Buying a Car Drives Us Crazy

We hate the process, we hate the price. But what about those loans?

America loves to shop… but not for cars.

“One in four people find shopping for a car as stressful as preparing their taxes,” says a recent Harris poll. “In fact, 70 percent say they would give up daily essentials, such as coffee (38 percent) or smartphones (18 percent), for a week just to avoid negotiations altogether.”

A big part of the problem isn’t even buying the car – it’s trying to figure out the car loan. Another Harris poll shows the cost of our ignorance…

71 percent of consumers who have ever taken out an auto loan are not aware of the total dollar amount of interest spent on their last loan, and 69 percent do not understand what a one percentage point reduction in their rate would save them. 

If you’re thinking, “Well, those people must be fools,” they’re not. The poll reveals, “68 percent of those with a college degree or higher do not know the total amount of interest they will owe/owed on their most recent auto loan.”

While there’s plenty of advice out there on how to save on buying a car – even the Federal Trade Commission offers tips – you have to dig a little deeper for loan information. The best advice? Let technology work for you. Just as Consolidated Credit offers a slew of debt-related calculators to help you figure out your finances, there are many to help you with your auto loans. They range from simple (like this from Capital One) to complex (from Interest.com) to in-between (from Bankrate).

If you already have a car loan that’s driving you deeper into debt, and credit card bills that show no signs of stopping, call one of our certified credit counselors at for a free debt analysis. For other car-saving tactics, check out Consolidated Credit’s Cutting Car Costs section.