Used Car Financing With Bad Credit
Are you saddled with a credit score that’s less than ideal? If so, you may have experienced some difficulty or push-back when it comes to securing a loan. This can make the process longer and more challenging. Yet, the good news is that there are some types of financial support you can get, including used car loans. As you begin your research for used car financing with bad credit, there are several tips to keep in mind.
In this article, we’re delving into these insights, to help you get back on track — and back on the road — as quickly as possible.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
One Interest Rate Doesn’t Fit All
Nearly one-third of Americans have what’s considered “bad credit.” Typically, this is defined as a credit score lower than around 630 (where “fair credit” scores tend to cut off).
As a general rule, the lower your credit score, the higher you can expect your interest rates to be.
This is in comparison to borrowers with credit scores considered “good” or “fair,” who often pay between 3% and 4% interest.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to used car financing with bad credit? You may start the process with a sky-high interest payment. Yet, if you meet all the payment terms over a year or so, many lenders will allow you to adjust this rate to a lower one.
So while it may feel burdensome temporarily, the good news is that it’s often not forever.
Make Sure to Cost Compare
That said, as you start your journey to secure used car financing with bad credit, keep in mind that it’s important cost-compare.
Sure, some lenders may charge you higher than that 10%-13% average. Yet, others may be willing to work with you and charge less. It’s worth the time it takes to get a few quotes before you sign on the dotted line.
Yet, though it serves you to do your homework, take caution when dealing with car lots or lenders that cater to subprime borrowers.
These may look enticing at the onset, but they could be more likely to prey on persons who perceive their financial standing to be less than stellar. They could do so by off
ering fraudulent “deals” that end up costing you more money in the long run.
Which brings us to our next tip:
Know Your Credit Score and History Before You Begin
One way that dealers can scam and take advantage of clients seeking used car financing with bad credit is by claiming to “check” their credit score. Then, they report back that it’s not high enough to qualify for competitive, reduced-rate financing.
In reality, your lender does have a different, more specific method for obtaining your credit score than the third-party resource you use to buy your score or check it for free online. The latter referred to as your educational credit score. This score primarily serves to give you a perspective on your financial status.
On the other hand, your lender will be able to see your more specific numbers. This is often accomplished using a scoring formula that’s designed for an auto loan.
If you work through a dealership, the dealer is the go-between in this credit-checking process. As such, it’s important to choose one who’s reporting capabilities you trust.
As they’re not under a legal obligation to report your score back to you. A shady dealer can be less than forthcoming with the details they find. Of course, that’s if they even actually check your score in the first place.
To ensure against this, be sure to run your own check of your credit score, as well as your credit history, before you begin to seek used car financing with bad credit.
This way, you’ll be in a position to more accurately assess the loan options presented. As well as the integrity of the dealer you’re working with.
Start on the Homefront
A common misconception that some people make when it comes to used car financing with bad credit is that the car dealership itself finances the auto loans it offers its customers.
On the contrary, the dealer simply works with its partner financial agencies to facilitate the process. In this sense, the dealership is the “middleman,” receiving a cut of your monthly payment.
To up your chances of securing a loan and to keep your payments as low as possible, try starting with the financial institutions that know you. For instance, check first with the bank or credit union that houses your savings and checking accounts.
Though you might think your credit score prevents you from working with such institutions, it’s worth a shot. In fact, it may work in your favor.
Another good place to start? Check and see if your insurance company offers auto financing. Other options include your credit card company or even your workplace.
You might see how varied your options are, freeing you up from depending solely on the dealer’s plan.
Shop Other Lenders With Multiple Loan Options
If you opt to go with a lender, search first for those known for their car loan options. This is more favorable over those that just advertise toward clients with subprime credit scores.
Ones that deal primarily with car loans remain best suited to secure you the financing you need. They are also less likely to capitalize on your situation for their financial gain.
These institutions can include national or regional banks. They may even include reputable online banking options. Whichever route you decide to pursue, it’s important to be as thorough as possible when researching your options for used car financing with bad credit.
Securing your own financing also helps you avoid another dealership scam: packed payments.
In short, monthly payments, arranged by the dealer, that include services and fees you didn’t authorize or even need. Common examples are after-market warranties or GAP insurance.
