Car Loans for Teachers (and the Best Car Buying Assistance Programs)
Posted by Frank Gogol
Financing a car is a significant challenge on a teacher’s salary, even if you’re buying a relatively affordable used car. Typically, purchasing a car requires taking out a loan of some kind, and there are multiple options available.
This article explores car financing options for teachers, providing a guide on the various loans available and the programs that teachers can take advantage of for a discount.
Table of Contents
Can a Personal Loan Be Used to Buy a Car?
In short, yes, a personal loan can be used to purchase a car.
While an auto loan is aimed specifically at purchasing a car, a personal loan is very flexible in its aim. Personal loans can be used at the borrower’s discretion, which is one of the biggest advantages of taking one out.
Auto loans are preferable in certain ways: they typically have lower qualifying conditions, lower interest rates, and fewer fees. This is because, unlike a personal loan, an auto loan is secured with the value of the car.
However, getting quotes from lenders for a personal loan can still help you get the best deal by providing a range of options regarding terms and conditions. Also, going to a car dealership with a loan and a set budget in hand can help you get a better price since the dealer will have less room for negotiation.
Before shopping around for personal and auto loans, though, you should explore the various programs in place that provide financial assistance for teachers purchasing a car.
Car Discount Programs for Teachers
Some car manufacturers offer financial assistance programs for educators. Some of these programs involve affiliations between schools and manufacturers, while others are more widely accessible.
GM Educator Discount
This program gives educators access to GM’s Supplier Pricing program that simplifies the purchasing process and provides a discount. Teachers at any public or private school can qualify by configuring a vehicle on the GM Educator website, receiving an authorization code, and bringing it to the dealership. All that’s needed, then, is a school/ID or badge identifying you as a teacher.
Fiat Chrysler Affiliate Rewards Program
This program provides teachers with preferred pricing, listed as a 1% discount from the factory invoice, along with a $75 program fee. Only teachers employed by institutions affiliated with Fiat Chrysler are eligible, though, and most of these institutions are universities. For teachers who qualify, getting the discount simply requires signing up for a distinct company code on the program website.
Ford X-Plan Partner Pricing
This program gives teachers access to Ford’s X-Plan pricing, which is a 0.4% discount from the factory invoice, along with a $275 program fee. As with the Fiat Chrysler program, only teachers who work for organizations affiliated with the program can qualify. Eligible teachers can get a unique PIN number from the X-Plan program site and bring it into the dealership.
College Graduate Discounts
Various car manufacturers offer discounts for recent college graduates, so if you received your teaching degree within the past two years you may qualify. These programs vary in detail: for example, Toyota offers $750 off new models, while Honda offers $500 off.
Once you have considered the various discount programs and determined which ones you qualify for, you can try and find a personal loan.
Personal Loans for Teachers Who Want to Buy a Car
A personal loan is an amount of money disbursed by private lenders (like banks or credit unions) to a borrower, with the borrower committing to repay the loan, plus interest, over a given period of time. These loans are typically unsecured, meaning borrowers do not have to put down collateral to secure the loan.
Borrowers must qualify for a personal loan, and the qualifying conditions depend on the lender. The rate a borrower gets from lenders is determined by a number of factors. Credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio are some of the most important metrics financial institutions use to judge applicants. Rates for these loans are typically 5-20%, though only applicants with the best credit score and highest income qualify for less than 10% interest.
Since teachers have a relatively steady income and stable employment, if you have a good credit score, you may qualify for low personal loan interest rates.
While an auto loan is usually taken out only upon purchasing a vehicle, the flexibility that comes with a personal loan can be beneficial for teachers seeking to keep their options open. It’s important, though, that you research multiple lenders and get quotes so you find the best rates and the most flexible terms of repayment.