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Ram is a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles best known for its full-size pickups. These trucks have been hitting the roads for decades, first in 1981 under the Dodge label and then as its stand-alone division in 2009.
If trucks were once strictly utilitarian, today’s models are downright luxurious, including the upper trim levels of the redesigned Ram 1500, topping out at nearly $60,000. With those kinds of prices, chances are good that you’ll need to finance your new truck. If you’re thinking about financing through the manufacturer, we’ll walk you through the process as well as the pros and cons. We will also look at alternatives to Ram financing.
Because Ram is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, if you decide to finance one of its trucks through the manufacturer, you’ll actually be working with Chrysler Capital. Chrysler Capital also finances Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and, of course, Chrysler.
Financing terms range from 24 to 72 months with rates as low as 4.78% as of March 20, 2019 for a Charlotte, N.C. ZIP code. The best rates will go to well-qualified buyers who opt for the shortest loans. Chrysler Capital is powered by Santander Consumer USA, the U.S. auto lending arm of the Spanish bank. According to Santander’s 2017 annual report, Chrysler Capital loans were evenly split between “prime” and “non-prime” customers.” In other words, you won’t necessarily need great credit to qualify for Chrysler Capital financing. But it probably helps — the median credit score of all U.S. auto buyers at time of origination in third quarter of 2018 was 704.
You could use one of Chrysler Capital’s finance calculators to determine how much a new Ram may cost you. By plugging in or adjusting your desired monthly payment, term, APR and down payment, you may get a better idea of what best fits your budget.
Don’t forget to negotiate. Of course, it’s a good idea to negotiate the best car price as well as your car loan. You could get preapproved through Chrysler Capital but be aware that this involves a hard credit pull which could affect your credit. But it won’t hurt to apply to multiple lenders any more than it would to apply to one. By shopping around for a car loan, you’ll know you’re getting the best rate for you. You could also fill out a single online form at LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from up to five different lenders, based on your creditworthiness.
The advantage to financing through the manufacturer is access to manufacturer rebates and incentives. Ram offers several, from discounts for military members to those with disabilities. It’s also worth checking with your local dealership to see if there are special purchase or lease offers available in your area.
0% APR — Ram was offering 0% financing on certain vehicles nationwide at press time. It’s important to remember that such deals come and go and may not be available on the particular model you want. Ram also offered low APRs at time of publication. It’s possible you may see cash allowances at dealerships in your area. If you have to choose between special financing and a rebate, it’s almost always better to take the rebate. Why? You get the money now, typically straight off the purchase price, rather than having the value of the low APR spread out over the years you have the auto loan.
Military Bonus Cash — Active-duty and Reserve servicemembers, military retirees and veterans who have been honorably discharged within the past 12 months are eligible for $500 off select purchases and leased vehicles.
Automobility Program —If you have permanent disabilities and need help getting into or out of the vehicle or operating it, Chrysler may reimburse up to $1,000 to help install adaptive equipment on the vehicle.
You may apply in person at a Ram dealership or online. You’ll need to provide certain personal and financial details, including:
Your application will be sent to your closest dealer (or you can select the dealer you want). You will receive an instant financing offer from the site.
Leasing is another way to get into a new Ram, especially for those who like to vary their ride every few years or for anyone looking for a lower payment. Leasing tends to be less expensive on a monthly basis than a car loan but there are some drawbacks.
In addition to mileage restrictions, you may be charged a fee for exceeding those limits as well as wear-and-tear agreements. Ram has a range of mileage limits from which to choose, but typically, the higher the limits the more expensive the lease. You also may be restricted from customizing your vehicle when you lease, restrictions you wouldn’t be bound by when purchasing.
When the lease ends, your choices are to turn in the vehicle, buy it, or lease or buy a new Ram.
Want a new Ram but don’t necessarily want to finance it via Chrysler Capital? There are other options, including banks, credit unions and online lenders. We found lower rates than the 4.78% APR offered through the Ram website, including a 3.99% APR at online lender Lightstream and even lower rates at credit unions, assuming you meet their membership criteria. And don’t forget to check with your own bank, credit union or online lender as many offer rate discounts to existing customers.
And if you want to skip dealers altogether, Carvana sells and finances used cars via its website. You could also check out this list of the best online car-buying sites and apps.
With any lender, the best rates tend to go to those with the best credit. Chrysler Capital bases interest rates on your credit score, the length of the loan and your down payment. Don’t know your credit score? You can check it, free, at LendingTree. Even if you decide financing through the manufacturer is the right choice for you — maybe you qualify for one of its low or 0% APR deals — it’s still a good idea to go into the dealership with your preapproved auto loan in hand. That way, if the dealer can beat it, you’ll know you’re getting the best offer possible.
Ram trucks have been around for decades, renowned for their reliability and towing capability. If you’d like to compare its trucks to other full-size trucks you could check out these best pickups for 2019.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing
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