Spouses Isaac and Flecia Edwards, both Fort Bragg Family members, stopped by the Soldier Support Center, March 23, to learn car buying strategies as part of a Financial Readiness Program, Army Community Service.

“I want to learn the basics of car buying and how to avoid scams,” said Flecia, who plans to buy a car soon.

They heard presentations from financial experts, including Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union employees Dani Brown and Andrew Reiff, as well as Craig Synder, of AVP Lending.

Some people wrongly think that the best time to buy a car is the end of calendar year, end of model year, during discount wars, at the end of day or month, or on a sunny day. The best time, said Brown, is when the buyer is ready.

But, buyers should beware of errors that could sabotage the process such as:

Don’t be impulsive

Don’t get emotionally attached to the car before owning it

Don’t purchase a vehicle completely online

Don’t visit only one dealership

Don’t believe everything the salesman says

“It’s never shameful to just walk away,” Brown said.

Many Soldiers, veterans and their Families pay far too much for auto loans, and FBFCU tries to help them with budget, research, and purchase matters, Reiff said.

Additionally, the credit union also provides a free CarFax report to consumers who have the vehicle’s identification number, which is helpful because it details the vehicle’s history.

It could, for instance, keep a consumer from spending hard-earned money on a previously damaged vehicle.

Positive strategies that car buyers can use, instead, are to research an affordable vehicle, keep a budget in mind, test drive the desired vehicle, collect all the facts, take friends or Family along and have a game plan in place before visiting a dealership, Reiffs said.

Typically, the buying process is a three-part process that entails securing money, making the purchase or selling the trade.

Buyers should comprehend that the ability to borrow or secure money is affected by credit history and by the term of the loan.

Making a purchase involves doing homework like test driving the vehicle or negotiating a good deal. Selling a trade entails knowing the value of the trade and/or knowing if one is upside down, or owes more than the vehicle is worth.

No matter what, if the buyer doesn’t like what he or she is hearing, walk away, or do an about face.

The buyer makes the ultimate decision.

For more information about the FRP, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/frp or call 907-3670.