Can I Get a Car Loan With Bad Credit?
Need a new vehicle, but have bad credit? Getting a car loan might be more feasible than you think. Here are some strategies to increase your success before you apply for a car loan and finalize the transaction with your chosen lender.
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Strategies for successfully securing a car loan
Know your credit score … and raise it if possible
Check your credit score, if you haven’t done so recently. If your credit score is in the “fair” or “very poor” tier, do what you can to boost your credit score before applying for a car loan, as Forbes’ Jack Ferry and Rachel Witkowski suggest. Make sure to pay your bills on time and fix any errors that you notice on your credit history report.
Provide proof of stability
Gather documentation that proves your personal stability. Per Ferry and Witkowski, lenders will typically ask you how long you’ve been at your current residence and place of employment. It’s good to have recent pay stubs and proof of your address on hand.
Set a budget
Establish a budget so you know what you can afford to spend on a vehicle, recommend Ferry and Witkowski. It’s best to do this before you start shopping for cars and applying for any auto loans so you’re not tempted to buy a car that’s outside of your price range.
Save for a down payment
Spend some time saving up for a down payment before applying for a car loan. Per Bankrate’s Hanneh Gundersen, this will increase your chances of getting approved for a car loan despite having a poor credit history. You’ll also want to make as large of a down payment as you can. It shows the lender how serious you are about paying off the car loan, says Experian’s Stefan Stolba.
Get preapproved for a car loan before you set foot on a dealership’s lot to find your new vehicle. Dealerships will be more likely to work with you to acquire financing if you’ve already been approved by your bank or credit union.
Shop around…and check with dealerships
Shop around for the best car loan before committing to one. Many car dealerships offer on-site financing either through a partnership with another lender. And some dealerships offer financing through an automaker’s car loan financing subsidiary such as GM Financial.
Whitney Russell resides in Dayton, though her spirit can be found beach-bumming in Puerto Rico (the land of her half-Puerto Rican heritage). When not crafting car-related content, she can be found chasing after the most amazing toddler in the world, watching her “beaver” of a husband build amazing woodworking projects, hanging out with two crazy dogs, and visiting family and friends. She also enjoys traveling, crafting, and binge-watching period dramas when time allows. See more articles by Whitney.