Whether it be to go to work, school or just have fun, reliable transportation is a vital part of the Acadiana lifestyle. Often, local consumers choose to buy a used/pre-owned rather than a new vehicle, so the better Business Bureau of Acadiana, along with the Federal Trade Commission, is advising residents of new laws to protect them during the credit buying process as well as steps to ensure the vehicle is a good one for years of reliable service.
According to the FTC, A federal judge in Washington has ruled that automobile dealers who engage in certain three-party financing transactions must disclose certain information to consumers who take out car loans if they are offered less favorable terms, such as a higher interest rate, than the most favorable terms available to the majority of consumers.
When a lender relies on a credit report in setting an unfavorable interest rate, a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires lenders to provide notice to the consumer and provide instructions on how the consumers can obtain a copy of their credit history report and, if necessary, dispute and correct any false or incomplete data.
One of the purposes of the statute is to provide consumers with information that might be helpful in preventing identity theft.
Under the provision, auto dealers must comply with this provision even when they engage in “three-party” financing transactions, in which the dealer agrees to extend financing to a consumer and then immediately assigns the loan to a third party, such as a bank or finance company.
With this new protection in hand, the BBB offers tips on how to find the perfect vehicle for you or your family.
Before launching your search for a good deal on a used car, spend some time considering many of the same factors that would apply to a new car purchase: how you will use the vehicle; how long you plan to keep it; the size, style, features, and appearance you need or prefer; and your budget or financing options for the purchase, as well as for operation, maintenance, and repair costs.
The BBB offers the following tips for buying a used vehicle:
- Before making a purchase, be aware of terms for used auto loans at financial institutions change with the market and interest rates as well as your credit rating, which could influence interest rates. If possible, take time to pay off old bills and raise your rating before beginning the purchase process.
- Spend some time researching the vehicles that you are interested in. Ask friends about their experiences and satisfaction with their older cars—would they buy the car again?
- Check auto and consumer books, such as consumer reports and magazines, for information on the reliability records of various models.
- Both new and used car dealers can be excellent sources for finding a quality used vehicle. These cars may be serviced by the dealer and sold with limited warranties. Whether you are considering buying from a used or new car dealer, check out the dealer's reputation and reliability first. Call the BBB for a Business Review.
The BBB is an unbiased, non-profit organization which sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior.
The BBB purpose is not to act as an advocate for businesses or consumers but to act as a mutually trusted intermediary to resolve disputes and provide information to assist consumers in making wise buying decisions. The BBB of Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. Please contact the BBB at www.acadiana.bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.
Acadiana residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and Android platforms. The app can be found at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.