If you’ve ever spent time living in one of the major cities like Manila or Cebu, you know how exhausting commuting can be. There’s the hassle of taking multiple PUVs to get to your destination, finding seating in an already-crowded jeep, and chasing after a bus only to find there’s nowhere for you to sit.

For many, the solution to the above-mentioned problems is to get a car. But the next question is: how do you pay for it? You know taking an auto loan is an option, but is it the right option for you?

In this post, we’re sharing with you 6signs that applying for an auto loan is the best way for you to get your own vehicle. By the time you’re done reading, you should have a clearer picture of whether it’s the right next step for you:

1. You NEED the car right away.

Merely wanting a car isn’t the same as needing it. If you really need the car for whatever reason and you don’t have the cash to pay for it, getting a loan may be your best option. For example, if you want to be able to take your kids safely to school yourself, that’s a valid reason to get a car.

Do your research on which banks, credit unions, or car dealerships offer the best auto loans in the Philippines. Find out whether you qualify for their auto loan program, then take care of the requirements.

2. You want to know exactly how much you need to pay each month.

With a secured car loan, you get a fixed monthly amortization for the entire duration of the contract. Let’s say you’ve been getting to work on time because of your brand new car and you get a salary raise or promotion. Whatever your salary is by then, you’ll still be paying exactly the same amount for the car every month.

3. You like the freebies that come with the loan.

Sometimes companies offer great perks or freebies if you’re getting both the car and car loan from them. Examples of perks you might get are free road tax (usually for a year), car insurance, or a complete car inspection right before you take the car for a spin. Some companies may even throw in a free car cover, car care kit, and reverse sensor.

4. You can adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

This goes without saying but getting a car loan may not be suitable for you if you have budgeting problems. You might have to give up some habits such as hitting the bar every night or getting Starbucks every morning. The same applies when getting any kind of loan: you need to be realistic with what you can afford.

5. You have a stable monthly income.

Do you have enough income every month to pay for your personal expenses and the loan? Are you still able to save after paying for everything? If all of your income goes to expenses and you have nothing left in your wallet, then getting a car loan may not be for you. Be realistic and do the math first.

6. You are aware of what happens if you fail to make payments.

There are penalty charges for failing to make payments on time. Delay payments long enough and you can even start hurting your credit score, which will affect any loan you decide to take in the future. The lender may even repossess the car. Make it a point to know what the consequences are if you can’t keep up with your monthly payment so you know what you’re getting into.

The Bottom Line

You need to be armed with the proper knowledge before you consider getting an auto loan. Not only will you increase the chances of getting a great deal, but you’ll also get a car that fits your lifestyle and budget.