The Credit Scores Needed for Approved Auto Loansby Steve Cypher on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
What you need to know about your credit scores before applying for bad credit car loans
Credit-challenged applicants sometimes don’t know what their credit scores are even before applying for bad credit auto loans.
At Auto Credit Express we’ve seen this happen because for the past ten years we’ve been helping buyers with poor credit find bad credit auto sales dealers. Our websites also explain subprime auto lenders and bankruptcy as well as today’s topic: understanding credit scores to determine if you really need poor credit car loans.
Know the score
Before applying for a car loan, you should order a credit report and credit score from each of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). The first yearly report from each is free and you go to www.annualcreditreport.com to order them, although you’ll need to pay for each of your credit scores.
You can simplify the process by visiting sites such as www.FreeScore360.com where, for a fee, you can receive all three reports and all three credit scores at the same time.
Credit score differences
All three bureaus use a version of the FICO score. Equifax calls it a BEACON score, Experian calls theirs the Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model and at TransUnion it’s known as an EMPIRICA score.
The bureaus also share a new score that they jointly developed called VantageScore.
In a perfect world, all three VantageScore or FICO scores would be the same. But they aren’t. That’s because the information that appears in each of your credit reports is usually different.
Unless your credit file is fairly new, there are usually differences between your credit reports because:
1. Some creditors report to only one or two of the bureaus.
2. It may take one bureau longer to report a new creditor
3. It may take one bureau longer to remove an old credit file
4. One, two, or even all three may be reporting inaccurate or incomplete credit information
These reasons, plus others, can result in credit score differences. Additionally, car dealers typically use an “auto enhanced” score that adds weight to car loan performance – meaning the score they receive could also be different.
Credit score ranges
With credit scores in hand it’s time to see where yours fit in and what kind of car loan you might qualify for.
This is how Experian classifies the two types of credit scores:
FICO Score: 740 plus
FICO Score: 680-739
FICO Score: 620-679
FICO Score: 550-619
FICO Score: less than 550
Typically, super prime is the best of the best, prime is excellent and near prime is fair credit. If you fall into either the subprime or deep subprime category, you’ll probably need to apply for a problem credit auto loan.
The Bottom Line
Know your credit scores beforehand and you’ll know which type of car loan you need to apply for.
If you have bad car credit, you should know that Auto Credit Express specializes in placing credit-challenged applicants with dealers that can give them their best chance at getting approved for poor credit car loans.
So if you’re ready to take that first step in improving your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.