With consumer sentiment as low as it is, one would think that Americans are doing all they can to secure the best financing packages on homes, automobiles and other credit-based purchases. However, this may not be the case, especially when it comes to car buying. High interest rates and added services end up costing consumers more than their financing packages may have suggested. Another reason why it's difficult to obtain a strong auto financing deal is that consumers tend to go through dealerships instead of seeking credit decisions
from outside financiers. "Since buyers don't know the interest rates they'll be offered until they're far along in the process of making a purchase, they can end up feeling pressured to accept terms or services they don't want," points out Candice Choi for The Associated Press. Keep in mind that the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not oversee transactions in the auto industry, as lobbyists successfully managed to keep the sector out of credit underwriting regulations. However, the Federal Trace Commission has acknowledged that "dealer financing can be a "complicated, opaque process and potentially involve unfair or deceptive practices."