Home > Personal Finance > Buying a Car Before Buying a House: What’s the Right Order?

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Did you know that buying a car before you buy a home could impact your ability to get a mortgage? A car loan affects your credit in several ways, and it also reduces the amount of income you have that’s not tied up in debt obligations. Find out more below about the relationship between buying a car and buying a home. Then, make an educated decision about what’s the better priority for you right now: an auto loan or a mortgage.

Does Buying a Car Affect Your Credit?

Yes, buying a car impacts your credit. Having a clean auto loan payment history can do wonders for your credit score. And a favorable credit rating does help you qualify for a mortgage.

Your payment history is the most important component of your credit score—so late payments can cause your scores to drop in a big way. That can kill your chances of getting a mortgage.

Another way buying a car can impact your score is in changing your credit mix. Creditors like to see that you can handle different types of debt responsibly. If you’ve only ever had revolving credit such as a credit card or store account, adding an installment loan can potentially bump your score up.

Most people check their credit scores before they buy a home. They may find out too late that they have not-so-great credit, leaving themselves little time to improve it. It’s a good idea to make monitoring your credit scores a part of your financial routine so when you’re ready to buy a house, you’re prepared to work within your credit standing.

What Kind of Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House?

The credit score you need to qualify for a mortgage depends on what type of lending you’re pursuing. Government-backed loans, such as those through FHA, VA or USDA programs, tend to have the most forgiving credit requirements. For example, you can qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 580. If you can put a decent percent down, you may be able to qualify for some of these mortgage loans with a credit score as low as 500.

However, most commercial lenders are looking for credit scores of 660 and above. Some will approve buyers with a credit score as low as 620 if all other factors are favorable.

How Buying Power Is Impacted When You Buy a Car

Getting approved for a mortgage doesn’t just come down to your credit score, though. Mortgages are big debts—often the largest debt obligation people take on. Lenders want to see that you have the buying power to pay your mortgage consistently.

Your buying power is measured as the difference between your income and your liability payments. The bigger this gap is, the more room you have to accommodate a mortgage payment. This is also referred to as the debt-to-income ratio.

The debt-to-income ratio is the percent of your income that goes toward debt. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most mortgage lenders will only approve someone if their debt-to-income ratio falls at 43% or below including their new mortgage payment. That’s because lenders know you need the rest of your money to pay for living expenses and save for the future.

Buying a car before buying a house can alter those numbers enough to keep you from getting approved for a mortgage. Consider the example below.

Let’s say someone makes $3,500 a month. They have the following debts, totaling $450 each month:

  • A personal loan with a $200 monthly payment
  • A credit card with a $100 monthly payment
  • A student loan with a monthly payment of $150

In this situation, 43% of the person’s income is $1,505. They already have $450 in monthly debt obligations, which means most lenders would consider approving them for mortgages with payments of $1,055 or less. If they have good credit and all other factors are favorable, they stand a good chance of being able to buy a home.

Now, consider the difference if that same person bought a car before buying a home. If the car payment is $500 per month, that brings the total monthly debt payments to $950. It also means the person would be unlikely to qualify for a mortgage with a monthly payment more than $555. That substantially lowers their buying power when looking at homes.

At 3.93% interest, $555 a month on a 30-year mortgage means buying a home with a price tag of around $117,000 or less. At the same rate and terms, you could buy a home worth around $223,000 if you had $1,055 to spend monthly.

Should I Buy a Car Before a House?

Whether or not you buy a car before you buy a house depends on a variety of factors. A few times when you mightbuy a car before buying a house are described below.

Your Income and Debt-to-Income Ratio Can Take It

If you have a high income and low debt, adding a car loan may not impact your ability to buy the house you want.

For example, if you have an income of $5,000 a month, 43% of that is $2,150. If you only have $500 in existing debt, you could add a $500 car payment and still potentially get approved for a mortgage in the amount of $1,150.

That being said, you shouldn’t max out your debt-to-income ratio just because you can. And you should also be cognizant of your monthly expenses. If you have a large family, expensive hobbies or medical needs, these could all mean you need more than 57% of your income each month for things that aren’t bills.

