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Experts often suggest that the best time to buy a new car is when you truly need one. However, if you’re in the market for a new or used car, Labor Day into early fall is regarded as a prime buying time to purchase a vehicle. September is considered the end of the model year, and many dealers offer generous incentives and financing in order to make room for newer models.

Before getting into the details of vehicle financing, you’ll want to have a good idea of how much you can afford to add to your overall budget. Experts suggest no more than 20 percent of monthly income. Also, keep in mind that your auto expenses aren’t limited to your monthly payment. Additional expenses such as maintenance, insurance, gas, oil changes and tires should also be calculated into the cost.

Whether you plan on buying or leasing your vehicle, you’ll want to compare financing options to find the best fit for your needs.

If you want reduced payments in exchange for a larger balloon payment at the end of the contract, Ally Balloon Advantagemight be a good option as it allows qualified buyers the flexibility to manage their money throughout the term of financing.

For consumers who want the benefit of both buying and leasing, Ally Buyers Choice (ABC), offers qualified purchasers the ability to own their vehicle with the option to prepay by selling the vehicle to Ally on a predetermined date and for a preset price.

While financing a major life purchase, like a new vehicle, can make sense, reducing your financial burden by starting a savings or investing account is a wise move.

At Ally, we provide a broad selection of products that can help you meet your savings and vehicle financing goals. Ally Bank provides innovative retail banking products and services, FDIC-insured up to $250,000.  In addition to Ally Bank’s competitive rates, that have earned several honors. They also reached a monumental milestone recently, surpassing the 1 million mark for retail deposit customers.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) generally offer higher yields than saving accounts for keeping your money tucked away for a predetermined period of time and can be a good option when building a nest egg or saving for a home.

While traditional CDs have one set rate, an Ally Bank’s Raise Your Rate CD  allows you to stay in the same CD and get a higher rate. It provides flexibility and peace of mind by allowing the holder the ability to raise the rate, if the rates increase for this CD.

Whether you’re considering buying a home, a new vehicle or saving for retirement, one thing is clear, every day you save you’re a step closer to your goal.

To learn more about our complete suite of products and how they might help you meet your financial objectives, visit

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  1. 1
    Wade H.

    20% of your monthly income on cars? This is terrible advice! A car is inherently a poor investment because they lose value so fast. A new car will lose half its value in the first 5 years. You’re better off saving up money and paying cash for a car. If you then want a better car, save up more money and buy a nicer car later by selling your car and using the money you’ve saved. If you can eliminate ever having a car payment and instead put that money into retirement, you will have hundreds of thousands, if not over a million dollars by the time you hit 65. With 20% of your income tied up in cars, you’re basically spending your retirement on a nicer car to drive now.

    I think a better goal you should shoot for is having all of your housing costs be around 20% of your gross income. This allows you to contribute to your retirement and set yourself up for long term success.

    Do whatever you can to not go into more unnecessary debt. If you are currently in debt (as I am with student loans), do whatever you can to pay off those loans. Having no debt beside a home loan that is around 20% of your gross income is real freedom.

    • 2
      Greg C

      On top of that, folks should be careful to avoid long financing terms. You can get a lower monthly payment by stretching the financing out 5-7 years, but then you’re paying a ton of interest and can easily end up upside-down if the car depreciates fast. If that’s the only way you can afford the payment, you might be looking at too much car. Get a quality car you can truly afford and maintain it. Keep your car for longer and pay yourself the savings.

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