Provides Six Easy Steps to Guide Canadians on the Road to Car Buying

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ -- Canadian auto sales tumbled 21 percent in
December 2008 and experts predict sales will likely decline even more in 2009,
which is why many auto manufacturers are offering tempting deals to entice
consumers to make a purchase.

    Now more than ever, Canadians should take the time to review their credit
profile and understand how lenders are likely to view them, to determine if
they're well positioned to take advantage of unprecedented auto discounts and
loan rates.

    "While many Canadians may be easily tempted to jump on these offers, it's
really important to take a step back and first understand if they're likely to
qualify for those deals and then assess whether they can truly afford the
long-term costs associated with such a purchase," said Tom Reid, director of
Consumer Solutions for "Now more than ever, it's critical for
consumers to be very familiar with their credit standing as well as their
overall financial standing, so that they can make well informed decisions in
these uncertain times."

    TransUnion is helping Canadians by providing simple steps to consider
when making a car purchase:

    1. Make necessary tune-ups. Whether or not you're in the market for a new
       car now, keep a close eye on your credit report.  If you spot something
       that doesn't look right, you should first contact the creditor
       If that doesn't solve the problem or if the issue doesn't involve a
       specific credit or loan account, contact the appropriate credit
       reporting company directly. If you have significant issues with your
       report, consider delaying your purchase until those issues are resolved
       to help you get the best rate available.
    2. Drive down debt. Reducing your credit card balances or paying off small
       debts may help your credit standing and save you money on a loan.
       Lowering your debt-to-income ratio may also increase your borrowing
    3. Make an age-defying purchase. Decide if you want to buy a new or used
       car. Buying a used car can save you a heap of money if you do your
       research. Since new cars generally depreciate 10-35% during the first
       two years, it's a good idea to check the depreciation rate on the car
       you're interested in by looking up the current price and the price for
       the same car made two years earlier. Manufacturers are offering great
       deals on new cars, so you should also be sure to investigate what makes
       sense for you.
    4. Check your inventory. Evaluate what you already own to determine if you
       have a trade-in or down payment to help you pay for the car. These
       assets can help you negotiate a better rate with lenders and can be
       especially important if you have problem credit.
    5. Do your homework. When you're ready to talk to lenders it's a good idea
       to shop around for the best interest rates. Visit your local bank or
       credit union to discuss applying for an auto loan. Financing with the
       car dealer can sometimes be more expensive, so pricing out your options
       is a good idea. Keep in mind that shopping your loan with multiple
       lenders over a few week period will generally have the same net effect
       on your credit score as checking with just one lender.
    6. Cost of driving off the lot. It's important that consumers keep in mind
       that this purchase involves more than just the cost of the vehicle
       itself. Be sure to research costs of insuring the car, maintenance, gas
       and all the extras that add up to a bigger bottom line.

    For more information about credit management, please visit

    About TransUnion
    As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion
creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering,
analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve
efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering
comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers,
TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their
credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other
efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in
Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion
provides local service and support in Burnaby, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Montreal,
Quebec City, Rimouski, Charlottetown, Halifax and St. John's. Visit to learn more.


For further information:

For further information: Aimee Eichelberger, +1-312-568-7324,, for

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