When applying for an auto loan, things aren’t as cut and dry as you might think. Lenders vary greatly, and sometimes they ease their minimum credit score stipulations for special deals. Aside from special deals, though, you’re likely to find lenders have a similar idea of what they consider poor credit and good credit.
Minimum Credit Score to Buy a Car
Your FICO credit score is between 300 to 850. According to FICO themselves, a borrower with a credit score above 670 indicates good creditworthiness. To a lender, your credit score is a major indicator of your ability to repay borrowed money on time – such as auto loans. If your credit score is below this threshold, you may struggle to qualify for a car loan with a traditional lender.
However, while the typical bad credit score is considered below 670, deals can crop up from time to time that can give bad credit borrowers a chance. For example, the Ford Maverick has a financing program that considers borrowers with a credit score above 620.
Credit score requirements vary greatly by lender, so there's no national minimum credit score you need to get an auto loan. However, as a general rule, if you do have credit challenges, you may have an easier time qualifying for an auto loan with a subprime lender.
Bad Credit Auto Loans
Subprime lenders often assist borrowers that have gone through bankruptcy, have no credit, or just had a rough go of it financially. For those borrowers unable to meet the minimum credit score requirements of other lenders, subprime lenders fill the gap.
Common requirements of a subprime auto loan typically include:
- Monthly gross income of $1,500 to $2,500 a month
- A down payment of at least $1,000 or 10% of the car’s selling price
- List of five to eight personal references
- Recent phone bill in your name
- Valid driver’s license
If you can meet these requirements and haven’t had any serious, recent negative marks reported to your credit reports, then subprime financing could be for you.
Need to Find a Dealership?
Finding a dealership that’s signed up with subprime lenders can be tricky. Dealerships don’t usually advertise their lending partners. But here at Auto Credit Express, we have a nationwide network of special finance dealerships ready to assist borrowers with credit challenges. Complete our free car loan request form, and we’ll get right to work looking for a dealer in your local area.