You’re Not Buying the Home for a While

If your home purchase plans are in the distant future, you may be able to purchase a vehicle without it impacting your later mortgage as much. This is typically true in two cases.

  • You’re not buying a home for three or more years, and you can pay for the car in that time. If you want to buy a home in four years, for example, and you can afford a three-year car loan, this might actually help Make all your payments on time and your payment history could increase your credit score.
  • You’re planning to buy a home before your car is paid off, but you also expect your income to increase. If you buy a car that costs $400 a month, that’s $4,800 per year. If you expect your income to go up $10,000 a year before you buy a home, your car won’t be a concern for debt-to-income ratio.

Can I Get a Car Loan After Buying a House?

Outside of those situations, however, buying a car could make it more difficult for you to get a mortgage loan for the home that you really want. However, car loans are typically easier to get, as they don’t involve as deep a dive into your credit and debt-to-income situation. You might consider getting a car after you get your home. In fact, if you have credit good enough to qualify for a mortgage and you don’t do anything to jeopardize that, you may find that you’re able to access numerous car loan options after you buy a house.

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    Hello , I have a car loan with Toyota 23,000 and I pay each month 367$ thats before 2 years ago and Now I paid already 10,000 now I have 13,000 only . all my payment for car and credit on time I Dont have any late payment in my credit history . My age is 27years , working and live with family we plan to buy home and we pay home bill together all my family . Now I want to know can I buy home or no I need to pay car loan off first ???

    Thank You

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      It depends on your debt-to-income ratio. In other words, you can have the car loan, but so long as you’re bringing up enough income to cover the auto loan and the new mortgage, you could qualify for a home. Your credit score will play a factor, too. More info here:




  • FuriousSteveFGB

    I have a question. My wife and I are looking to buy a house in the next 90 days or so. Our credit scores are 825. Our debt ratio is insanely low (ie…monthly outgoing debt payments consisting of our current mortage/car/etc is less that $2000 but we bring in like $8000 to $9000 a month). I need to buy a new car. Going to get a loan for around $25k to pay for it. How much will that effect my credit score knowing that in the next few months I plan on buying a new home. Keep in mind that we always pay stuff on time and have over $100k of equity in our current home and when we go for the new house we are looking to spend in the area of $350k. I would love some guidance if you can spare some knowledge for me : )

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      It really depends on your full credit profile. The loan will likely affect your credit score in a few ways: the inquiries for the car loan and the change to your credit-to-debt ratio, so upon getting the loan you can expect to see a ding. But the loan could also help you shortly after, particularly if you have no other installment accounts on the books since credit scores reward customers for having a mix of accounts in goodstanding. Keep in mind, a score of 740 generally qualifies you for the best mortgage rates available on conventional loans.



  • Amber

    My husband and I just put in an offer on a house and it was accepted, after competing with others to get it! Now today my husbands work car crapped out..which sucks. We’re just going to have to get it to work until we get in our house and then buy another car.. Very annoying this stuff happens when we’re trying to get into a house.

  • TIM Sanders

    Hello I had a car loan 6 months old perfect record credit score 730 car broke down was to much to fix it I had to trade it in I also have 4 new credit cards that still have not hit my credit report yet all with high limits all my reports clean income 100,000 wanted to but a house in February or March is that possible or do I need to let all those new items hit my report and establish them ?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Hi, Tim,

      Sudden changes to your credit score could affect your home closing. It may be a good idea to carefully monitor your all of your credit reports to understand the impact those items may be having on your score, but they should appear shortly after their inciting events occur.

      Thank you,


      • TIM Sanders

        If my scores are still good after the dust settles and everything hits will i still have to wait on getting a house or should I be able to go ahead and get one ? Will I get denied cause the bank sees new credit items ?

        • Jeanine Skowronski

          New credit could be considered a red flag, but whether or not you are approved will vary by lender and what the rest of your credit portfolio looks like. Generally, you need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a mortgage and scores of 740 or higher net the best rates.



