Thinking about getting a new car? If so, like most people, you’re probably going to have to finance it. Before you jump in and sign on the dotted line of the first lender who offers you a loan, do your research and some legwork to find out how you can get the best interest rate on your loan. After all, the amount of money you will be paying each month won’t only cover the cost of the car; it will also cover the interest rate.

Here are some financial solutions that will help you get the best rate for your new car loan:

  • Shop for the loan and the car separately. Before you go to the dealership and talk to their financing department, arm yourself with offers from other financial institutions. You’ll have a chip to bargain with to help you get a lower interest rate.
  • Shop for a loan for a specified period of time; 1 to 2 weeks, for example. The more you shop, the harder it will be for you to commit to a loan offer.
  • Get copies of your credit report and familiarize yourself with your credit. You’ll have the ability to negotiate a better rate if you know what your credit is like.