If you live in Seattle and need a car to get around every day but struggle with credit, you should consider applying for a subprime auto loan. There are additional requirements you must meet in order to qualify, and one of these is typically making a down payment.

Bad Credit Car Loan Down Payment Requirements

A down payment is usually required when you take out a bad credit car loan. Depending on the lender you work with in the Emerald City, you may need anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars to meet the down payment requirement.

If you get auto financing through a subprime lender, the down payment amount they require varies, but many ask for a minimum of 10 percent of the selling price or $1,000, whichever is less. If you go to a buy here pay here dealership, the down payment requirement could be much higher, depending on the vehicle you finance and their requirements.

To come up with the down payment you can pay with cash, trade-in equity, or a combination of both.

Benefits of a Larger Down Payment

Although the minimum down payment amount needed for a car with bad credit in Seattle is typically fairly small, buyers should know that a larger down payment comes with more benefits. If you're able to, you should strive to make a larger down payment.

It may feel like a waste at first, but in the end, you could save hundreds on interest charges while lowering your monthly payment. To see an example of the benefits of a larger down payment, let’s use these numbers:

  • Vehicle price: $11,000
  • Interest rate: 16%
  • Loan term: 60 months

 Down Payment Amount 

 Monthly Payment 

 Total Interest Paid 







$1,100 (10%)



$1,650 (15%)



$2,200 (20%)



The bottom line here is that putting more money down only helps you in the end. You don’t have to put 20 percent down, but any amount beyond the minimum required helps you save money in the long run.

Need Help Finding a Dealership in Seattle?

If you have a down payment ready but don't know where to go to get financed in Seattle, you don't have to spend hours driving up and down Aurora Avenue, Lake City Way, or Airport Way looking for a dealer to work with. Auto Credit Express can help you in your search for a car loan.

We work with dealerships across Seattle and the state of Washington that specialize in helping consumers with bad credit get approved for financing. Our process is fast, easy, and free. To get started, fill out our auto loan request form, and we’ll get right to work matching you with a local dealer.