When you have a low credit score, the thought of applying for an auto loan can be scary. There are things that you can do to help you get approved, even if your credit history leaves a lot to be desired. The first step is to get a copy of your credit reports. There are three credit reporting agencies, and you are entitled to a credit report from all of them each year for free. You can get and print them at annualcreditreport.com. Unfortunately these free reports do not include your actual credit score, but you can get them myfico.com for a few dollars. Once you have your reports and your score you can see where you really stand.
Then it is time to start shopping around. Know right from the start that banks and credit unions aren’t going to finance anyone with bad credit, but there are plenty of options. Many dealerships have their own financing companies that specialize in people with bad credit. Make sure you also look for special financing opportunities if you are a senior, student or military. Often you can get special deals and arrangements.
Once you’ve found the right financing, be realistic about your payments. Be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. If the payments are within your budget, you will be able to make them on time and you will quickly start to rebuild your credit. Also, make sure that you read through your paperwork carefully. You don’t want to get into something called a “yo-yo” loan, where payments change or increase over time. If you have bad credit and need an auto loan, by researching your credit, shopping all financing possibilities, and taking care of your payments and paperwork, you will be on the road in your new vehicle sooner than you think.