Getting Pre-Approved for a Car Loan with Bad Credit

Get Car Financing
Even with poor credit.

By

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.


, - September 19, 2019

One of the best ways to get a great deal on an auto loan is by getting pre-approved. With a pre-approval, you remove the added stress of needing to get financed. However, when you have bad credit, it becomes more difficult to get pre-approved for a car loan, but it's not impossible

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Bad Credit Auto Loan

Where do you go to get pre-approved for an auto loan? Your bank or credit union. Banks and credit unions are direct lenders, and typically offer great pre-approval deals on car loans. Most of the time, however, they only offer them to consumers with good credit.

This doesn’t mean you’re automatically disqualified, though. If you’ve never been delinquent with your bank or credit union and have a good relationship with them, they may still be willing to pre-approve you.

If you’re unsure about a pre-approval, or are wondering what else is out there, we recommend that you rate shop. Rate shopping is the process of applying for the same type of credit with several different lenders so you can compare offers.

As long as you rate shop and pick a deal within 14 days, the multiple hard inquiries made only affect your credit score as one single hard inquiry.

What about My Auto-Enhanced FICO Score?

If you’ve had a car loan in the past, you more than likely have an auto-enhanced FICO score. Your auto-enhanced FICO score places more weight on your car financing history than a traditional FICO score does.

Not every lender looks at your auto-enhanced score, but most do, so it’s important to know where your credit scores stand. To get your auto-enhanced FICO score, you can go to www.myFICO.com and pay a fee. From there, you can see your auto-enhanced score, your regular FICO score, and other specialty scores.

The Bottom Line

Even if you have bad credit, you should still try to get pre-approved with your bank or credit union, especially if you have a good relationship with them. If you aren't able to get pre-approved, CarsDirect can help you find a bad credit car loan.

We’re teamed up with dealers all across the nation that are experts at helping buyers get the auto loans they need. We'll work to match you with a dealership in your area after you submit our online car loan request form. Get started today!

Free Credit Score

Get your free credit score now! Get a copy of your most recent credit score.

Get Your Free Score

Auto Insurance

Get competitive quotes on insurance in your area.

Sell Your Car

We will buy any car, running or not, with or (in most cases) without the title.

Get My Price

Need a Car Loan?

It only takes a minute.

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.


Search New Cars by Loan Payment »

View estimated loan payments based on local rebates and financing offers.

Loan approval is not guaranteed and is subject to credit application and approval of the lender. Individual loan terms may vary. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of CarsDirect.com's Terms of Use, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

Privacy Policy|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com