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Lincoln is one of the oldest luxury carmakers in the world and maker of U.S. domestic models so large and exquisite, they used to be called “land yachts.” Recently, the company has faced financial trouble because of the 2008 recession and the decreasing demand for sedans, which has long been the main type of vehicle Lincoln produced. However, the company is increasing its focus on SUVs that are more in demand, such as the Lincoln Navigator, and on establishing a presence in emerging consumer markets such as China.
If you’d like to see how to finance a modern-day land yacht of your very own, keep reading.
Lincoln Automotive Financial Services (Lincoln AFS) is the lending arm of Lincoln Motor Company. Out of 15 luxury auto lenders, Lincoln AFS was placed first for customer satisfaction in the 2017 JD Power Study.
Because Ford owns Lincoln, Ford Credit owns Lincoln AFS. The average credit score in 2017 for all of the customers who borrowed from Ford Credit (including Lincoln AFS and customers who leased) was 746; in 2016, it was 739. Because it is an average, there are car buyers with higher and lower credit scores who qualified.
If you do have a high score and qualify for a 0% Lincoln financing rate, you don’t need to think twice about it. Lincoln AFS doesn’t have to make money off the people who finance a new Lincoln. Because it makes a profit from selling the car, that profit can cover a loss on the financing. Many manufacturers use their lending arm as tools to sell cars, offering deep rebates and incentives, such as 0% financing, which other lenders like banks can’t beat.
Ask for a tier bump. Like most lenders, Lincoln AFS sorts loan applications into credit tiers. It then issues different loan offers to customers based on tier grouping. If you don’t receive your best offer, you can ask your salesperson, finance manager or Lincoln AFS representative for a tier bump.
Your credit tier placement isn’t solely dependent on your credit score. (Although your credit score is important and you can check it at LendingTree.) Your income, assets, debt, credit history and down payment are factors as well. You could argue that you deserve a tier bump if you have high income and assets, a large down payment, low debt and/or good credit history. What is especially good to point out is if you successfully paid off any installment loans on your credit history. By asking for a tier bump, or what it would take to get one, you can show you are knowledgeable about the industry, which gives you a better negotiating point.
Certain incentives applying to certain vehicles can change monthly. Because Lincoln uses these specials to sell vehicles, it is likely to put larger deals on cars that aren’t selling as well and, vice versa, smaller deals on cars that do sell well. The car’s model, the location and the time of year matter as to the type of incentive offered and whether there is one. So if you’ve got your eye on a vehicle that has a rebate, pay attention to the rebate’s expiration date.
Overall, here are the incentives Lincoln offers on their vehicles and the general requirements for each. At the time this was written, there were no current programs for college graduates or first-time buyers.
This may not be an exhaustive list of all the incentives and requirements Lincoln has. Check its website or with a dealer for more information.
Which is better, a cash rebate or 0% APR financing? If you have to choose, it’s almost always better to take the cash rebate because you get the money now. If you choose the 0% APR financing, you’ll have to keep the car for the full loan term — not pay it off early and not sell it or trade it in before the loan term is up — in order to capture the full value. If you want to see what your payments would be like for either option, you could try our auto payment calculator.
Flex Buy. This a purchase program with two payment schedules — one lower, one higher. The advantage is you have initial low payments like you would in a lease, and overall, you’re not paying much more than you would in a traditional loan.
The idea behind this is to have a loan that will match both your current and future budget. This may be a good option for college students who know they will have more income (and thus a higher budget) when they graduate. It could also be good if you’re on a promotion track with a similar timeline. An alternative to this is a traditional loan with consistent, low monthly payments and no prepayment penalty. This way your payments won’t increase but you can pay it off early when your budget increases.
Whether you apply online or at a dealership in person, you have to provide the same information: personal details including address and Social Security number, employment, annual income, residential status and monthly rent or mortgage.
Online. If you want to apply online before heading to the dealer (which we recommend), go to the Lincoln website. You can either apply directly, without choosing a vehicle and tweak the payment calculator, or find a vehicle and play with the financing tools provided to see what suits you before applying.
