Let's get some of the stuff you are confused about out of the way first. Car financing means that when you go to a dealership to buy your car and they are arranging financing, you will be paying back a lender that they use not paying them back. In most cases, they have several lenders with different programs to assist buyers in all kinds of different circumstances. If you are a first time buyer, they generally have programs that will help you get your first car without a co-signer, but they may still ask for one if you do not qualify. Pros and cons of a lease. A lease is designed for one specific thing...to help people trade every 2-3 yrs without fear of owing more than the car is worth when they trade. Here is the down side: going over the miles is the most common. Most leases are 15000 per yr with a .15 charge for each mile over that (24 mo lease 15k per yr=30k; you have 35k at turn in; that is 5000x.15=$750 in excess mileage fees. Another thing to consider is wear and tear charges, but as long as your windshield is in good shape, tires are not bald, major stains or tears and no major dents that will require over 3 1/2 hrs to fix per body panel, you will be in good shape. Leases are not a bad thing, they are just not for everyone. As far as getting a loan for the down payment, that is not such a good idea because now you have two loans to pay back. You can generally take about $20 per thousand to estimate a payment for a car, so if you were thinking of putting down $2000 that would mean about $40 difference on your car payment vs. the payment of paying that money back to a different source.
I hope this helps and good luck!
Director of Finance