Auto financing isn’t cheap, and if you have bad credit and live in Los Angeles, you might be having trouble finding an affordable car loan. While you may have to make a down payment on a bad credit auto loan, you may not need to make a large one.

Where to Get a $500 Down Car Loan

$500 Down Car Lots in Los AngelesMany consumers ask us where they can get a $500 down car loan with a 500 credit score in the Los Angeles area. In order to get a $500 down auto loan, you need to work with the right dealership and lender. What you need is a special finance dealer that works with subprime lenders.

Subprime lenders specialize in financing car buyers with less than perfect credit. These lenders check your credit score, but consider outside factors such as your income, residence stability, and down payment, as well (more on these later).

The amount of money you need to put down depends on the lender and the vehicle you choose. Most subprime lenders ask for at least $1,000 or 10 percent of the car’s selling price, whichever is less. If you do end up picking a $5,000 vehicle, you therefore only need $500 for the down payment requirement.

At the same time, when you have bad credit, it helps to have as large of a down payment as you can afford. Putting money down lowers the monthly payment and reduces the amount of interest charges you end up paying. So, the larger your down payment, the more you can save in the long run.

How to Qualify for $500 Down

Besides making a down payment and choosing a $5,000 car, what else do you need to qualify for a $500 down auto loan in LA? We briefly mentioned some requirements above – let’s dig deeper into them.

Subprime lenders around Los Angeles generally look at four things in addition to your credit when considering you for financing:

  • Identity – They want to make sure you are who you say you are. Bring in a valid driver’s license to prove your identity, and make sure it isn’t suspended, revoked, or expired.
  • Income and employment – Lenders need to make sure you can afford a car loan. Most want you to make a minimum of $1,500 to $2,000 a month before taxes from a single source. To prove this, you need to bring in a recent computer-generated pay stub that shows your year-to-date income. In addition, they want to see a steady, three-year work history and at least six months on your current job.
  • Residency – They want to make sure you live at the place you listed on the application. Bring in a recent utility bill in your name, showing the address listed on the application, and make sure it's not past due.
  • Phone – Lenders want to be sure they can contact you. Bring in a recent phone bill in your name from a national phone carrier. It can either be a landline or contract cellphone.

Depending on the lender, they may ask for a cosigner in order to approve you. Not all lenders require a cosigner, but having one can improve your chances of getting approved, as well as help you qualify for a more affordable loan. To read up on cosigner requirements and frequently asked questions, click here.

Find a Los Angeles Dealership

No matter where you live in Los Angeles, we want to help you find a local dealership that has the lending resources to get you financed. Auto Credit Express has spent the last 20 years helping consumers with bad credit get into new and used car loans with our nationwide network of dealers.

Don't get frustrated trying to find a dealership that can get you approved on your own. Instead, let us help you on the first try. Start the process of getting matched to a dealer near you by filling out our free and quick car loan request form.