Harris Bank offers car buyers with problem credit a number of tips on how to improve their chances of an auto loan approval

What we know

Last month may have been Financial Literacy Month but anytime is a good time for consumers with questionable credit to improve their chances of getting approved for online auto loans.

We know this because at Auto Credit Express we've spent the past twenty years helping car shoppers with questionable credit find those franchised new car dealers that can give them their best opportunities for approved auto loans.

So today we're going to explore what these credit-challenged car buyers can do to improve their odds. We'll call it "what to know before you borrow," which, not coincidentally, was also the title of an article we came across that was written by BMO Harris Bank, excerpts of which can be found below:

An Educated Borrower is a Smart Borrower

"Knowing how, when, and how much to borrow can be difficult to determine," said Mike Lewis, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank. "But a little research and planning can go a long way to ensuring responsible borrowing and personal financial health."

Lewis offers some advice on responsible borrowing and how to make sense of the options available.

• Know your credit score. This number is vital, and will often determine whether you can borrow money, how large a loan you can secure, and what interest rate you'll pay. Creditors will look at this score to gauge your ability to pay back a loan. It's made available via three main agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Credit reports from these agencies should be checked regularly to ensure accuracy
• Manage your credit score. There are many factors that play into a credit score, including your credit history, outstanding debts and your total number of credit accounts and loans. Paying off debt, making payments on time, and not opening new credit accounts will all help bring your credit score up.
• Understand your responsibility before co-signing anyone else's credit or loan. If a friend or family member makes that request, be sure you know what you're signing and have the ability to make payments in the event the primary signator is not able to.

• Prioritize your debt, whether you're paying it off or taking out a loan. If you're faced with multiple sources of debt, make a list and determine which should be paid off first. If possible, make more than the minimum monthly payments to keep interest costs down. When taking on more debt, avoid new credit cards where possible and focus debt where it can help you over the long run – in a home or a college education.

Speaking of loans

While it's important to avoid debt, here at Auto Credit Express we also know that most consumers require personal transportation to get to and from their jobs. So if you've been turned down for a conventional auto loan, we want you to realize that for most people there is a better alternative to those small BHPH car dealers.

The fact is that signing up for one of these loans won't help your credit situation because these dealers don't report loans or payments to the credit bureaus. As a consequence, you'll find yourself in the same situation the next time you need a vehicle – even if you've successfully completed the loan and have made all your payments on time.

Check us out

Instead we invite you to check us out here at Auto Credit Express where we match applicants with bad credit with those franchised new car dealers that can give them their best chances at a loan approval.

So if you're ready to reestablish your car credit, you can begin now by filling out our online application.