Buying a Minivan with Bad Credit

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - December 26, 2018

The minivan is modern-day America’s family car. Commonly associated with soccer moms and large families, a van is perfect for families that need the extra space for cargo and carpooling. Minivans aren’t exactly cheap, though, and as tempting as a brand new one may be, it might make more sense to go with a used model, especially if you’re dealing with bad credit.

5 Best Used Minivan Models

There’s a handful of minivans out there, but which one should you choose? When you have bad credit, you may find a used minivan is the way to go if you want to save some money on the overall cost of the loan. Although brand new minivans come with all the bells and whistles, if you just need a people mover to haul the kids back and forth and don’t want to worry about spending thousands on repairs, there are many reliable used minivans out there.

According to US News, these are some of the best used minivans under $20,000 that also come with good fuel economy for the class and solid safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

2009 Toyota Sienna

  • Average price paid: $5,869 to $9,205
  • Fuel economy: 17/23/19 miles per gallon (city/highway/combined)
  • NHTSA average safety rating: 4.5 stars

2010 Toyota Sienna

  • Average price paid: $7,320 to $11,052
  • Fuel economy: 17/23/19 mpg
  • NHTSA average safety rating: 4.5 stars

2010 Kia Sedona

  • Average price paid: $5,030 to $6,382
  • Fuel economy: 17/23/19 mpg
  • NHTSA average safety rating: 4 stars

2012 Toyota Sienna

  • Average price paid: $10,994 to $17,604
  • Fuel economy: 18/25/21 mpg
  • NHTSA average safety rating: 4 stars

2010 Honda Odyssey

  • Average price paid: $6,628 to $9,842
  • Fuel economy: 17/25/20 mpg
  • NHTSA average safety rating: 4 stars

Buying a Van with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit and a family, buying the larger, more expensive vehicle you need can be more challenging. The reason why is because traditional lenders place a heavy emphasis on your credit score to approve you. But, this doesn’t mean you’re out of the car-buying game. You can still buy a vehicle with bad credit, you just need to find the right lender to work with.

When getting ready to finance your people-hauler, make sure you follow these five steps:

  1. Check your credit – Know where your credit stands, and what’s on your credit reports. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you see an error, dispute it immediately and have it removed.
  2. Research vehicles – What do you want out of the van? Research minivan models and model years to see what each has to offer.
  3. Budget – Once you have an idea on which minivan you want, create a budget and make sure you can afford it. You can use our Car Loan Calculator to get an estimate of how much vehicle you can afford.
  4. Consider getting pre-approved – If you have a relationship with a bank or credit union, you may be able to get pre-approved for a car loan. It doesn’t hurt to check, and if you’re turned, you can always look elsewhere – just make you limit this to 14 days, otherwise, multiple inquiries could appear on your credit reports, further lowering your credit score.
  5. Find a lender to work with – When you can’t get pre-approved with bad credit, the next best option is to find a subprime lender to work with. It isn’t always easy to find one, but CarsDirect can help.

How Can We Help?

At CarsDirect, we help consumers by matching them to a local dealership that has the lending resources available to get them the financing they need. The process is quick, easy, and free. Simply fill out our online auto loan request form, and we’ll get right to work matching you with a dealer.

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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