Posted by Malini Somra on October 2nd, 2019

F and I refers to the Finance and Insurance department. This is where you will be going to finalize your purchase after you have reach a deal with your dealership. This is where you are likely to be offered additional and extra options that you may never have known or heard before. Hence, it will be important to have a prior knowledge of some of the terms that you will hear in the F&I department. The earlier you acquaint yourself with these terms, the better for you. We will take a look at some of these terms and provide a definition to them one after the other.

  •              Service Contract or Extended Warranty: The extended warranty or service contract helps to provide protection for your car that may not be covered in the manufacturer’s warranty. These problems may be electrical, and mechanical faults. However, this contract doesn’t include routine services and maintenance.
  •              F&I Manager: This is the person you will be meeting at the F& I office. This person is the one who will take you through the final processes to finalize your purchase before you sign the dotted lines. He or she will go through the paperwork and also intimate you on optional products.
  •              Credit Insurance: This is the insurance on your car loan that covers payments in cases such as disability or death. Credit insurance is usually not mandatory as far as you’re the insurance on the car meets the minimum standards required.
  •              Maintenance Plan: Maintenance plan covers certain routine maintenance such as oil changes and it can be carried out at specific dealership.
  •              GAP Insurance: This stands for Guaranteed Asses Protection, it is optional. It is meant to cover the amount you owe on your auto finance contract and the current worth of your car in case your car has an accident, stolen, or damaged. 

When you visit the F&I department, you should bear in mind that any add-ons you finance will be added to the total loan amount and you will pay interest on it as well.

Getting to know about these terms will definitely put you in good stead to talk and negotiate from an informed position so that your dealerships will not take advantage of your ignorance or naivety.

Ask questions where necessary, avoid making assumptions or thinking a question might be unreasonable. You never know what an eye-opener your question will be for you and even to the F&I manager.

Before you sign the dotted line, make sure you read through and have a good understanding of all parts of the contract. If it is possible you can go with a legal expert to help you go through the terms of the contract before you sign. Going with a legal expert, will help you to identify loopholes in the contract that the lender or dealerships may exploit against you.

Once you close the deal, your dealer will finalize other paperwork with your lender. Make sure you abide by the terms of the loan contract.

Auto loan pros and cons, read more here -

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Malini Somra

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Malini Somra
Joined: July 11th, 2018
Articles Posted: 52

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