Auto Financing for Bad Credit

Bad credit can be discouraging, but it shouldn’t prevent anyone from buying a car. Certain types of financing are available for car buyers with poor credit. People with poor credit can enjoy the same car shopping experience as buyers with better credit, as it rarely inconveniences or prevents them from seeking out and buying a new vehicle.


Once you have an idea of the type of car you want to buy, it’s important to thoroughly research various vehicles as well as their options. Taking a close look at your credit history and budget will help you narrow down the best vehicles for your situation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends considering your full financial situation before attempting to buy a large purchase on credit, such as a vehicle.

Credit Report and Score

A universal gauge of your financial situation, credit reports and scores are used by lenders when considering an auto loan application. An indicator of someone’s creditworthiness, a credit score plays a key role in whether a loan application is approved or denied. The CFPB encourages consumers to obtain their credit report and credit score, prior to applying for car financing, to check for any inaccuracies.


Devising a budget before buying or shopping for a new vehicle is important. Determining an ideal monthly payment will help to calculate what price range to look for when shopping for a new vehicle. Monthly income, after expenses, should be assessed and a budget should be made. Additionally, when considering an amount for a monthly loan payment, both APR and down payment should be considered to properly calculate the true amount of a potential monthly loan payment.

Down Payment or Trade-In

Both a down payment and a vehicle trade-in can significantly influence your ability to finance a car. Both help your position and further encourage a lender to issue a loan to you. They can both also help lower the principal loan amount.


If your credit is particularly bad, it may be necessary to use a cosigner. A cosigner signs a loan contract along with you and agrees to repay the loan if you fail to do so. Legally required to make up any missed payments and the full loan amount, a cosigner essentially inherits a car loan if you fail to pay. Having a significantly positive effect on a loan application, if you choose to use a cosigner, it’s important that you select one with good credit that is willing to vouch for your ability to pay off a loan.


Before applying for financing with bad credit, you should shop around as much as possible. Direct lenders, credit unions, banks and finance companies are plentiful, and all offer different options for car financing. These types of companies also usually offer a free consultation or estimate. Meet with several potential lenders to weigh your options and find the best deal for your situation.

Go Online

A wealth of information is available online. From car payment calculators to dealership stock, the internet is the best starting place to find information about vehicles and bad credit financing. The internet is also home to a variety of lenders. Some online lenders make the loan application process easy and quick and offer instant preapproval.

Buying a new vehicle with bad credit doesn’t have to be difficult or impossible. Doing your research beforehand, understanding your credit history and seeking out the best financing option are the best methods for acquiring auto financing. Work to overcome your bad credit with a simple and steadfast approach to buying a new vehicle.