Just face it – your credit is in shambles. It’s downright horrible. There’s no way you can ever recover from credit so bad…let alone get a car loan, right? Think again.
Down Doesn’t Always Mean Out
Fortunately, credit rolls with the punches in life. No matter how far down it goes, it usually bounces back. Credit doesn’t just repair itself, though, it takes some work on your part. If you put in the effort, your credit can come back up over time, and a car loan can be a great tool to rebuild it. This is because each full, on-time payment helps you build positive credit history and improve your credit score.
But with your credit situation already risky, you most likely won’t be able to get pre-approved by a bank, credit union, or another direct lender. In fact, you’ll probably need a subprime lender in order to get financed, and they only work through dealers that are signed up with them.
Dealerships all across the country with special finance departments work hand in hand with these lenders. But just because your credit is poor doesn’t mean you have to let the lender call all the shots, as your credit may not be as bad as you think. But the only way to know for sure is to get your credit reports and view your credit scores so you know where you stand.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to request your reports from annualcreditreport.com. This is the official website to get a free copy of your credit reports. You’re allowed to receive one report from each of the three major credit bureaus –TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – once every 12 months.
The Importance of Being Prepared
Being prepared is one of the best ways to combat the difficulties you may face when trying to get a car loan with horrible credit. There are certain things you should be ready to bring with you to the dealership, as well as some requirements that may take some planning.
Because subprime lenders look beyond credit scores, they require proof for the things you list on a loan application, such as your income, employment, and residence. Though the details vary by lender, here are the typical requirements for getting a subprime loan:
- An income between $1,500 and $2,000 monthly, before taxes. Bring your most recent computer-generated check stub for proof of income. Qualifying income must come from one job, which you’ve held for no less than six months (a three-year uninterrupted job history is also important).
- Proof of residency with a current utility bill in your name and at the address listed on the loan application.
- Proof of a working telephone. Either a landline or contract cell phone works for this, as long as it’s in your name. Prepaid cell phones don’t count.
- A valid driver’s license.
- Six to eight personal references complete with names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- A down payment of $1,000 or 10 percent of the vehicle's selling price, whichever is less, is typically required for bad credit car loans.
- A cosigner. Though this isn’t always required, it’s a good idea to have a cosigner with good credit on standby. Cosigning can be a big responsibility, so make sure both you and the person you choose know what’s at stake before you commit to this.
In addition, you should also be checking your credit and doing research as to which vehicles meet your needs. You should also research the loan amounts and average interest rates for people in similar credit situations. Checking these things is easy thanks to online tools and calculators such as our car loan estimator tool. Remember that the figures are only estimates, and your actual loan amount and interest rate can only be determined by a lender.
Give an Auto Loan a Chance
Just because your credit situation isn’t ideal doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of getting a car loan. You might be surprised by the options that are out there. If you want to make the process as stress-free as possible, simply fill out our online auto loan request form.
Here at Auto Credit Express, we work with special finance dealers all across the country and we want to help you find a dealership in your area. The process is free of charge and there’s never any obligation to buy. Don’t wait any longer – click here to start now!