Guide to Buying a Car

Is it time to find your next ride? Whether you’ve been planning to replace an older vehicle, or a total loss has left you suddenly in need of a new car, you may be among the majority of new car buyers who finance their vehicle purchase. At First Bankers Trust, we understand how complicated the process can be from figuring out how much you can afford to spend, finding the right vehicle, and obtaining financing to drive it off the lot. We created this guide to explain the process step by step and help you get started. Continue reading to learn more, or if you’re ready to get started, apply online for an auto loan today!

Buy vs. Lease: Know the differences.

Understanding the benefits of buying a car rather than leasing will help you make an informed and confident decision.

One of the first decisions you’ll make in your car buying process is whether to buy a new or preowned vehicle. If you decide to buy new, you’ll also need to choose between buying and leasing. Here are the differences between those options to help you make an informed decision:


When you buy a vehicle, you either pay cash for it upfront or make a down payment at the time of purchase and finance the rest through a vehicle loan. Once you’ve paid off the vehicle loan, you own it outright and can hold onto it for as long as you want or sell it and pocket the proceeds. You can also sell the vehicle before the loan is paid off, as long as the sales price exceeds the loan balance, or you can cover the difference in cash.


Benefits of buying your car rather than leasing:

  • The newer the vehicle, the lower your loan interest rate will be (subject to credit approval). This is because newer cars are considered less risky, and lenders can easily calculate how much their value will depreciate over time.
  • Buying is usually a better financial decision in the long term if you plan to keep the vehicle for as long as possible.
  • Choose from a wider range of vehicle models and customizations.
  • Build equity in the vehicle as you make monthly payments. (Lease payments don’t build equity in the vehicle or lead to the ownership of an asset.)
  • Annual mileage limits apply to leases, so make sure you can realistically meet them, or you’ll have to pay for each mile you went over at the end of the lease.


Overall, buying is usually the best financial option for most buyers, while leasing may work for car buyers whose primary concern is driving a new car for a short period of time.

If you do decide to go the buying route, you’ll likely need a vehicle loan. Learn more about the pre-approval and financing process in the next section.


Direct Lending vs. Dealer Financing: Which vehicle financing option is right for you?

Auto Loan pre-approval allows you to be prepared and secure when you begin to shop for a car at a dealership.

So, you’ve decided to buy your next ride. Whether you’re set on new or pre-owned, you probably need to finance some or most of the purchase price. Learn how to finance a car in West Central IL.


The two primary options for vehicle financing are:

  • Direct auto loans: Made by banks, credit unions, or other financial lending institutions before you start shopping for a car.
  • Dealer Financing: Made at the time of purchase by the financing team at the dealership. May be through a bank or credit union, or the automaker’s own financial services provider.


At First Bankers Trust, both of these options are available at select dealerships, so we can supply the best vehicle financing option to fit your lending needs.


Getting pre-approved

Get pre-approved by First Bankers Trust so you can shop with confidence knowing your price range. Arriving at the dealership with your own financing also allows you to already be one step further in the process.

Getting pre-approved also enables you to take your time reviewing all the lending terms (APR, term length, amount you can borrow) in a low-stress environment. You may even be able to use your maximum borrowing amount to knock a little bit off the price or ask more than one dealership to make their best offer and compete for your business.


Apply for an auto loan from First Bankers Trust!

If you’re wondering how to get a car loan in West Central IL, look no further than your community bank! Secure the financing you need to get back on the road with the help of our lending experts.


Financing your vehicle locally comes with strong benefits that are worth considering:

  • Online application, approval, and loan closing available
  • Expedite the car buying process by securing financing before you shop
  • Acquire funding for the purchase of a new or used car, truck, or motorcycle
  • Refinance an existing auto loan
  • Secure pre-approval to bring with you to the dealership
  • The best customer service – talk to a real banker down the street
  • Documents for your loan are held and accessible locally
  • Simplified process
  • You can get pre-qualified and be prepared when going to a dealership
  • Competitive rates
  • One on one individual attention with a lender that knows your name and your situation
  • Online access and payments as well as auto pay
  • Keep your accounts all at the same place
  • Valued relationship with many of the local vehicle dealerships – allows for one-stop buying and financing your vehicle to be simple.
  • One-stop buying and financing an auto is made simple


Serving our communities since 1946, First Bankers Trust Company has lived by the motto that customers are always FIRST. We strive to be the best bank with installment loans across Quincy, Carthage, Macomb, Rushville, Mendon, and Springfield, IL by meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs. With an auto loan from First Bankers Trust, buying the new or used vehicle you want can be quick and easy. Learn more or apply online for an auto loan today!