Memorial Day is often a great time to buy a new car. Not only do car manufacturers and dealers offer special promotions, but it's also close to the end of the month, so salespeople may be willing to offer more discounts to meet their monthly quotas.
In addition to special rebates and cash bonuses, you may also see promotional financing offers over the Memorial Day weekend. Many car manufacturers offer auto loans, and some offer annual percentage rates (APRs) as low as 0%.
The Best Auto Financing Deals for Memorial Day 2018
Don't expect to get any special financing deals on used cars. But if you can afford a new car, you could save more with promotional financing because you'll pay less in interest or even no interest at all.
Here are some of the top auto financing deals this Memorial Day:
|Car||APR||Loan Term||Rebates and Bonuses|
|2018 Lincoln MKC||0%||60 months||Up to $4,000|
|2018 Ram 1500||0%||36 months||Up to $3,500|
|2019 Jeep Cherokee||0%||36 months||Up to $2,000|
|2018 Chevrolet Cruze||0%||72 months||$1,000|
|2018 Hyundai Elantra||0%||72 months||$1,000|
|2018 Hyundai Sonata||0%||60 months||$1,000|
|2018 Chevrolet Malibu||0%||72 months||$500|
|2018 Nissan Altima||0%||60 months||$500|
|2017 Volkswagen Golf||0%||72 months||None|
|2018 Kia Optima||0%||66 months||None|
|2018 Buick Regal TourX||0%||60 months||None|
|2018 Cadillac CT6||0%||60 months||None|
|2018 Nissan GT-R||0%||60 months||None|
|2018 Nissan Versa||0%||60 months||None|
|2018 Subaru Outback||0%||48 months||None|
|2018 Fiat 500X||0.9%||36 months||$1,750|
|2018 Kia Stinger||0.9%||75 months||None|
|2018 Mazda Miata RF||0.9%||72 months||None|
|2018 Honda Odyssey||0.9%||36 months||None|
|2018 Toyota 86||1.9%||72 months||None|
|2018 Hyundai Kona||1.9%||60 months||None|
Should You Take Promotional Financing or a Cash Bonus?
As you can see, some car manufacturers and dealers offer both a financing promotion and a cash bonus, but others require you to choose between the two.
While it may be tempting to take the cash now, some promotional financing deals are sometimes a better choice because they can save you more money over time.
For example, let's say you're buying a $25,000 car and you have two choices:
- 0% APR for 72 months
- $2,000 bonus plus a 3.5% APR for 72 months
If you take the financing deal, your monthly payment would be roughly $347, and you'd pay no interest over the life of the loan. But if you take the cash bonus deal, your monthly payment would be $355, and you'd pay $2,533 in interest—that's $533 more than the bonus. In this case, it'd be better to take the 0% APR deal.
If, however, the dealer offers you a $3,000 bonus instead of $2,000, you'd be better off taking the savings up front. Use an online auto payment calculator to do the math for your situation.
How to Qualify for Promotional Financing on Your Auto Loan
While it's exciting to think about getting a new car loan with no interest, it's important to keep in mind is that not just anyone can get these deals. You typically need to have excellent credit and an overall solid financial profile to qualify.
After all, the financing company is taking a huge risk by not charging little or no interest, and it likely won't take that chance if your credit history has even minor red flags.
As a result, it's important to make sure your credit is in order before you apply for one of these promotions. Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Check Your Credit Score
Your credit scores provide lenders with a snapshot of your credit history, so it's essential to have a good score. Check your credit scores and then compare it to the credit score ranges for those scores.
If your score isn't at least very good or excellent, you may have a hard time getting approved for a 0% APR promotion.
2. Review Your Credit Report
You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to order your reports and review them to determine if there's anything amiss. You can also get a free Experian credit report here on Experian.com.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on May 25, 2018, and has been updated.