Down payments are usually required when buying a car with bad credit in Seattle. Bad credit auto lenders require them because they want to make sure that you're serious about successfully completing the loan, and are willing to put your own money into it to get approved. If you’re wondering just how much you need to put down, and whether or not you should make a large down payment, keep reading.

Minimum Down Payment Required

This Is Why Bad Credit Auto Lenders in Seattle Require Down PaymentsA down payment is generally required on a bad credit car lender in Seattle, but you don’t need to put down as much as you may think. Subprime lenders that work with credit-challenged consumers usually require a minimum down payment of $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle’s selling price, whichever is less.

To come up with the down payment, you can use cash, trade-in equity, or a combination of both. If you have a trade-in you want to use, it’s important that there’s equity involved. Equity is when the car is worth more than what you owe on the loan.

Some lenders allow you to roll over a negative balance, but even if they do, we recommend that you avoid this. Adding negative equity to another loan increases your overall cost and immediately puts you in a negative equity position on your next vehicle.

Should You Make a Larger Down Payment?

Now that you know what the usual minimum down payment requirement is, what if you want to make a larger down payment? If you have the available cash, it works to your advantage to put more money down, as it allows you to save more money overall.

Let’s look at an example to see how this works:

Mary lives in Seattle and commutes to work every day. She got her FICO credit score and found out that it was 600. She wants to finance a new car with a selling price of $20,000 for 60 months, and was approved at an interest rate of 14%. She has a trade-in worth $2,000 that she can use, but is wondering if she should make a larger down payment.

Without factoring in tax, title, and license fees, here’s what Mary’s auto loan looks like with different down payment amounts:

 Down Payment 

 Monthly Payment 

 Total Interest Paid 




$1,000 (typical minimum)



$2,000 (value of trade-in)



$4,000 (20%)



As you can see, Mary can both lower her monthly payment and her overall cost by making a larger down payment.

Ready to Get the Car Buying Process Started?

Down payments are usually required when taking out a bad credit car loan, but at the end of the day, they’re also there to help you save money. Bad credit borrowers usually get approved at higher than average interest rates, and making a larger down payment can work to offset the higher APR and help you save.

Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to make a down payment, your next step is to find a lender to work with in Seattle. This is where Auto Credit Express comes in. We have a proven track record of connecting Seattleites and consumers around the rest of the country to local special finance dealers.

You can get the process started today by filling out our easy online auto loan request form. There’s never any cost or obligation to buy.