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Most people know “Tote the Note” dealerships as dealerships that offer in-house financing. Have you ever been listening to the radio and a commercial comes up saying someone along the lines of “no credit, no problem?” If you have, then you already know the key part about “Tote the Note” financing style which is that your credit doesn’t matter all that much since the lender, in this case, the dealership is not that strict. In-house financing or “Tote the Note” Financing is used by dealerships because it is a sure way to grow their clientele and sell more cars to more people. The customers that will benefit the most from “Tote The Note” financing will be the ones with no credit history or with bad credit at the time of purchase. Like most financing options and every negotiation, there are both advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss fully in this article.

You might be wondering what is the difference between in-house financing and traditional financing of an auto loan, and these are the main differences:

* In-house financing is literally in-house - The dealership will be the lender approving your loan, not the bank or a credit union like in traditional financing.

* Credit does not matter that much - When you fill out an application for a loan, in this case in-house financing, then your credit simply does not play such a pivotal role as in most traditional financing applications. Why? That is because the dealership decides without having to go through any banks or credit unions.

* Financing comes first, not last - While most traditional financing applications are done at the end of the car shopping process, in the case of in-house financing, it is the first thing that will be done. Dealerships that do in-house financing will want to set the expectations from the get-go and use their resources to find the best car within your financing means.

What are the advantages of “Tote the Note” financing?

1. The main advantage of “Tote the Note” Financing is that if you are a subprime borrower with a negative credit history, then this is a great chance to get a vehicle.

2. If you don’t have a lot of cash flow - If you don’t have a lot of cash flow, then you will most likely be able to afford only very inexpensive cars that may not be the most reliable.If you get accepted for “Tote the Note” Financing, then you have a chance at driving a better quality car while having the same cash flow as before.

3. Ease of Access - This process is usually very direct since there is no middleman. You can apply online before heading to the dealership, or you can walk into a dealer that offers “Tote the Note” Financing and ask to see the finance manager.

What are the disadvantages of “Tote the Note” Financing?

1. Some dealerships may be unethical and set traps to unsuspecting customers that do not know how to manage their money. For example, a car sales associate may try to get a customer to purchase a car that he/she won’t be able to pay while hoping that the customer can not make payments on time only to repossess the car and resell it. This is a scam that unfortunately happens to the United States, and low-income families are the main prey.

2. High interest - Because the dealership is taking a higher risk by lending money to a buyer with bad credit history, the interest is there to offset the risk for the dealership. In-house or “Tote the Note” Financing is a lot like subprime lending in the sense that the interest rates can be upwards of 15%.

3. On time payments will not help increase your credit score since most dealerships do not report to the credit bureaus. Some dealerships may report to the credit bureaus, so it is a good idea to call all the dealerships that offer “Tote the Note” Financing to find out.

How to Protect Yourself From “Tote the Note” Financing Scams

* Do your research - Go to the dealership’s website and read about their sales process, search online for any reviews, and call before going to visit.

* Make a budget - The reason why many “Tote the Note” Financing purchases go wrong is that the customer depended on someone else to make their budget and take control of their financial decision-making. Before going into the dealership make your budget, analyze your finances, and go into the dealership with a plan in mind.

* Save for a big down payment - Think about it. The larger the down payment, the less interest you will need to pay. If at all possible, try to save in advance so you can take full advantage of “Tote the Note” Financing options instead of paying exorbitant interest fees.

* Ask the dealership sales advisor many questions such as: Do I need to put a down payment? Will payments be reported to the credit bureaus? Is there a penalty for paying the loan early? Can I trade in my current vehicle? How long is the application process for the “Tote the Note” Financing?

The key to this “Tote the Note” Financing negotiation is to understand the process, do the due diligence, and be patient. In-house financing can be great if you use it wisely, but make sure this route is better for you than the traditional financing route. Ask as many questions as you need and stay within your budget!


Monday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED


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