Financing a Hybrid is Not Easy

Let’s face it, if you were lucky enough to avoid the worst effects of the recent economic downtown, your credit still probably took a hit.

As paychecks shrank and gas prices rose, many new car buyers started turning to the ever more popular hybrid vehicles looking for a break at the gas pump.

Not so fast, if your credit score is less than stellar, however. Banks and most other lending institutions are making it more difficult than ever to get financing putting the still high-priced hybrid vehicles out of reach for most consumers.

More and more drivers are turning away from gas guzzling SUV’s and pick-up trucks looking for something smarter and more fuel efficient. They also want vehicles with lower emissions and reduced greenhouse gases, something hybrids are great at. Everyone is looking at their carbon footprint and wondering how to make it a little bit smaller.

True, most hybrid vehicles today far surpass their traditional gas powered cousins, but they also come with a rather hefty price tag. The new Chevy Volt promises mileage that eclipses just about everything else on the road, but it also comes with a sticker price in the mid $40,000 range.

If your credit is bad, you might want to forego the new car experience in favor of a buy-here, pay-here dealer, because even if you have good credit it will still be an arduous process getting a loan for a new automobile.

The days of easy access are long gone and may never return. Today financial institutions want to examine you inside and out. The process will likely take hours longer than you might have become accustomed to.

This extended process means a longer wait before you can get behind the wheel of your favorite hybrid and start saving at the pump. But it also means the automobile and banking industries stand a better chance at recovery since only buyers who stand the best chance of repaying their loans will get approved.

More and more, car loans are only going out to buyers who can actually repay those loans. This might fly in the face of conventional thinking, especially following the heady days of “buy what you want and you pay for it later” we all experienced in the early days of the 21st Century.

Times change and today’s lender wants assurances they will not only loan you money now but get that money back later. This means a harder time trying to buy a car for those with poor credit, and a little bit harder time buying a car for those with good credit.

Ultimately, however, the improved and more strict lending practices will benefit us all as banks, and by extension automobile sellers, start making money again.

Maybe next year you can buy the hybrid you have always wanted!

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