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If Infiniti were a person, it’d be a millennial. An upstart compared with European luxury automakers, the luxury line was an immediate hit with American drivers when parent company Nissan rolled it out at the Detroit Motor Show in 1989, the same year rival Japanese carmaker Toyota launched Lexus.
If you’re interested in buying a new Infiniti today, it’s possible to finance one of its vehicles through the manufacturer. We’ll walk you through the pros, cons and alternatives.
Infiniti Financial Services is the lending arm of Infiniti, a subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co. Infiniti Financial Services requires a relatively high credit score for a buyer to be considered qualified for financing. Though 600 is generally considered a fair credit score, Infiniti considers it to be poor.
Ask for a tier bump. The loan offer Infiniti Financial Services generates is based on more than just your credit score — it’s also based on how much down payment you give and your income, assets and debt, all of which help the lender put you in what’s known as a credit tier. Loan offers are largely determined based on credit tiers. If you do not get the loan offer you want, ask the salesperson, finance manager or an Infiniti representative for a tier bump. By going up a tier, you may be able to qualify for the loan terms you want. Reasons you may deserve a tier bump include steady employment and a positive history of repaying auto debt and other types of loans. You might learn that a slightly larger down payment or a cosigner could make a big difference.
Infiniti Financial Services does not feature as many rebates and discounts as other brands, such as Ford or even Lexus. It does offer 0% and low APR financing up to 72 months, depending on the vehicle model and buyer qualifications.
The best way to apply for Infiniti financing may be to go in person to an Infiniti retailer (Infiniti’s name for dealerships). If you would like to have the paperwork ready before you go, you could print a credit application from the Infiniti website to fill out and take with you. If you would like to be preapproved by Infiniti Financial Services before you go, you could apply online, though cosigners would still need to finish the loan application process at a dealership.
Any way you choose to apply, you’ll need to be 18 or older, have a valid Social Security number, be a legal resident of the U.S. and have verifiable income and/or employment. If you apply for preapproval online, you’ll also need an email address.
Leasing can be an optimal way to get into a brand-new vehicle for lower payments than buying. If you like to have a new vehicle every three years or sooner, leasing is less expensive than purchasing, trading in and purchasing again. The downside is that leasing is more expensive than buying a new or used car and keeping it for longer than three years. Why? Many new cars lose half their value in that time, meaning you paid for half of the vehicle’s new-car sticker price in a 36-month lease and walk away at the end with no vehicle. If you’re undecided which is best for you, read more about leasing vs. buying a car.
At the end of the auto lease you have three choices: buy the car at the predetermined price, turn it in and walk away, or turn it in and either lease or purchase another vehicle. If you want more information on how to buy your leased car, here’s what to do for a lease buyout. If you’re interested in leasing or purchasing another vehicle at lease-end, pay attention to the rebates and offers going on at the time, as there are usually fee waivers and special deals for customers turning in a leased vehicle.
Potential auto lenders other than Infiniti Financial Services include banks, credit unions and online lenders. Do shop around for an auto loan outside of the dealership — the average hidden interest a dealer adds to customer auto loans is 2.47%. When shopping around, don’t overly worry about the loan applications dinging your credit. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do so within the credit bureau’s window (generally up to 14 days, but it could be as high as 45 days).
And instead of doing multiple applications just to see what rate you may qualify for with each lender, you could fill out an online form at LendingTree to get up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once.
Nissan exclusively designed Infiniti for the American market. — perhaps this is why it was such a hit. Yet it took a while for the company to expand to its homebase — Infiniti did not sell cars domestically in Japan until 2013. Today, the company has grown into a well-known international auto brand, including in China, its fastest-growing market.
Looking toward the future, Infiniti says that a fully electric crossover SUV is in the works, in addition to a more advanced supercar, a class of vehicle that is, in short, street-legal race cars.
If you’ve ever wondered about the Infiniti logo, the circle does represent the mathematical symbol for infinity, hence the name — however, you may not know the lines converging in a “V” shape represent Japan’s famous Mount Fuji.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by Infiniti or any of its partners or subsidiaries. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.
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