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|How do I get a car loan if I have bad credit?
There are car loan options for borrowers less-than-perfect credit. You can qualify for auto loans even with a repossession, foreclosure, or bankruptcy record on your credit file. Before you do so, do your homework and read up about your options when you refinance.
13th of April, 2010
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Because auto loans are “secured” by the car, they are less risky for lenders and that opens up programs for people with troubled credit histories. However, if you have poor credit, you’re going to pay more in interest and fees.
Your credit score really comes into play when you’re in the market for a new vehicle. Before you apply for an auto loan, try these steps to present yourself in the best light:
Get more information about auto financing and shopping for car loans. You can also apply for an auto loan today!
- Check your credit reports and scores. If there are inaccuracies, report and correct them before you apply for loans.
- Do your homework. Not every lender reports to all three of the
credit bureaus, and for this reason you may have a higher credit score
at one of the bureaus. If this is the case, apply for your auto loans
with lenders and dealerships that use the credit bureau where your
score is the highest. This is relevant because auto dealers
and lending institutions often only pull your credit file and scores
from one bureau, so with some advance planning you can present your
- Pay down your credit card balances a month in advance. In the
first place, this may give you a little boost when the lender goes to
pull your scores because you will have more available credit. Secondly,
with more available credit you may be able to use your credit card to
make a larger down payment on the car and as a result you may be able
to get a better APR (annual percentage rate, or the interest you pay on
the car loan). If you do this, just make sure that you will be able to
cover the charge on the credit card by the end of the grace period.
Otherwise, you may end up paying a lot more in interest on the credit
card than you would have if you were just paying the interest on the
car loan directly.
- Research loans from different sources. Subprime borrowers will
usually get the best deal directly from a dealership financing office.
But it is still smart to see if you might qualify for better loan terms
from an online lender or local credit union before you buy.
The terms and conditions offered by secured lenders – banks, credit
unions and finance companies who lend on things like car and home
purchases – vary widely. So do your homework and good luck!