If you've got bad credit and you need a vehicle in the Los Angeles metro area, you certainly have choices. There are no less than 100 used car dealerships scattered across LA to choose from when the time comes. But how do you know which one is right for you? Read on to learn more about choosing the right dealer for your situation.

Do You Know Your Car Buying Options?

Used Car Dealerships in Los Angeles for Bad CreditWhen it comes to buying a used vehicle, the type of dealership and lender that are best suited to you depend on a few factors, the first of which is your credit. Whether your credit is good, bad, or nonexistent can determine if you're eligible from a traditional lender, an online lender, a subprime lender, or an in-house financing dealer.

If your credit is great, you can get a loan from a traditional lender and pretty much take your pick of dealerships when you need to buy a car. It's also possible to pre-qualify for financing from an online lender when you have a high credit score. These options aren't always available if you're shopping for a vehicle with bad credit.

When you have bad credit in Los Angeles, chances are good that you need a subprime lender. These lenders only work through special finance dealers, so you can't sit down with them and get a loan directly. Instead, you visit a dealership and the finance manager works with these lenders on your behalf.

When you go to a dealer, you should come prepared with your research completed and ready to buy. In preparing, you should be aware that these lenders each have their own requirements and qualifications that have to be met in order to get approved for a loan.

If you've already been turned down by a subprime lender, don't worry – there are still dealerships out there that can help you get the car you need. These are called buy here pay here (BHPH) dealers, and they're typically able to help borrowers qualify for a loan without a credit check. BHPH dealerships are also lenders so they fund loans themselves, but don't expect to walk away with the newest vehicle with a low APR. It costs to drive off in a car if your credit is in this state.

Choosing the Right Type of Lender in Los Angeles

In order to determine which type of lender is right for you, you must first know your credit score. If you're not sure where your credit score stands, you may get turned down for financing simply because you're not going to a lender that's equipped to handle your type of credit.

Most auto lenders use your three-digit FICO credit score to determine if you're eligible for financing. FICO scores range from 300 to 850. Let's take a look at the FICO credit score ranges:

  • Excellent Credit: 750 - 850
  • Good Credit: 700 - 749
  • Fair Credit: 650 - 699
  • Poor Credit: 550 - 649
  • Very Poor Credit: 300 - 549

You can get your FICO score from their website for a fee, but many banks and credit card issuers now allow you to see your score for free. If your credit card company or financial institution doesn't provide your credit scores each month, there are plenty of resources to check your credit that are available online.

It's also a good idea to know what's in your credit reports before you shop for a used vehicle. You can get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three national credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – every 12 months by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

Going to the Right Los Angeles Car Dealership

You could drive all over Los Angeles looking for the right used car dealer to work with your credit situation, but it's a long way to drive between the small independent dealerships in Eagle Rock, the dealers of University Park, and the dealerships of East LA. Rather than wasting time, gas, and effort hoping to find a dealer that works for you, why not let Auto Credit Express help, instead?

We've been connecting consumers with dealerships that can work with them for over 20 years now. Our network of special finance dealers has the lenders available to work with people in many types of credit situations. Fill out our fast, free, and no-obligation auto loan request form to get started today!