If you weren’t able to get a car loan because of your credit score, don’t worry. You actually can get a loan even if your credit isn’t that good, but there are some things that you need to do before that.

If you have a credit score below 620, you are considered a risk by lenders, therefore putting you in sub-prime loan category. It doesn’t mean that you cannot get a car loan, but just that the APR of the loan that you’ll get will probably be high. Follow these tips to help you qualify for the best possible APR.

Know your actual credit score It’s always smart to know your credit score so you are prepared for what lenders may tell you. It would also let you know if lenders and dealers are lying to you, saying that your score is lower than it really is.

Wait to buy For many people, owning a car isn’t a matter of life or death. If there is any way to wait for a few months while you improve your credit score, it could save you thousands of dollars if you can then qualify for a lower APR. Know that your credit score is a snapshot of your credit, so a few changes will improve your score.

Try to get financing first Many lenders specialize in sub-prime lending and are willing to loan to those with bad credit. Our recommended online lenders can help you with this and even approve you for a certain amount before you shop for a car. This will ensure that you will be able to finance a car, so you won’t need to bargain with the dealer about excessively high APRs.

Improve your chances Even if you have bad credit, there are things that you can do to improve your chances of qualifying for a car loan. A job more than 6 months will certainly help. Lenders like to see stability, so a stable occupation is considered less risky than if you are self-employed. You should pay down debts and credit balances before you apply for a loan. You should haggle with creditors to get charge offs, late payments, and black payments off your credit report. Have a larger down payment on the car.

Shop around Don’t be tempted to take the first offer you get just because you are afraid no one else will approve you. It is still important to shop around so you can get the best deal. You might find some dealers who are more willing to take a chance on you.

Remember that if you can’t get a low APR on your car loan now, you can get a better one in about 6 months if you will pay your debts and if you pay your bills on time.

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