Working together to educate consumers

Recognizing the need for consumer education, automotive industry leaders have formed AWARE, a collaborative indusrty effort to provide consumers with information, tools and resources to successfully navigate the auto financing process.

IN EDUCATING CONSUMERS ABOUT AUTO FINANCING AND WAYS TO MAKE INFORMED FINANCING decisions, the group seeks to ensure that financing remains available and affordable to the broadest possible spectrum of consumers. Dealer financing is not only convenient, but offers competitive reates for consumers across the contry. 

All of the complanies and associations involved with Americans Well -informed on automobile Retailing Economics (AWARE) have a long history of educating consumers about auto financing, and want to expand the outreach by collaborating with others that share this commitment.

the members of the coalition AWARE include the American Financial Services Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, American International Automobile Dealers Association and auto dealers and finance companies. 

Before Visiting the dealership:

  • BASED ON YOUR NEEDS and budget, determine a realistic price range for the auto you are thinking of buying. Compare annual percentage rates and other financing terms from multiple sources. 
  • KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between buying and leasing an auto.
  • KNOW YOUR CREDIT RECORD and that it may affect the finance reate you are able to secure. 
  • COMPARE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATES AND OTHER FINANCING TERMS from multiple sources such as banks, finance companies and credit unions. 

When shopping for an auto at the dealership:

  • STAY WITHIN THE PRICE RANGE that you can afford.
  • NEGOTIATE your finance arrangements and terms.
  • UNDERSTAND THE VALUE AND PRICE of optional products such as extended service contracts, credit insurance, or guaranteed auto protection. If you don't want these products, don't sign for them.
  • READ THE CONTRACT carefully before you sign it.
  • Negotiate your finance arrangements and terms. 

After completing the auto purhcase or lease:

  • MAKE YOUR PAYMENTS ON TIME. Late or missed payments incur late fees and appear on your credit report, which can impact your ability to get credit in the future.
  • BE AWARE that if you financed the auto, the dealership (or a bank, finance company or credit union that purchases the contract from the dealership) holds a lien on the auto title, and in some cases the actual title.) unless you have a paid the contract in full.
  • THE DEALERSHIP MAY RETAIN your finance contract, but usually sells it to a third party, such as a bank, finance company or credit union, at a wholesale reate (often called the "buy rate"). The bank, the finance company or credit union that buys your contract will service the account and collect payments. 

If you encounter financial difficulty:

  • TALK TO YOUR CREDITORS if you experience difficulty making your monthly payments. Explain your situation and reasion your payment will be late. Work out a payment schedule with your creditors and, if neccessary, seek the services of a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency.
  • KNOW YOUR OBLIGATIONS. If you default, a creditor may take the auto in full satisfaction of the credit agreement or may sell the auto and apply the procees from the sale to the outstanding balance of the credit agreement. 
  • BE AWARE that repossession can occur if you fail to make timely payments. It does not relieve you of your obligation to pay for the auto. The law in some states allow the creditor to repossess the auto without going to court.

Download the What You Need To Know Document

View some helpful videos below, courtesy of Ford Motor Credit.


Recognizing the need for consumer education, automotive industry leaders have formed AWARE (Americans Well-informed on Automobile Retailing Economics), a collaborative industry effort to provide consumers with information, tools, and other resources to better understand the auto financing system.