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Ford Financing Review: Variety of Loan Options and Incentives

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Ford Credit Auto Loans At a Glance
Best for: Those who want to buy or lease a Ford or Lincoln

lenderAPRLoan termsTermCredit requirementsCTA
Starting APR
0.00% APR and up
Loan Terms
12-84 months
Lease Terms
24, 36 or 39 months
Mileage
7,500-19,500 miles annually
Get Free Quotes

If you’re looking for Ford financing, Ford Motor Credit Company — Ford Credit for short — is the automaker’s lending arm. Through Ford Credit, loans and leases are available on Ford and Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs. It’s possible to get a Ford 0% APR financing deal, but these do typically require great credit. There are plenty of other financing options, including a first-time buyer program if you have no credit. You may not even need to finance through Ford Credit to qualify for some of its extensive rebates and incentives.

How Ford financing works

Ford offers loans on new, used and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles at one of its franchised dealerships — so you can’t apply for a Ford Credit auto loan and take it to the Chevy dealer across town. Ford Credit also offers ways to lease new and CPO cars. You could choose from a:

  • Standard purchase loan between 12 and 84 months on new, used and CPO cars
  • Flex Buy loan for lower payments for the first 36 months, followed by higher ones for the remainder of the term (66 or 75 months)
  • Ford Options loan if you prefer a balloon loan with the option to return the vehicle like a lease. The advantage is lower payments until you make the final, large or “balloon” payment at the end of the 36- or 48-month term. However, Ford Options is available only on the Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s new electric SUV.
  • Red Carpet Lease, Ford Credit’s leasing program (we’ll talk more about leasing, below).

As we’ve mentioned, Ford finance rates may start as low as 0.00% APR but you won’t know your exact rate until you apply.

Ford Credit leasing

Leasing allows for flexibility and lower monthly payments, but there are some drawbacks. For one thing, all leases limit the number of miles you can put on the vehicle. Ford sets mileage options between 7,500 and 19,500 miles annually, one of the most lenient in the industry. In general, the higher the mileage limit, the more expensive the payment. Exceed them — or put too much wear-and-tear on your car — and you may pay fees at lease end. When your lease is over, you have three options:

  • Turn in the vehicle and walk away
  • Lease or purchase another Ford
  • Purchase the vehicle you’ve been leasing

If you buy the vehicle after the lease, Ford will waive mileage and disposition fees. A disposition fee is also known as a turn-in fee — it’s the cost to return your leased vehicle. Fees are one of several factors you’ll need to consider when deciding whether to lease or buy.

Pros and cons of Ford financing

ProsCons
Positive reviews: Ford Credit tied for second place with Capital One in customer satisfaction among mass market brands, according to J.D. Power. Ford dealerships only: A Ford Credit auto loan is only good at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. However, it’s always a good idea to get your own preapproved auto loan — you can use it to compare to offers you might receive from Ford Credit, and it’s portable if you decide a Ford isn’t right for you after all.
Flexibility: Buyers have a range of loan options and terms up to 84 months, though we recommend steering clear of long auto loans, if possible. No preapprovals: Ford Credit interest rates aren’t publicly disclosed — so you won’t know your exact APR until you apply.

Ford financing deals

One of the biggest advantages to Ford financing is the possibility of qualifying for manufacturer incentives that can reduce the price of the car and/or your loan or lease. But it’s important to make sure the deals you’re looking at are available at the time and place you’re shopping. Incentives can vary by location and model.

  • 0% APR financing: If you qualify with Ford Credit, you may be able to get a 0.00% APR offer or a low APR deal up to 72 months.
  • Retail Incentive: This may be worth up to a few thousand dollars off the price of the car. However, Ford Credit financing may be required and you may not be able to combine it with low or 0% APR financing or special lease offers.
  • Bonus Cash: There are different types, including “regular” Ford Bonus Cash (worth as much as several thousand dollars) and Ford Credit Bonus Cash (worth similar amounts, but requires Ford Credit financing). These programs essentially work as a down payment and may be combined with each other and/or with other incentives. You could also receive Bonus Cash when trading in a car — the rebate would then be applied to your new vehicle.
  • 90-day payment deferral: You may be able to delay your first car payment up to 90 days, though interest will still accrue during this period.
  • Military and first responders program: A $500 rebate for the purchase or lease of a new Ford may be available to active-duty, retired or veteran U.S. military personnel; 911 dispatchers; police officers; firefighters and their spouses and household members. To qualify you have to register at www.fordsalutesthosewhoserve.com.
  • Student program: If you are a current student or recent graduate, the Ford Drives U program may provide a $750 or $500 rebate, depending on whether you buy or lease.
  • First Time Buyer Program: If you’re a first-time car buyer with limited or no credit, this program could help you to qualify for a better financing deal. To qualify, you must not have car credit history or any problems listed on your credit, and you’ll need to make at least $2,000 a month.
  • Mobility Program: Ford offers to help owners of new Ford vehicles with the cost of adaptive equipment, such as steering devices, lifts, wheelchair restraints, door openers and more. You can read more about the Ford Upfits program and its requirements.
APR deals vs. rebates: Which is better? If you have to choose between special financing and a cash rebate, it’s almost always better to take the rebate. With a rebate, you get the money now rather than spreading out a low APR over several years. Even if you qualify for no-interest financing, borrowing less money could be a better move, especially if you don’t plan to keep the car for the full length of the loan term.

How to qualify for Ford financing

A Ford Credit auto loan or lease could be a good fit for shoppers looking for a new or used Ford or Lincoln, but the most lucrative deals and incentives will likely go to those with the strongest credit. Ford offers loan options for a range of credit scores, but the average customer had a 739 FICO Score in 2020. You could see if you qualify by applying for Ford Credit online.

Applying to Ford Credit

When applying, you’ll need to provide:

  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Contact information: Email address and phone number
  • Information about your residence: Address, how long you’ve lived there and whether you rent or own your home
  • Gross annual income

Alternatives to Ford financing

Here’s how Ford financing stacks up against a credit union, an online lender and a national bank.

Ford Credit Navy Federal LightStream Bank of America
Starting APR* 0.00% and up 1.79% 2.49% 2.09%
Terms 12 – 84 months Up to 96 months 36 – 84 months 12 – 75 months

*May include autopay discount

Navy Federal Credit Union

If you don’t qualify for 0% APRs or other low financing rates that auto manufacturers can offer, but your credit’s still strong, Navy Federal offers one of the lowest available starting APRs on auto loans. The catch, however, is that you must qualify for membership — the credit union is open to those with ties to the U.S. military. You can read an in-depth Navy Federal review here.

LightStream

An online lender, LightStream offers all types of car loans at competitive rates, but prefers FICO Scores of 660 or higher. If you have good credit or better, a LightStream offer might be one worth taking with you to the dealership when you go shopping. Here’s a review on LightStream auto loans.

Bank of America

A well-known lender and established financial institution, Bank of America offers the highest starting rate in this comparison. Still, many people prefer banks for the convenience they offer — banking and lending in one place, with no membership requirements. Here’s our Bank of America auto loan review.

 

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