I’m a 19 year old student and have been trying to get through college without a car. However, as more time passes I realize that it would be extremely beneficial to me to have a car as my school is not in an area where public transportation is readily available. My parents have been ever so kind to pay my tuition, but anything I want to do or get outside of that is up to my own funds. I planned to buy a car when I graduated in a year and a half (used because I can’t see the point of buying a new car at my age), but I feel like I need to get one sooner as I’m tired of working minimum wage, fast food jobs.
To give you some background, I’m now looking to buy a car in December (it’s basically August now). I’ve done some research and the car that I want costs anywhere between 15 and 19k. I’ve got 1k saved so far and have a job where I will probably make about 8-900 a month. I’ve got a discover credit, which I’ve had for about a year and a half now as well as some retail credit cards. My credit score is in the mid to high 700s. I had my mom check with the insurance company to see how much it would cost for my choice of car, and they say it would be around $230 a month. To be clear, my choice of car is a Honda HRV. I’m not too worried about the year of the car, although I would like to have as new a car as possible while staying within 15-19k.
Now, my question(s?). Is it possible for me to buy a car by December? What kind of interest rate would I be likely to get based on my credit history and age? Would I have to have my parents co-sign for the car? How high should I be willing to have my car payment be? Is it true that I shouldn’t want to finance a car for more than 48 months? And lastly, I’m given the option to finance 60 or 72 months, should I do that in order to decrease my payments?
I want to thank you all in advance for all the help and insight that I know you will give to me.
EDIT: Thank you guys for the information. I didn’t really get the answers I was looking for, but I’ve got some more insight on other options should I decide not to buy a newer used car.