Top Tips For Securing Your Car Finance

Before we start, we have some great tools that you may find useful in your “getting financed” journey, you can skip straight to them here:

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We’ve been in the car finance game for over 20 years, and we’ve seen it all! We’ve helped thousands of customers secure their dream car but we’ve also seen common mistakes being repeated time and time again.

Some of these mistakes could cost you your car deal, your long term finances or your closest relationships!

That’s why we’ve summarised these 4 tips in order for you to:

  • Secure your finance
  • Be comfortable in the repayments
  • Stay stress free

Know Your Budget!

Knowing your budget requires research, planning, and a bit of honesty with yourself.

Step 1: Do Your Homework

looking at a used car at dealershipYou can become blinded by the first car you see with fresh tyres, clean floor-mats and a leather trim. But don’t be completely fooled by the cosmetics!

Compare with similar aged cars:

  • How do they compare price wise?
  • How do they compare looks wise?
  • Are they single owner, multi owner, ex-fleet cars?
  • Do they have a full logbook history?

Here, it’s important to listen to your brain and not the heart, and you can confidently land on a price that is reasonable with the market.

Step 2: Calculate Your Safety Net

We’re not trying to school you on budgeting, but you want to ensure you’ve thought of absolutely everything when calculating your expenses. Obviously this includes your major expenses such as rent/mortgage, fuel and food, but what about the non-regular bills and small things that add up?

This could include:

  • Driver’s licence renewals
  • Car registration renewals
  • Car stamp duty
  • Strata fees
  • Netflix, Amazon and Disney accounts
  • Back to school purchases
Vehicle depreciation is the rate at which a car's value declines over time.

Step 3: Set Your Expectations With Our Loan Calculator

We’ve made this part really easy!

Simply use our car loan and interest calculator below.

Based on your safety net, you can use this figure in the calculator to reverse engineer your total borrowing capacity depending on the interest rate.

For example, if you know you want to keep repayments to under $130 per week, you’ll most likely be looking at a car loan of roughly $35,000 over a 7 year loan at 6.4% interest.

Avoid setting your sights on a more expensive vehicle, and expecting it to meet lower repayments.

We’re great at what we do, but we’re not magicians!

Alternatively, start with the price of the car you want, and use the calculator to see the final repayments. Compare this figure with your safety net number.



1 year7 years

5 years

4% interest P.A15% interest P.A

Interest p.a. 5.1%
Repayment period:
Balloon payment:
Balloon Percent 30%

Repayment is

$278 p/w

$24900 balloon payment

Get on the Front Foot With Your Credit Score

Getting on the front foot with your credit score can help you in the long run, ensuring you can:

  • Correct any misinformation that may hurt your file
  • Deal with any unknown debts
  • Give your credit file some breathing space if it requires

Sometimes, making too many applications in a small period of time can cause providers to become suspicious, so taking some time away from these applications can help you in the long run, while it may be frustrating to begin with.

What Does Equifax Say About You?

checking credit report onlineEquifax is the only credit reporting body that lenders will use to view your credit score. Don’t get confused with Experian.

Using free apps, such as CreditSavvy, Credit Simple and ClearScore will provide you with a pulse check of your credit status, but they don’t use Equifax, and are therefore not 100% accurate, often leaving people feeling confused, frustrated and deflated when being declined on finance.

Equifax allows you to order and access your score for free once every 3 months, or if you have been declined by a credit provider in the last 90 days. 

If you’ve accessed it once already in the past 3 months, you can either pay for a new one or give us a call and we can perform a soft check for you.

Get Your Finances Under Control… If You Need To

saving jarsIf you’ve found that your credit score needs some love, or if you feel like your budget could do with tightening up regardless, we’ve built this epic budget spreadsheet to help you reign in your spending and get your finances back on track.

Fill in the form below and you’ll receive an email with a link to the budget tool.



The spreadsheet takes into account your expenses that occur at different frequencies.

There’s also some placeholders in there for things you may have forgotten!

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approval for a car loan is considered best practice when in the market to purchase.

This will benefit you in the following ways:

Improved Bargaining Power

You’ll have leverage with your bargaining power – knowing your absolute maximum amount, while also being in a “ready-to-purchase” state, will give you more leverage with the seller of the vehicle.

If you’re self-employed and looking to finance a car, there are a number of options available to you.

Shop With Confidence

You’ll shop with confidence – knowing you’re pre-approved will give you confidence to shop, but also the confidence to say “no” to any car dealer pressure. Having your finances pre-approved means you don’t need to rely on the dealership to get you approved and forming a contractual bond when there may be better options out there.

Get The Best Rate Possible

You’ll get the best car loan rate possible when taking the time to get pre-approved. Taking this time upfront will give you a chance to review the market and speak to different brokers to get the best rate for you. Leaving it until the last minute in a dealership can result in making a purchase in a highly emotional state within a high-sales-pressure environment, usually due to the excitement of seeing and test driving a car. Quick and emotional decisions can result in higher fees and rates, and negatively affect your finances in the long run.

Use Your Broker To Your Advantage

It’s what we’re here for!

Loans Unlimited staff at work.

You’ll always pay a fee of some sort when getting finance. Either you’ll pay higher interest over a longer period of time, or you’ll pay a “finders fee”.

Here at Loans Unlimited, we charge a “finders fee” because we are unbiased and do not make money on charging you a higher rate.

The “finders fee” is exactly how it sounds. We find you the best rate we can which will end up being better for you in the long run than a higher rate. The fee can also be paid off over the loan term.

Help Us Help You

For us to find you the best rate and help you secure your car quickly, we will usually require documents that help us in your case.

Finance lenders will place you in a category for finance. It is our job to get you into the next category to secure cheaper rates.

As such, we’ll need to ask for documents such as payslips, bank statements and ID so that we can build your profile. Work with us here in either having documents ready, or providing them quickly when we start the process.

Likewise, use us to your advantage in scouting the market and acting fast when you supply your documents.

financial budget planning tips


By knowing your budget, using loan calculators wisely, managing your credit score, and securing pre-approval, you can navigate the car finance process smoothly and avoid common pitfalls. 

At Loans Unlimited, we’re dedicated to helping you secure the best car loan rates and making the journey to owning your dream car as stress-free and financially sound as possible. Feel free to use the tools in this guide, or get in touch with our team.