Your income and personal expenses determine the amount banks are willing to finance for you. For a ballpark figure, multiply your gross monthly income by the number 6 and that’s approximately the maximum amount of the car loan you can expect.
For example, if you work full-time for $14/hour, your gross monthly income is about $2,400. In this case, vehicles priced around $12,000 or lower make sense for you. Note: Many 1st time buyer programs cap out at $15,000, so we keep a large stock of newer year vehicles in the $8,000-$13,000 range.
Remember: lenders also look at your other expenses to determine whether or not you’re likely to be able to afford a car payment. It’s one of our goals to help first-time buyers make sure their car payment makes sense in the face of their other expenses.