These “extras” are often relatively inexpensive, adding less than $50 to your monthly bill. As such, many car owners don’t realize or dispute them. Yet, over the course of a few years, they can add up to thousands of dollars.
Arranging your own terms apart from the dealership can reduce these upcharges.
Be Realistic about Your Wheels
One of the most important steps in finding used car financing with bad credit is to understand what kind of vehicle you can afford — and what kind you can’t.
New cars can often carry with them lower interest rates than used ones. Yet, for those on a fixed, low-budget income, a used option will likely be the most realistic.
As you begin to shop around, it’s helpful to sit down and determine just what you can afford in terms of a monthly payment. Also consider how long you’ll be able to keep those payments up. Then, you can look for vehicles in that price range.
Remember, you’ll want to look for the lowest interest rate plus the shortest term. In essence, these are your most economical loans. If you have to secure a long-term loan to cover your monthly payments, chances are the vehicle is out of your price range.
Do you have your eyes and heart set on a pricier option? You may still be able to swing it, but it will take more time.
In this case, you’ll need to save up the money to provide a significant down payment on the vehicle. This will, in turn, lower the overall price of the loan and the payments you must make.
Prepare for a Large Down Payment
Typically, dealerships will require clients who desire used car financing with bad credit to apply a certain level of down payment anyway, averaging around 10%.
This step serves as a sign that you’re committed to owning the car. In addition you are financially responsible enough to carry out the terms of your loan.
You may be able to offset some of this cost by bringing in a trade-in vehicle. However, keep in mind that many banks need a cash deposit as well, to establish your financial commitment.
Ultimately, once approved for financing, you may only get to choose those vehicles that have your lender’s stamp of approval. As such, it helps to be as flexible as possible during the buying process.
Bring the Right Documents, and People, with You
Once you’ve secured a lender and have chosen a dealership to work with, your next step to obtaining used car financing with bad credit is to visit the dealer in person to start the transaction.
When you do this, it’s important to bring the right paperwork. This helps to speed up the process, so your loan isn’t held up by administrative oversight.
Your dealer will most likely require you to bring in documentation detailing your income. While required of any borrower, it’s especially important for those with credit issues, as it proves current financial standing.
Depending on your dealer, they may ask for your most recent W-2 or 1099 tax form, or a pay stub. For those in cash-heavy careers, such as waitstaff, you should bring in bank statements. This will show you’ve made regular contributions to your accounts.
Make Sure You Have Proof of Employment and Residency
In addition, you will need to show proof of residency. This may come in the form of a current utility bill, a mortgage payment, or another document with your name on it that connects you to your home.
Just as your pay stub demonstrates your financial stability, this documentation represents your personal stability. In your bank’s eyes, someone who’s maintained the same location for a decade or so is less of a flight risk. In addition is more likely to successfully maintain the loan as well.
Something else to bring with you as you secure used car financing with bad credit?A trusted friend or family member. This extra set of eyes can prove invaluable in double-checking conditions to ensure they’re as fair and accurate as possible.
Ensure Terms are Concrete
Before you give away your signature, be sure to check and make sure the loan terms are final. You want to make sure they are not subject to other conditions that may make them fluctuate.
Another way that dealers try to profit on those seeking used car financing with bad credit is what’s known as a “yo-yo scam” or “spot delivery scam.”
In these cases, the dealership will allow you to take the car home. They will then call you up a few days later saying you need to bring the car back in to renegotiate the loan.
Once you’re back in, to keep your vehicle, you’ll have to agree to a higher interest rate. The dealer may also ask you to apply more toward your down payment, or set up higher monthly payments.
The Federal Trade Commission recently conducted a recent survey of organizations dealing with auto-finance issues. From this, they found that 27.2% of their clients fell victim to a yo-yo scam.
A reputable dealer will not let you leave the dealership until it’s 100% certain of your loan terms.
If there’s any doubt at all about the legitimacy of the loan, make sure you speak up –and don’t drive away just yet.
Watch This Short Video – Car Buying Tips From CARFAX
Need Used Car Financing with Bad Credit? Start Here
Are you someone looking for used car financing with bad credit? If so, the first step to securing the vehicle you desire and deserve is to educate yourself on the ins and outs of credit intelligence.
That’s where we come in.
Do you have any insights or would you like to learn more about a topic? Feel free to leave a comment below to join the conversation!
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