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Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty pickup or an electric hatchback, financing your new Chevrolet through the manufacturer might be to your benefit. Unlike most other manufacturers, Chevy accepts a wide range of credit scores, offers discount programs for students, teachers and military, and stacks incentives on top of each other — meaning you might be able to combine them for an even better deal.
You don’t have to finance with Chevy to qualify for all the rebates it offers; you can finance through your own lender and possibly still qualify for a rebate. But you should apply to both and see what you can get. It doesn’t hurt your credit if you apply to multiple places within a 14-day window any more than it would if you applied to one, and it’s always a good idea to compare offers from competitors. With multiple offers, you can choose the best one for you and perhaps negotiate a better offer at the dealer.
In this article, we’ll cover Chevy and its financing, including news on its rebates, incentives and leasing.
Swiss race car driver Louis Chevrolet co-founded Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911 with William Durant, one of the masterminds behind General Motors. GM eventually bought Chevy, as well as Buick, GMC, Cadillac and five other brands. Chevy is sold worldwide and was the only brand to earn a J.D. Power Dependability Award in three categories — cars, trucks and SUVs — and three years in a row at that.
From its start, the company pushed to make “a car for every purse and purpose,” and to this day, Chevy offers expensive, powerfully fast sports cars like the Corvette, heavy-duty, off-road capable pickups including the Silverado and light, inexpensive hatchbacks such as the Spark, helping to make GM the fourth-largest car manufacturer in the world.
Just as Chevy offers a wide range of products, it also accepts a wide range of credit scores. Unlike most manufacturer lenders, you do not have to have great credit to qualify for Chevy financing. The average credit score range for Chevy’s borrowers is between 550 and 755.
Accepting “middle-market” consumers has always been a successful strategy for parent company GM. In 2006, before GM faced federal bailouts, after losing more than $10 billion in a year, it sold one of the most profitable things it had: its auto financing company. Thus General Motors Acceptance Co., best known as GMAC, eventually became Ally Bank. GM used the money to shore itself up and in 2010, with stronger financials, GM bought AmeriCredit Inc. to serve as its lending subsidiary. Today, AmeriCredit operates under its original name at non-GM dealerships and as GM Financial at GM dealerships.
If you have Chevrolet financing, you’re really financing with GM Financial, which serves as the lending arm for all GM brands with a total of $86 billion in assets at the end of 2017.
Chevy financing offers terms from 24 to 72 months and loans from $7,500 to $125,000. While many credit scores are accepted at GM Financial, to get the best deals you still have to have good credit. Qualified borrowers may be able to get 0% financing for 72 months or more rebates.
To apply, go to Chevy’s website or visit a dealer. However, make sure you check your credit score before you apply and that you compare auto loan offers to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
A tier bump could help. A negotiating tip is to ask for a tier bump. Whenever you apply to an auto lender, you’re classified into a credit tier based on things like your credit score and income. The higher your credit tier, the better loan offer you’ll get. So if the offer you receive from Chevy financing seems out of whack with your credit history, ask for a tier bump. Point out your down payment, past auto loans you paid off successfully, and relatively low debts compared with assets, such as home equity, savings accounts and stocks and bonds, to make your case. These could all be reasons you might deserve a tier bump. You may not get one, but it’s worth a try.
You don’t have to choose GM Financial as your lender in order to qualify for all Chevy rebates and incentives. It is a requirement for some deals and, depending on terms and conditions, you may have to choose between a cash rebate and a low APR offer.
Which is better? When you have the option to choose between special financing with a low APR and a rebate, you’re essentially being offered the same thing. If you choose the low APR financing, the manufacturer is using the rebate money to buy down the APR. It’s almost always better to take the rebate instead of the low APR because you get the money now instead of using it over the length of your loan. And if you don’t keep the car for the full loan term, you’ll miss out on at least some of the savings.
What are the types of rebates and incentives Chevy offers? Here are the main types of deals you can get through Chevy, and the general requirements for each.
Note that these rebates, incentives and their requirements listed here are not all-inclusive and change often. For more information, be sure to check Chevy’s website or with a Chevrolet dealer.
Leasing may be able to help you get into a car you otherwise couldn’t afford to buy. To lease a Chevy, you have to qualify for Chevy financing. Leasing payments are generally lower than purchase payments, and are ideal if you want a new vehicle every few years. Mileage and wear and tear are limited though, and if you exceed those limits, you can be charged for it.
If you don’t know whether you want to lease, you can check out this guide on leasing versus buying.
Before you go to the dealership, compare loan offers so you know what you can afford and what ARPs you qualify for, so you’ll come prepared with a negotiating point. For example, if the dealership tells you that you qualify for Chevrolet financing at 7% APR, you could show your offer for 5% APR — can they do better? Read up on the benefits of getting preapproved and fill out a form here to compare offers from up to five different lenders.
You may be able to get a preapproved loan offer from your bank, credit union or an online lender. You’re not committed to a loan until you sign the paperwork for financing on the exact car you want. And you won’t hurt your credit if you do multiple applications within two weeks.
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