Easy credit and longer-term loans currently being offered at auto dealerships can make buying an expensive car alluring. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at the Bankrate.com website, says consumers with poor credit shouldn’t bite.

Consumers tend to focus on the payment rather than the interest rate, which likely will be far higher than the below 3-percent rate now available to those with good credit.

READ MORE: Frisco Memorial Girls' And Boys' Basketball Teams No Longer The New Kids On The Block

“They engage in the dangerous financial habit known as payment shopping,” McBride says.

Here’s what he suggests instead.

— Buy a lower-priced car or a used car with a shorter payoff period. Paying it off will help you get a lower interest rate on your next car.

READ MORE: Loophole In Federal Surprise Medical Bill Ban Leaves Patients At Risk Of High, Unexpected Ambulance Bills

— Don’t be fooled by the payment on a loan that’s six years or longer. Look at the interest rate, which could be double or more what borrowers with good credit can get. It will take years for you to build any equity in your car.

— Don’t buy a car until you pay down other debts and improve your credit rating.

— Try to save for a bigger down payment. This could get you a lower interest rate.

MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Injured After Shooting In Forest Hill

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)