Looking for answers on what an auto lender is going to ask you to bring to the dealership? Lenders can vary greatly, but we’ve got some basic items that many lenders are likely to ask for, and what additional items you may need if you’re a bad credit borrower.

Preparing Your Documents for an Auto Lender

When you apply for an auto loan, the lender is going to ask for some items to get a better idea of you as a borrower. They’re typically looking at your monthly income, work history, living stability, and credit history.

You’re likely going to need to bring these items to an auto lender:

  • Computer-generated check stubs from the last 30 days, if you work for an employerItems an Auto Lender May Ask For
  • Two to three years of tax returns, if you’re self-employed or a 1099 worker
  • Proof of identity, typically proven with a valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residence, usually satisfied with a recent utility bill in your name

In terms of your credit history, you don’t need to bring in a copy of your credit reports for the lender. They request them, and this action is reported as a hard inquiry on your credit reports. Once your lender has your credit reports and score, they take that into consideration along with your other supporting documents to see if you qualify for a car loan.

Lenders vary on what credit score you need, how much monthly income you need, and can even vary on work history requirements. However, if you have a good credit score, enough disposable income each month, and possibly a down payment, then you’re usually on the right track for vehicle financing.

What Happens if My Credit Score Doesn’t Make the Cut?

One of the most common reasons for car loan denial is a poor credit score.

Typically, once your credit score falls below 660, you’re considered a bad credit borrower and may struggle to meet the credit score requirements of traditional auto lenders. If this is the case for you, then a subprime car loan could be the next step.

Subprime lenders often work with borrowers that have gone through bankruptcy, have limited credit histories, and other various credit challenges. To apply for a subprime car loan, you’re going to need similar items to the ones we listed above for a good credit loan. However, subprime lenders look at more than this, because they want to get a better feel for your situation.

Items Needed for a Subprime Auto Loan

These lenders are looking to make sure that you have the ability, stability, and willingness to take on an auto loan. To meet their qualifications, subprime lenders generally ask for:

  • Computer-generated check stubs from the last 30 days if you’re a W-2 employee
  • Two to three years of tax returns if you’re a 1099 employee
  • Consistent work history for the last three years
  • A down payment of at least $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle’s selling price
  • A recent utility bill in your name
  • A recent contract cell phone or landline bill to prove you have a working phone
  • A valid driver’s license with your correct address
  • A list of five to eight personal references with their complete contact information

If you can meet a subprime lender’s requirements, then you’re told the maximum monthly car payment you qualify for based on your individual situation, and work with the dealership to choose a vehicle that fits.

Where Do I Find Subprime Auto Lenders?

Subprime lenders are signed up with special finance dealerships. They’re indirect lenders, so when you apply for a subprime car loan, you speak with the dealership’s special finance manager who acts on the lender’s behalf.

Finding a special finance dealer can be difficult, since they may not advertise who their lending partners are. Instead of looking for one yourself, why not start right here with us at Auto Credit Express?

We’ve created a coast-to-coast network of special finance dealerships, and we can look for one in your local area after you complete our auto loan request form. It’s quick, free, and carries no obligation, so get started on your path to a car loan right now!