There are never any guarantees in life, but there are ways to help you get the auto loan you need – even with bad credit.

Steps to Ease Your Car Loan Woes

looking at your budgetSuccessfully getting an auto loan is something you need to prepare for. Though the requirements you’ll need to meet will vary by lender, there are certain guidelines you can prepare for to make your loan process smooth.

The first step is knowing your credit. This means pulling your reports and knowing your score. You can get free credit reports by visiting, and there are several ways you can view you score for free. Knowing what lenders see when they look at your credit allows you to keep a realistic goal in mind.

Meeting the Minimum Requirements

When it comes to bad credit auto loans, lenders are looking for three basic things: your ability to repay a loan, the stability of your situation, and your willingness to successfully complete a loan. To find out about these things, lenders want you to meet certain qualifications and back them up with documentation.

Lenders will look at your credit report – namely your credit history – to determine your willingness, but there are four things you’ll need to provide to show your ability and stability. These are known as “stipulations,” and they are:

  • Proof of earned income – A computer-generated pay stub, showing taxable, year-to-date income will serve. A minimum requirement of $1,500 to $2,000 per month (pre-tax) from a single job is typical for bad credit car loans.
  • Proof of residence – A current utility bill in your name, showing the address on your loan application will prove your residence. A good tip is to make sure you have a bill with an account in good standing.
  • Proof of a working phone – A landline or a contract cell phone from a national carrier in your name will be needed. No prepaid phones are accepted.
  • List of references – Six to eight complete references, with names, addresses, and phone numbers will typically serve. These can be friends, family, or co-workers, as long as they don’t live at your address.

Again, these are just the minimums typically required by subprime lenders. These lenders only work indirectly through special finance dealers, so you should be prepared to bring these documents with you when you visit the dealership.

Also know that there are rules related to income and employment that go beyond the minimums. You can learn more about income requirements here. Additionally, subprime loans have higher interest rates than traditional loans, and you’ll need to have a down payment.

Cultivating Successful Loan Completion

The goal of bad credit auto loans is to improve your credit, so that you’ll be eligible for a traditional car loan in the future. Keep in mind that only you can guarantee the successful completion of your auto loan, and when you do, it can greatly improve your credit situation. This means making all your payments on time. If you find you're unable to do this, you should contact your lender immediately to avoid any problems including such as negative marks on your credit and even car repossession.

If you're ready to get auto financing but don’t know where to turn due to your credit situation, Auto Credit Express wants to help. We work with a large network of special finance dealers that have the lending resources available to help people with credit challenges. Let us connect you with a dealer in your area. Our online auto loan request form is free of cost and obligation. Get started today!