  • Mike

    If we are 3 months out from buying a house, and we are looking to trade in our current car to purchase a new one with a LOWER monthly payment, would it hurt us to purchase the car now? Our credit score is good. 740

  • Alejandro

    Hello, I have a question. I have a credit score of around 750, and I am planning to buy a commercial truck for $170,000 with 20% down in less than a month. I would like to purchase a home in about a month or two, depending on the qualification process. Can I try to do both purchases at the same time, or should I wait to do the home purchase after the truck purchase. The truck purchase will be a company purchase under my name. I am not sure if buying the truck throw my company will affect my personal credit score and my purchase capability. Thank you.

  • Q

    Hello, I have a question. I helped a family member co-sign on a car loan right about the time I got pre-approved on a mortgaged. I didn’t know the magnitude as I was trying to help a family. Now, I noticed the car loan had bumped up my debt, however, I’ll not be making the payment on this loan. I’m close to having a closing date and my credit report has been run twice before now, do you think it will be run again before closing? how will this affect me closing on a home, even though I’m not responsible for the payment and the family member as a steady income to make the payments? Will having the car loan refinanced on the family member’s name make any significant difference? Thanks.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Talk to your loan officer asap. As a cosigner you are legally responsible and it could affect your debt ratio as well as your loan. The lender will very likely pull credit again before closing. so I don’t recommend you wait and get hit with an unwelcome surprise. Your loan officer can help you figure out what to do here.

  • christi

    hello so I have a credit score of 650. I purchased a car because I needed to living in Atlanta my monthly payments are 421. I make 3k-4k a month prior to tax. I live with my mom to save money and the only bills I have at this time are my c
    ar and the insurance. What are my chances of getting approved to purchase a home next year. Also I live in Ga is there any programs that you recommend. Also I only have one medical bill on my history, but I have a good bite od credit pulls on there. How much will this also affect me getting approved???

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I’d recommend you attend a first time home buyer class where they can help you understand whether you qualify, and if not, the next steps to take. Counseling agencies often offer these for free or at low cost. This may help:
      6 Places to Get Free Help With Your Credit Problem


    i have a car loan with $280 biweekly payments. Still 50 months left on the loan. So my biweekly payments would matter or the entire debt which is around 25k. for the mortgage

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      The mortgage lender is likely going to have to translate your biweekly car payments into monthly car payments for purposes of calculating your qualifying debt ratios. Is that what you are asking?

  • Carlos


    My name is Carlos and I would like to respectfully request your assistance.

    I am a US Navy Veteran, I proudly served for 8 years and I was Honorably Discharged.
    I lived outside the US from 2002 until 20011. When I returned to the US in 2011 I continued with my education. I was a full time student until I earned my MBA in December 2014.

    Due to the fact that I was out of the country for 9 years, I have no credit history in the US. After I graduated, I moved to Greensboro; I have been living in NC for 10 months and I am considering buying a house. I am slowly trying to build up a credit history. My credit score is 564 (Trans Union) and 633 (Equifax). I am currently employed and I have been working in the company for 4 months. My monthly salary is $2250. I am looking at houses ranging from $135,000 to $175,000. I am considering applying for a home loan with the Navy Federal Credit Union.

    What is the probability of getting approved for a home loan?

    Thank you for your advice.

  • Cheryl Nafo

    My question is we have just purchased a home and have a move in date set. We have just recently purchased a new vehicle (after the approval of the house went through). We still need to go down and sign the mortgage papers with the lender. If we have everything approved and a move in date set and only the paperwork to sign , do they typically go back and check if we have taken out any new loans ect … Or is the approval and credit running done ?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Yes, your credit reports will likely be checked again. Talk to your loan officer and let him or her know right away so they can see if this affects your loan.

  • John Doe

    Quick question, I had an auto loan where I had multiple late payments that obtained in 2008. I obtained a new loan in June 2012 for a new car and traded that one for another vehicle in April 2014. Since June 2012 through today, I have not missed a payment in the last two vehicles I’ve purchased so my Auto Loan is perfect for the last 37 months. However, the first loan (from 2008), still shows up on my report even though it was paid in full in June 2012. My question is, will it stay on my report until December 2019 (7.5 Yrs)? In addition, would it help if I disputed this with the reporting agencies since its been paid off and try my luck to see if it is possibly removed? Hopefully my question makes sense.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      You can always ask. Paying off a loan doesn’t remove the reports of late payments, though. However, the recency of the late payments can also make a difference, and the impact fades with time. The more positive history you have (and the more time that goes by), the less this should matter.

