco has online options as well as branches in Baton Rouge, Hammond, and Denham Springs, where we can help you in person with the process of applying. 

You can call us at 225-924-8900 or use the live chat feature on our website to find out more about what documents you’ll need to have at the time of application. 

What is pre-approval? How do I get pre-approved for an auto loan?

This is one of the top auto loan FAQs we hear from members. Pre-approval is when you apply for approval for a loan before you have started shopping for a car. This means that you have already had a lender look at your finances and determine the loan amount and rates that you would be approved for.  

When you go to purchase a car, dealerships will likely offer you a loan with a partner company. They may try to offer you higher rates than you could get approved for elsewhere. If you walk in with a pre-approval in hand, this tells the dealership that you know what the best rates are that you can achieve, which can give you bargaining power when it comes to making a purchase. 

Baton Rouge Telco offers pre-approval for car loans to our members. Becoming a member is free of charge, with only a $5 minimum deposit into a savings account. 

How do I make auto loan payments?

The best option is to set up automatic payments so you’ll never forget to make a payment. Many financial institutions have multiple options for payment. 

Baton Rouge Telco accepts online payments, payments by phone, by mail, or in person. 

What is auto loan refinancing?

Refinancing is when you use a new car loan to pay off your current car loan. 

Oftentimes, people will refinance their car loans to obtain lower interest rates or monthly payments. If your credit score is higher than when you originally financed your car loan, this can be an option to help improve your APR. However, it’s important to weigh any refinancing fees and the total cost of the loan using a loan calculator. This can help you decide if refinancing is a good option for you. 

Baton Rouge Telco has options to save members money through our member loyalty discounts, which can save you up to 1% on your refinanced loan’s APR. 

What if I am leasing my car? Can I get a loan to help me purchase it?

If your leasing company allows you to purchase your leased vehicle after its lease is up, you have financing options. It’s important to be aware of all the terms and conditions included with your lease. Make sure to discuss this with your leasing company and check your paperwork.  Baton Rouge Telco offers lease buyout options, and you can explore your options by talking with a representative. 

When my car is financed, who holds the title?

When you finance a car, most times, the lender will possess the title for the length of the loan’s life. You may hear the lender also referred to as a lienholder. A lien is a legal claim to the property. You will receive the title to your car soon after you’ve made the last payment. In Louisiana, it typically takes 2-4 weeks to receive the title from the OMV. 

I’m ready to begin! What are my first steps?

Baton Rouge Telco is excited that you’ve decided to start the process of purchasing a vehicle! 

If you have any unanswered questions, we’d love to help you out. We have representatives who are experts in the ins and outs of car loans who would be happy to assist you in this process. 

Click the button below to discover more about our auto loan options and features. 

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