Consumers with problem credit need to realize that keeping costs under control including those associated with auto insurance is particularly important with a subprime car loan

What we know

From our experience here at Auto Credit Express we have come to believe that a key to successfully completing the auto loan process, particularly if the borrower has poor credit, is to set the term of the loan as short as possible while also keeping the total monthly budget outlay for vehicle expenses as low as possible.

In order to accomplish this, credit-challenged car buyers should be looking at financing a mid-size, compact or, better still, subcompact car. This will result in the monthly payments, as well as the overall finance charges, being reasonably affordable.

An added bonus is that these vehicle types are also more affordable to insure. We recently came across a number of auto insurance tips from that, if followed, could save buyers (especially those with bad credit) even more money. So here they are along with our own notes (in bold) for credit-challenged car buyers.

Cheap auto insurance tips from

Older car? Drop collision: Have a car that's 7 or 8 years old or worth less than $2,500? Time to think about taking the risk and dropping comprehensive and collision from your auto insurance quote. Chances are your deductible is closing in on the value of your car and a major collision will send you to the dealership, anyway.

Note: if you’re financing a vehicle you must have both comprehensive and collision coverage.

Buy home and auto with different companies: With everything being bundled today - from cell phones to Internet and cable TV - you'd think that having your home and auto insurance with the same company would save money. But, do your research and you may discover that having separate policies will be cheaper.

Minimum liability? Not enough: You may think you can only afford the minimum coverage required by law. But, there's a good chance those minimums won't come close to covering the costs of a serious accident - which means you could be paying WAY more than you bargained for if you're at fault.

Shop around for lower rates: A State Farm agent only quotes State Farm. Same for Allstate. So what are the chances their agent will tell you to shop around for the best deal? Even independent agents only represent a few auto insurers. Shopping online allows you to fine-tune the deductibles and coverage you want and then compare auto insurance rates side-by-side.

Go green and keep some green: Look for auto insurance quotes from companies that offer "green" discounts for driving a hybrid, choosing paperless statements or electronic payment plans. Even signing your policy with an e-signature will help.

Note: most hybrids, with the possible exception of the small Prius c, are too expensive to finance with a high-risk auto loan, although you can take advantage of the other money saving tips mentioned here.

Consider paying that claim yourself: If you've backed into the garage, think twice about asking your company to repair it. Besides the possibility that your rates will go up at renewal, that small claim might affect rates next time you shop. An accident can only affect your rates for three years, but many companies will look back five or seven years when deciding if they want to offer you a quote.

Don't buy that turbo convertible: All vehicles are not created equal. Small or large, old or new, the type of car you drive will affect your auto insurance rate, often based on algorithms auto insurance companies use to determine how expensive it might be to pay a claim.

Teenager turned 16? Don't add them to your policy - yet: If your teen is 16 but not a licensed driver, you're not required to add them to your insurance policy. You're only required to insure them once they become licensed to drive. But check. Some policies may require it.

As we see it

All these money-saving tips from make a lot of sense to us. You don’t have to follow them all, but even if you can take advantage of just a few you could end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars a year.

One more tip: if you've been turned down for a conventional auto loan or if you're worried about qualifying for one because of bruised car credit, we want you to know that at Auto Credit Express we match applicants with dealers that can offer them their best chances for approved car loans.

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