    • ScottSheldonCaliforniaLender

      Disputing the previous debt will be problematic for your loan. Don’t dispute anything. Lenders usually cannot let alone close escrow with an open dispute on any current or former obligation.

  • Britt

    I have a car loan and pay 400 a month. I’ve only had the car 6 months. My credit score is around the 570-590 range. Medical/doctor bills is the majority of what’s on my credit now. I also currently rent my apartment for 488 a month and have lived here 5 years. I also had a car loan from 2006-2013 which all payments were paid on time. My Significant Other also has a car loan and pays around 350 a month. His credit score is in the 520-540 range. I make about 1700 a month and him about 2500 a month. What are our chances of getting a house together with both of us on the mortgage with our credit scores, income and car loans? What would be the best way to do this?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Britt – A great place to start would be with a housing counseling agency that offers homebuyer classes. Many of these non-profit organizations also provide credit review services. It sounds like you may need to get your scores up a bit more before you are ready to buy but they should be able to walk you through the process. Find HUD- approved housing counselors here.

      You may also want to check out this tool: How Much House Can You Afford?

  • JPNM

    Quick question, my love-in girlfriend is thinking of buying her own place in December of 2016. We would use my current home as a rental property. Her name is not associated with my mortgage, however, she is in the market for a new car since she hasn’t bought a new one since graduating in 2008. Would her buying a car now negatively affect her credit score even though it more than a year out until she buys a house?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      A year should be plenty of time for her score to recover. And although multiple inquiries for a car loan are supposed to count as a single, she might want to be especially careful here. She might choose to get a loan approved at a bank or credit union before she shops, and go with that, rather than shop it at the dealer for a potentially lower rate to avoid the risk to her score. (See An Auto Loan Inquiry Dropped My Credit Score 80 Points)

  • QuarksBar

    I am in the process of a refi. I am on a limited income but our home payment will be low based on the amount we are borrowing. We just started to process and the loan is about to go to the underwriter. No problem on the appraisal as the LTV is way low. We now need a car. Should we wait until the loan closes?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      If you can, it would be a very good idea.

      • ScottSheldonLoans

        I second that!

  • Sharon Branch

    Hello, I have a question. My Fiance’ and I are recent collage graduates and we are looking to purchase our first home within the next few months. We make about 64k a year, combined. We are secure in our jobs and the area in which we live. Minus our everyday living expenses, our debt (money that goes outside of the home) amounts to about $500 per month. He has no student loans, but I do, which are a little under $200 per month.; which I have set to auto draft as to not miss a payment. We both pay the balance of our credit cards in full each month before the closing dates. Both our FICO scores are in the upper 620’s – 670’s. However, I am in need of a new car. My current car is 10yrs old and is on its last leg. What would you advise? Getting a new car, which would help increase my credit score, or waiting until we close on a house and then try to purchase a new vehicle? Also, what do you think we could be approved for when it comes to our mortgage based off of the information above, if any. Thank you for the advice you may give.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      In the article above Scott states: Because qualifying for a car loan does not require the extent of credit analysis a home purchase does, it makes more sense to close on the house first before you buy the car. Beyond that, it would make sense for you to talk with a loan officer to see what you qualify for before you buy a car and potentially affect your chances of qualifying.

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      If do not get the car, it would appear as though you can take on at $2200 per month mortgage payment. $64,000 per year, translates to $5333 per month, using a 45% debt to income ratio the maximum monthly debt allowance would be $2400 per month,less the $200 per month in student loans, makes your mortgage payment including taxes and insurance capped at at $2200. What we don’t know is what the new payment will be on a car loan. $2200 per month can definitely support a bigger priced home depending on your market area. Without knowing that cash you have to spend on the house, this is probably the furthest I can take it for you given the information you provided.

  • Mariana

    Can a 1300 personal loan affect my mortgage loan.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      The monthly payment on that loan will likely be included in your debt ratio. Is that what you are asking?

