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I am planning to buy the new Honda Accord coupe 2008 in July 2008. My credit score is just "good" and I am afraid that dealer will turn me down and also I don't know If to finance or lease?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Barbra Einsohn , Customer Relations Manager  at David McDavid Honda of Irving Dear Libeth, Thank you for your inquiry. The only advice I can give you in reference to your credit score is to keep paying all your bills on time, as well as your rent or mortgage and all utilities. Paying everything on time will increase your credit rating and help to lower your interest rate. As far as leasing vs. buying is concerned, this will have to do with your driving needs. However, when you lease a vehicle you have to stay within the mile limitations so if you know you're going to drive a lot then leasing may not be the best thing for you. Also, you will have to turn the vehicle in at the end of the lease or buy the car at the end of the lease. Turning the vehicle in at the end of the lease means that you will loose all the equity you put into it and buying the vehicle at the end of the lease means more out of pocket expense for you. And although the car payments are generally lower if you lease a car, it may not be the most cost effective for your life style. My advice is to make sure you read up on leasing vs. buying before you sign the paperwork and compare the information with your lifestyle and driving habits. Good luck in your decision.

Becky Chernek, President and Founder at Chernek Consulting Inc. Libeth Honda approves the loan NOT THE DEALER! Put your application into Honda and Honda will either approve or decline. If your credit is good you have nothing to worry about! I would stay with a buy on a Honda! Most people will keep a Honda until the wheels fall off! I do believe your best bet is a buy but you can ask the dealer to give you a finance and lease comparison. Honda does have excellent lease programs too!

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) Knowing your credit score is the first step, The second step is to get a copy of your credit report (Free Credit Report.com) and be sure everything that is on it is correct. If there are errors you will have to take the initiative to contact the reporting bureau to make the corrections. Next contact your personal bank or credit union to see if you will qualify for a loan with them. They can give you insight about how your score will affect your ability to purchase a vehicle. Do not wait until you are at the dealership to find out if you qualify. Do it now while you still have time to make any changes and improvements. You can also go to the captive financing arm of the vehicle you are looking to purchase (in this case Honda Financial) and see if you can get prequalified for a loan. This can usually be done on-line. Have your down payment and any trade information lined up, know what vehicle you want, know exactly what you can spend to achieve the payment you need. Keep in mind with a lower credit score it is more likely you will be approved on a finance contract vs a lease contract. However there are times when the Captive Financing will approve a lease. The major difference between leasing and purchasing is this. Lease: You are paying for the part of the vehicle you actually are going to use. You have a very structured term, conditions of use, and lease end requirements. You are not ever going to own the vehicle and you will have to either turn it it or purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease. You will have specific mileage requirements and if you exceed them you will be paying a penalty at the end of the lease. Look at your driving history over the past two years and decide how many miles a year you actually drive. If it is over 18000 miles you will most likely want to purchase. You will also encounter specific insurance requirements on a lease that may be higher than you currently carry. Buying: You will eventually own the vehicle when you have made ALL the payments due on your loan. The payments will be higher than a lease because you are purchasing the entire vehicle, not just renting for the time and mileage you will use. A Retail Purchase can be extended for a longer time, usually and you may be able to get a lower payment if you extend the contract over a longer period of time. Think about this: do you keep your vehicles forever or do you want a new one every 2 to 4 years. In the first instance buy, if the answer is the second option...lease. There are a lot of resources on line that can help you compare leasing vs buying by giving you line by line comparisons and detailed information.

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