How much does a small used auto loan impact my credit?

beetle1283 asked:

I am about to buy a 2003 Honda Civic from my uncle for approximately $10,000. I had intentions of putting down 5,000 or 6,500 dollars (depending on what I sell my current car for) and take out a small auto loan for the remaing 3,500 or 5,000 for about 36 months.

The rates I am finding are not as good as I would have hoped, through no fault of my own. I am 24 and haven’t done anything that would have given me bad credit. I pay back all my bills and whatnot.

Am I better off just buying the car outright (I can afford it) or taking out a loan for the sake of taking out a loan. I’ve heard a few times that a small loan really helps your credit.
So put down 5,000, take out the 5,000 loan amount, put 5,000 in a savings account and let the loan cycle? What does that mean.

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