  • Ryan

    Thanks for your insightful article. My situation is a bit complicated and advice would be appreciated.
    I was financing a car that was to have been paid off by the end of this year – financing around 15000 total. Well, last week, as we were on the way to the bank to begin the process of getting pre-qualified for a home loan, an uninsured motorist T-Boned the vehicle and totaled it completely. Luckily my uninsured motorist coverage covered the cost, but left us with less than 500 dollars to make a down payment on a new car. We are in a pickle as we must have a car to go to work, and therefore must apply for an auto loan while we are simultaneously in the process of getting qualified for a home loan. I recently graduated from grad school and will begin a new job in August making around 36,000 annual gross salary. My credit score is 767. How do we proceed? Do we put a home or a car on the backburner or is is possible to apply for both loans simultaneously?
    Sincerest thanks for your advice.

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      This depends on how far out into the future it will take you to get into contract. Assuming you are just getting preapproved,to begin the house hunt, which may take months, I would probably just get the car right now. The key here is to make sure you know from the car loan provider specifically what the payment is going to be and then have your loan officer run those payment scenarios in your debt ratios to see which one allows you to buy a car while maximizing your borrowing power at the same time. This is the best course of action considering your unique circumstances. Remember the car loan scenario with the lowest monthly payment will mean the maximum amount of qualifying ability.

  • Jimmy Booth

    Quick question, me and my fiancée are hoping to purchase our 1st home. I only have 3 credit cards with all balances below 35% she only has student loans n one bill in collections were paying on. Credit score high 600’s (670+) income together about 65k. In metro atlanta no kid’s no car payment. Think.now is a good time to make that move?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Only you can decide that. Other factors, like how long you plan to stay in the area, whether your jobs are secure, etc. also come into play. You can read more about being financially ready here: Are You Financially Ready to Buy a House?

  • brian

    I have a question, I have 30k left in student loans. I make 100k/year pre tax (1099) and wanted to know what I could qualify for and how much could I spend on a house. I want to buy a new car (35k) but not if it prevents me from purchasing a home?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      You can get an idea of how much house you can afford with our free calculator: How Much House Can You Afford?

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      Break down for us what mortgage payment you plan to be looking at, how much the car payment will be specifically and how much the other monthly liabilities you have are just the minimum monthly payments. Identify this information for us and then I can give you a much better feel of what this might look like.

  • LILY

    Need advice:
    Background info :
    28 years old, living in Los Angeles with my parents, salary 65k
    45k in saving, 30k in stocks, 35k in 401k
    No credit card debt or student loan debt
    Credit score : 810
    Have a remaining 25k in car loan with monthly payments of 555 with a 3.25 interest rate

    Thinking about purchasing a condo/townhouse
    Got pre-approved for 300k loan with a 3.75 interest rate
    if I pay off the car loan I can get approved for 400k

    Not sure if I am financially ready to take on a mortgage just yet but don’t want to rent. Will have someone to room with that will contribute to the mortgage payment but no other help financially.
    Also but don’t want to purchase after the feds increase interest rate.

    Should I wait to purchase property, should I pay off car loan if I purchase property, and am I financially ready…

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.


    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Lily —
      Unfortunately, we can’t decide for you if you are financially ready. Other considerations would be how long you plan to stay in the home you buy. From your savings, it sounds as if you budget well. You would also need a game plan if something happened to the roommate. You may not want to spend the maximum you can get approved for, either. Decide how much you feel comfortable spending and shop in that price range even if you qualify for more. Just because someone offers you a bigger loan doesn’t mean you should take it. Be sure you consider other potential costs and fees (such as HOA dues) in your budget, and that the services are worth it to you. But only you can decide if you are really ready for a home.

  • Ryan

    Looking at trading in an existing vehicle (with an active loan balance of almost $9000 at ~$250/mo) and getting a different car, but also casually at houses. Credit score is currently right around 700 and debt ratio close to 35%. Found a vehicle that would hypothetically increase my overall debt by ~$2000 after trade-in but solve some problems and lower my monthly payments by ~$50/month. If I looked at getting a house in the next few months, would it help (lower debt ratio) or hurt (credit score hit?), or be neutral replacing an existing vehicle debt and ending up in nearly the same situation?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      It’s hard to predict the exact impact to your credit scores. Therefore, my general advice in these situations is that if you qualify for the home loan you want, then put other credit needs on hold until you get the loan. If it turned out your debt ratio is just over what is needed to qualify then the lower cost vehicle might make sense.

