Some info. I’m 23 and just graduated from college and landed a job making ~$45,000 a year. Not glamorous but I have no bills other than a single credit card to maintain some form of credit. I am studying to go to medical school so I want to keep all other responsibilities to a minimum. I live with my fiancé and we live entirely off his income right now. When I start working, it’s going to be pure supplemental income. My credit score is ~750 and most likely isn’t getting any higher anytime soon.
With that being said I don’t want to go out and buy a $30,000 vehicle just because I can “afford” a payment. My partner has a 2016 Mini Cooper S he is very very much upside down in and I want to avoid circumstances like that. I’m really wanting a 2016+ Honda Civic Coupe. A lot of them are hovering at around $15-18K. I obviously would like to stay on the lower end of that. I want a newer car because I anticipate on having it for the next 10+ years while I am in medical school. I’m hopefully going to save a good chunk of change for a down payment in the next few months but my current car is hanging on by threads. Now what should I do for a loan? Honestly I would like to pay it off much faster than 5 years, but we will see if I am that disciplined. Should I finance through a bank and pay the dealer cash? Should I “finance” through the dealership and pay it off later with a bank loan to get a better up front cost? I’ve been reading and it’s so much conflicting information. I want to know the best strategy to walk in with so I can get the best deal for my vehicle, monthly payments and all.