(WTNH)– How much are you paying for your car loan? If you haven’t paid close attention, there’s a chance you’re paying a lot more than in years past. We are stretching your dollar with what a report found.

For many of us, our vehicle is one of life’s necessities. You pay what you have to, to get the family where they need to go and get to work on time.

But a Consumer Reports investigation found you may be overpaying on your car insurance without knowing it.

Here are a few takeaways you may want to know about.

Consumer Reports found consumers who may have similar finances, income, and vehicles paid a big difference in their loans. One paid 4.9% APR and the other 14.1%.

The takeaway is the good credit score you’re told to keep up, may not be getting you your best loan. Remember, you could pay thousands more on the price of the car with a high APR on the loan.

The investigation also found many people were given loans they can’t afford. The rule of thumb is you shouldn’t spend more than 10 % of your income on car debt. It poses a great financial risk, including default. But Consumer Report found nearly 25% of borrowers are spending more than that.

Other findings include:

  • Income verification was rare
  • Delinquencies and repossessions common
  • About 5% of borrowers or 1 in 20 were effected.

The bottom line – be your own advocate. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford.

Some experts have said the financing you get has more to do with how prepared you are for battle when you walk onto the showroom floor, rather than your financial history. If you are unsure what to do, recruit a friend or expert to come with you.