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      If you take on additional debt with the loan you have in place, that will hurt your debt to income ratio making it higher. If your refinancing that debt, and the savings is $50 per month than that will improve your debt to income ratio. To quantify this, $50 per month lower in debt could be equivalent to about $15,000 in mortgage loan size, generally speaking.

  • Mgz

    Quick question – have a car lease expiring in October 2015 and intend to buy the car at lease end (might end up with a slightly lower monthly payment if I opt for 60 months financing). In the market for a home in the high 200’s/low 300’s (5% down conventional financing) and may not be able to get into one before the lease expires. Debt-to-income is currently around 25-30%, FICO 850. Will buying the car greatly affect my ability to get approved for mortgage if a great house shows up in December/January? Or would I need to wait longer?

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      This depends on how much more the car payment will be in the future to what the lease payment is now. This 30% DTI is based on the current lease. The new DTI in relationship to your house price and future car (finance payment) will determine your new DTI. If keep this new DTI at 45% or under coupled with your other debts, you should be ok. The biggest question we don’t know is what the new car payment specifically would be. This is a variable, as is, the home price and interest rates, all of which affect your deb to income ratio.

      • Mgz

        Thank you for the reply. Monthly payment on the car lease currently is in the low 300’s — if I went with a 60-month purchase loan, it may actually be under 300/mo.

        • ScottSheldonLoans

          A good rule of thumb for this would be to keep it as absolutely low as possible, close on the house and then take a monthly allotment and prepay the car loan.

          • mgz

            Appreciate the response but I am more likely to be buying the car before getting into a house. The initial question was around whether or not that will greatly affect my ability to get a loan for the house 2-4 months after buying the car.

          • ScottSheldonLoans

            If the the car payment is higher than what currently is 2 to 4 months after buying the car, that will hurt your chances of qualifying based on how much higher the payment is. If the payment is lower, your chances of qualifying will be easier as the debt to income ratio will be lower. Hope that clears up for you. If not, post the current car loan payment in this forum and what the new payment will be and I can give you a more specific answer.

  • Daniel

    Hello I havea quick question, I’m currently renting an apartment at $525 per month and I havealways paid on time and I’m wanting to buy a house on May 2016, when my leaseexpires. I currently have a credit score of 610. I have been working in my job
    for about 2 years now with about $21,000 yearly. Back in 2013 I was approved for $100,000 but they denied me due to lack of credit history. I currently need a car but I don’t know if getting a loan of $7000 or getting a small loan of maybe $3000. My question is, would getting a car loan increase or decrease of
    me being approve on a house? I want to buy a car so that I could bring up my credit score I just don’t know at what money range. I know that the less debt
    you are the more chances of you getting approved. So I don’t know if I should get a car for cheap to pay the car in fewer months or to go with a more expensive car and keep paying for more months. Thank You

    • ScottSheldonLoans

      It will be a double-edged sword.On one side of the coin, it almost certainly will increase your credit score, on the downside, it will be a liability that will count against your qualifying ratios when trying to qualify for the maximum purchase price. I would recommend seeing what you qualify for now with the liabilities as low as possible, and if that purchase amount is something you can work with, hold off on the car until after the fact.

  • ScottSheldonLoans


  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I see no reason why not.

  • juan

    I purchased my house on 10-1-2013. I just refinanced at a lower rate this month3-10-2015. so that’s out of the way. Now I am interested in financing an auto. Is it a good idea to do so or should I wait?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      A credit inquiry for purposes of extending a loan causes a small, temporary drop in your credit score and also typically can result in a change in your amount of debt (as when you take on a new mortgage). In your case, though, if your credit score is well within the good/excellent range (here’s how to get a free credit score, you could go ahead and finance a car. Do be careful to guard against too many inquiries from that process, though. See: An Auto Loan Inquiry Dropped My Credit Score 80 Points

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Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team