Ford preselects 84-month loans on most cars

Ford has updated its website to assume 84-month payment estimates on nearly every model in its lineup. While longer auto loans are certainly not a new trend, this decision effectively shortlists the most expensive loan for a car and can result in consumers paying thousands of dollars in interest until almost 2030.

We looked at just about every payment calculator on and found that the company pre-selects a finance term of 84 months on most cars. On the F-150 pickup, Ford’s main landing page says “select models finance at $424/month.” However, our analysis revealed that this is based on a 7 year loan at a rate of 5.9% APR.

In fact, the monthly payment of $424 is based on an entry-level F-150 XL with an MSRP of $32,290. A closer look reveals that a 7-year loan with no down payment at this price would result in nearly $7,200 in interest before taxes and fees. It also assumes that you are buying a truck with no options, which may be very unlikely.

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The Ford Bronco Sport is perhaps one of the brand’s worst offerings with a 7-year rate of 6.9% APR through Ford Credit. On the well-equipped Outer Banks version, a 7-year loan on an SUV priced at $35,495 would cost nearly $45,000. While longer loans can sometimes be a bargain, the 6.9% interest rate makes them bad value.

Believe it or not, these incentives are even worse than they look. This is because Ford also assumes a 10% down payment. In the case of the $424/month payment on the F-150, that means depositing $3,229 upfront. With $0 down payment, the payment would increase to $471, by Ford’s own estimate.

Fortunately, buyers don’t have to choose an 84-month loan, and choosing another term can mean much lower rates. The downside is that shorter loans can result in much higher payments. For example, the cheapest Ford Ranger has 0% APR for 36 months, but a $788 payment based on $0 down payment.

Your best bet for getting a deal might be to find a great place that lowers your total cost and offers a payout that isn’t completely horrible. In the case of the Ranger XL, Ford has a 60-month rate of 1.9%, which could bring the payment down to $496. On a new Ford Explorer, the best offer is currently 0% financing for 60 months.

Ford has taken a number of steps to bring more flexibility to consumers. Earlier this month, Ford Credit introduced 84-month financing on used cars. Last fall, the lender removed its minimum credit score requirement for 84-month financing, opting instead to rely on a proprietary formula to judge creditworthiness.

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Garland K. Long