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Nissan Motor Corp. is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. It ranks fifth in the U.S. for new vehicle market share and owns the brands Infiniti (sold around the world) and Datsun (sold in Eurasia and Africa). It’s even sponsoring the new Star Wars movie.
As a major brand itself, it has tons of financing deals and incentives — some that stay more or less unchanged over the years and others that may change twice a month. Here, we’ll give you an overview of Nissan financing options.
While Nissan is not about to overtake the more popular brands in the U.S. like Ford and GM, it’s a big player globally, expecting to sell 5.93 million vehicles in 2018 and claiming 6.2% market share of the auto industry in 2017.
One of the tools Nissan uses to sell its millions of cars is NMAC, the division of the company that finances its vehicles to customers. NMAC stands for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. and is based in Dallas. NMAC offers special financing, cash back and special lease programs to entice customers to purchase Nissan vehicles.
Like with all manufacturer finance companies, you generally have to have good credit to qualify with NMAC. Based on which credit tier you are classified in, you may receive different APRs, terms and special financing.
Tiers aren’t just based on credit scores, according to Nicolas Ortiz, who worked as a finance manager at a Nissan dealership in San Antonio. “Credit scores do play a part in it. For example, you won’t be on tier one, the best tier, if you’ve only got a 600 FICO score, but depending on what you’ve got on your credit history, you could get what’s called a tier bump.”
So if you have great credit and don’t automatically qualify for the best Nissan financing offer, you could talk to an NMAC representative and point out reasons you should get a tier bump, such as high income, low debt, a large amount of assets like stocks, bonds or a savings account, your positive credit history or the down payment you’re giving. These could all be reasons why you should receive a tier bump that would allow you to get the better deal. It might or might not change your situation, but it could be worth a try.
A tier bump isn’t limited to NMAC. You may be able to get one with other lenders offering Nissan financing. It might be useful for you to try for one when you’re on the border of qualifying for a better credit tier, and thus a better financing offer. To know whether you’re on the border, ask your salesperson, the dealership finance manager or the lender representative. You can check your credit score here.
You generally have to have a credit score in the 700s in order to qualify for NMAC’s best offers. “If you’re in the top two tiers with a high credit score and good credit history, you might be able to get one of their 0% financing offers” Ortiz said.
Special financing offers also depend on your location, the vehicle model and the time you’re looking to buy, so be sure to check out the Nissan website to see what’s being offered in your area at the time. While you’re there, you can see about a preapproval for an auto loan with Nissan financing. Getting a preapproval from Nissan means that without applying for a loan for a specific vehicle, Nissan approved you to finance with it (up to a certain amount) and gave you an APR estimate based on a hard pull of your credit.
NMAC financing options are also available on a mobile app that came out in January, which allows customers to browse Nissan cars, select one and apply for financing from your smartphone.
If you go with Nissan financing through NMAC, you can make one-time payments or set up automatic payments, either by authorizing Nissan to make withdrawals or by enrolling in e-bill through your bank. If you prefer to go old school, you may also send checks and money orders by mail.
You don’t necessarily have to go through Nissan auto finance to get certain offers on new Nissans. Offers such as grad, military, bonus, red tag, loyalty and conquest cash, as well as package savings, can decrease the sticker price for those who qualify. Which vehicles these incentives apply to and how much each one is worth can change as often as every 15 days, depending on market conditions.
If you’re eyeing a vehicle with such an incentive, be aware of the incentive expiration date. The day it expires the vehicle may no longer have an incentive, it could have a different incentive or the incentive amount could increase or decrease. But the different requirements for each largely stay the same, and you can check some of them out below.
The requirements listed above don’t include all restrictions. For example, you cannot use military cash to buy or lease a vehicle for a business. Check on the Nissan website or with a Nissan dealer to see further information.
If you don’t know whether to lease or buy, you can check out which types of leases there are. Note that in order to lease a vehicle, you have to qualify for financing with the manufacturer of the vehicle you want to lease. Ergo, you need to have at least good credit.
As with most leases, Nissan offers a range of options for years and mileage limits. You can lease a Nissan from 24-60 months with 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year. Similar to a purchase, incentives are available for leasing.
When your lease is over, you have three options: Purchase the vehicle you’ve been leasing, turn it in or replace it by leasing or purchasing another Nissan.
For the last option, make sure you check out the current specials going on when you turn in your vehicle. There might be lease loyalty incentives, and waivers for fees and wear-and-use charges. Nissan auto finance also features a “lease pull ahead” program that could allow you to end your lease early and waive the last payments, up to six months, so you get into a newer leased Nissan sooner.
Always look at multiple auto lenders when shopping around for Nissan financing. It’s good to have a couple of options before you go to the dealer, so you have something to fall back on. This way, you’ll also be able to negotiate from a stronger position.
For example, if NMAC offers you a 5% APR, you might be able to say another lender offered you 4.5% — can Nissan beat that? You don’t know until you ask.
To potentially get multiple offers from lenders for an auto loan, you can check out LendingTree or see what your local bank or credit union has to offer.
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