You work hard at your job, so you deserve to find a vehicle you’re proud to drive to work each day. You’re working diligently to create a living for yourself while trying to be smart with your money, but you’re not sure if you can afford the car of your dreams or not. Here are just a few things to consider.
Now’s a Great Time to Buy
Luckily, there has never been a better time to buy a car. Current auto loan interest rates are very low and the used car market has never seen so many options. With affordable used trucks hitting the market that were new four to five years ago, you can get a truck that looks new, has low miles and can provide years of reliable transportation. It’s not a bad way to get around town, or off-road.
You Can Afford Your Dream Truck
Debt-to-income ratio is one of the five major components that makes up the whole credit history pie, explains MyFico, a company that analyzes credit reports and produces the 3-digit credit scores. If one of those five factors is out of balance, it could damage your credit score.
So, to maintain a healthy debt-to-income ratio, experts suggest that a 20 percent DTI figure is excellent while 36 percent is a bit high, although workable. A borrower with a debt-to-income ratio higher than this amount is likely to get into a tough financial spot.
Here’s a simple formula for calculating your own debt-to-income ratio so you can figure out exactly how much you can afford:
- List out all your debts
- Add up your minimum monthly debt payments
- Divide this total by your gross monthly income
- This figure will be your DTI ratio
For example, if your gross salary is $3,000 a month and your monthly debt payments are $900, your debt-to-income ratio is 30 percent (900 / 3000 = 0.30). As we learned above, anything between 20 and 30 percent is considered a number that lenders will be happy to see. If you don’t want to do the math, simply input your information into this ratio calculator from Bankrate.
However, before you sign up for a $900 a month truck payment, a DTI ratio figure is meant to include ALL your debts including credit cards, personal loans and auto loans. As long as your entire debt payment load is $900 or less, you probably can afford a truck payment that fits within that limit.
3 Trucks You Can Buy Today
So, what kind of tuck can you afford? Below are three trucks that might fit your style and your wallet:
Chevrolet Silverado 1500: If you’re a Chevy kind of car lover, then you’ll no doubt fall in love with this truck. This budget-friendly truck doesn’t skimp on the bells and whistles. Features include seating for 3, a towing hitch for those big jobs, and an anti-theft system.
Ford F-150: They don’t say “Ford is The Best in Texas” for nothing – it has this reputation because of its durability while on the job. A few of the best features include seating for 6, power windows and door locks, plenty of leg and head room and 20 MPG on the highway.
Dodge Ram Pickup 1500: This truck comes with a serious cool factor. It is functional for driving to work each day and has plenty of cabin space that seats up to 6 people. It also has power window and door locks, a towing hitch, and 19 MPG.
Purchasing the truck of your dreams is no longer out of reach. Now is the great time to buy, so calculate, budget and be proud of the truck you drive.