Buying a Car with Poor Credit? You Have Options

Buying a Car with Poor Credit? You Have Options

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2016

Even with bad credit, you can get financing.

When you’re dealing with poor credit, sometimes it can feel like financing a car is in the same realm as buying your own island. But if you know where to look, how to shop, and what to do, finding a new car, or a car that’s new to you, can be done no matter how poor your credit is.

Isn’t My Credit A Problem?

Contrary to popular belief, bad credit, while not exactly beloved among car lenders, is less of a problem than you might think. To begin with, buying a car isn’t like opening a credit card. A car is a secured asset of value and the loan has a set time limit. In fact, buying a car is a good way to help fix your credit, because if you make regular payments on the loan, that’ll put good credit in your column and improve your score. Secondly, everybody needs a car, and the economy is still on the mend. If you can demonstrate an ability to make payments, that means you can still be a viable customer for lenders and dealers. You may not be able to afford a Lexus RX, but you’ll definitely be able to get a car.

Budget First

The first step is to sit down with your budget and work out what you can afford as a monthly payment. Generally, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what you can afford on a month-to-month basis before you go any further. That will tell you both the payment range you can afford and give you a better sense of what cars you can afford overall.

No matter what your credit, a car is within reach.

What’s Your Down Payment?

While you don’t necessarily need a down payment to buy a car with poor credit, depending on the lender and the dealer, it will make finding both a lender and a dealer easier. It’ll also help you out in the long run. The more money you put down now, the lower your overall monthly payment will be, and the less time you’ll need to pay off the loan. And the less you borrow and the more you can put down, the better your overall financing deal will be.

Compare Quotes

There are an enormous number of car lenders, ranging from the dealership itself to your local credit union to financial institutions that specialize in car loans. It’s a good idea, when financing a car, to get as many quotes as possible to compare and contrast. You’ll want to look closely at three factors. The first, of course, is how much they’ll loan you. The second is the interest rate, the lower the better. And the third is the term, or how long the loan runs. A shorter term means a higher payment, but you also pay less interest. The longer the term, the more interest you’ll pay.

Find Your Car

Once you have financing in hand, it’s a matter of finding your car. Keep in mind your needs for both personal and for work when shopping, and don’t hesitate to comparison shop. Just because you’ve got financing in hand doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be savvy. To get started on finding a car, subscribe to get alerts on vehicles in your area.