5 Components of AWARE’s Offering to Help Consumers Understand Financing


With Experian Automotive pointing out that more than 80 percent of new vehicles sold last year had some type of financing, the Americans Well-informed on Automobile Retailing Economics (AWARE) Coalition reiterated its stance on how consumers should be as knowledgeable about the financing as they are the make, model and color of a vehicle.

To think about how the purchase will fit into a budget before the buyer signs the contract, the AWARE Coalition provides free resources to help consumers consider important financing basics such as down payment, interest rate, loan term, and trade-in allowance.

Other highlights of its offering include:

• Test your financial knowledge before going to the dealership with the Auto Financing Tune-Up, a 15-question quiz on vehicle financing basics.

• Prepare a budget by using AWARE’s Affordability Gauge to determine how much you can reasonably afford to spend each month on a vehicle payment. Remember to consider operating costs such as insurance, gas, parking and maintenance.

• Calculate your monthly vehicle payment with AWARE’s Auto-Finance Calculator.

• Become familiar with financing terms. AWARE’s online glossary defines many common vehicle finance phrases, such as APR or Annual Percentage Rate, collateral, down payment, and lien.

• Print the Wallet Card to use as a checklist of what to do before going to the dealership and while at the dealership.

“A vehicle is a major purchase that consumers must prepare for,” said AWARE spokeswoman Susie Irvine. “The first step is taking time to review your budget. This allows you to determine how much you can afford on a monthly payment, which will help you continue to feel good about your purchase when the payments are due.”

AWARE is a vehicle financing industry coalition to help consumers understand how auto financing works. The group provides potential buyers of new and used vehicles with the tools and resources they need to successfully navigate the auto financing process.

AWARE’s members include American Financial Services Association, National Automobile Dealers Association, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, American International Automobile Dealers Association, as well as members of these organizations.