In person. At the dealership, you’ll have to choose which vehicle you want before filling out a finance application and then go through the paperwork, just as you would online. You will have experts around you to answer any questions you may have.
Lincoln AFS Red Carpet Lease allows leasing terms of 24 to 48 months and annual mileage of 7,500 to 19,500. If you want a specific number of miles not offered, you can choose the closest annual mileage amount and purchase additional miles up front. The mileage overage fee is 20 to 25 cents per mile, depending on the vehicle model.
Many people lease vehicles because leasing payments are almost always cheaper than the monthly payments for purchasing. It also tends to be less expensive overall if you like to consistently have a new vehicle because it usually adds up to be cheaper to lease, turn it in and lease again, rather than buy, trade it in and buy again. Because it’s less expensive, it allows you to potentially get into a vehicle you couldn’t afford to purchase. It could also make the luxury vehicle you want more affordable, freeing up some of your monthly budget. A vehicle warranty usually lasts as long as a lease, too, so repairs are covered.
When the lease term is up, you could turn in the vehicle and walk away, buy the vehicle or get another vehicle to potentially take advantage of rebates. It gives you greater flexibility, so you’re not stuck with one car model forever. You could switch from an SUV to a convertible at the end of the lease if you’d like. But if you do fall in love with your leased vehicle, you get first dibs on buying it. You can read this article if you want more information on how a lease buyout works.
The downside is that because you don’t own the car at the end of the lease, you could pay for half the car’s value and walk away with no car. There are also restrictions on mileage, allowed accessories and wear and tear.
Advance Payment Program. This allows you to pay for the entire lease in one upfront payment instead of making payments over the term of the lease. In most 36-month leases, the lessee pays for about half the price of the car, plus taxes and fees. Ergo, expect this one lease payment to be at least half the sticker price of the car, depending on the model and lease length. The benefit of this is that you have no APR.
To lease a car, you don’t rent it on a monthly basis. Instead, you buy the right to use it for a length of years for a set amount. If you don’t pay that set amount in cash, you finance it — which is why you have an APR and a lease payment, much like a purchase payment. Other companies offer similar types of lease programs and call it a One Pay Lease or a Single Payment Lease.
If you’re unsure if the cost of leasing is worth the benefits, you can read our guide on whether to lease or buy.
Alternative lenders include your bank, credit union or online lender. It does not hurt your credit any more to apply to multiple lenders for the same type of loan than it does to apply to one lender if you do so within a 14-day window. The credit bureaus have specifically allowed this window so consumers can shop around for their best loan. It may be that you choose to go with the longest loan term in order to get the lowest monthly payments. Or it may be that you choose to go with the loan that has the lowest APR so you pay the least in interest.
However, you can’t choose between loans if you don’t apply for them. We highly encourage you to apply to multiple lenders so you can choose. And it’s best to do these applications before you go to the dealership. Dealers can often make money by raising your APR above what the lender charges. So if you don’t know you qualify for a great rate, you might be pressured into a higher rate at the dealership.
You can read more about getting a loan ahead of time and being preapproved here from up to five different lenders.
And consider other ways you might be able to get financing. If you have a home equity loan or a HELOC, the cash from that could be an option. Cashing out investments (the ones that haven’t been giving the best return) could be an option, too.
Henry Leland formed Lincoln Motor Company in 1917 to make U.S. aircraft engines for World War 1. Only after the war did Lincoln Motor Company begin to make vehicles. But Leland wasn’t flying by the seat of his pants. He had been a genius manufacturing engineer for Cadillac and then for GM when it bought Cadillac. He broke off from the company to form his own when he clashed based on principle with the man in charge of GM, William Durant, who was a pacifist and refused to fill the military motor request.
In a short period of time after the war, Lincoln merged with the auto company Continental (which is why the Lincoln Continental model came about) and then, it was bought by Ford in 1922. Today Lincoln is Ford’s only luxury marque and the market demand for it is growing, especially in China.
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