Need a Car Now? How to Get Approved for a Bad Credit Auto Loan Quickly

Get Car Financing
Even with poor credit.

By

Contributing Writer

David Topham is an Automotive Content Manager for Internet Brands. He works as the lead editor for CarsDirect and Auto Credit Express, and contributes to those sites alongside other Internet Brands' properties like The Car Connection. He was born and raised in Michigan and is a graduate of Michigan State University.


, Contributing Writer - April 17, 2018

If you need a car now and have bad credit, there are some steps you should take to become a savvier loan shopper.

I Need a Car Now with Bad Credit

Bad credit is a big problem if a borrower needs to take out a car loan quickly. Fewer lenders are willing to approve borrowers with poor credit, which limits financing options. Lenders that finance bad credit borrowers also charge higher interest rates because of the added risk involved.

Considering the limited options and higher cost, borrowers with bad credit who need a car loan shouldn’t rush things too much. Here are some tips car buyers with bad credit can follow to exercise good judgment when they need a vehicle:

Carefully Look at Your Situation

Buyers with bad credit that need a car loan must get familiar with their credit and budget before anything else. They should request their credit reports – free through the federally-mandated www.annualcreditreport.com – and credit score from a trusted source. Auto lenders use credit reports and scores to determine if a borrower qualifies and on what terms, so it's helpful to become familiar with the info.

Borrowers also have to take a close look at their budget to get a sense of what they can afford to spend each month and in total. It also helps to consider driving habits and features and qualities needed in a vehicle.

Explore Your Financing Options

Borrowers in search of a car loan should see what their local bank or credit union can offer, especially if they have a good- or long-standing relationship with one. Car buyers can also apply with national or regional banks or online lenders.

Exploring different financing options is the smart thing to do, but difficult in a rush. It's worth applying with multiple lenders to search for the best interest rate – a practice known as rate shopping.

Head to the Dealership

Car buyers with bad credit that strike out with different financial institutions can turn to dealerships in their search for financing. Dealership finance departments are connected to many different lenders – possibly including more lenient subprime lenders. Even borrowers that were pre-approved with a financial institution should see if the dealer can beat the rate through their lenders.

If approved, a buyer can start checking out and test driving vehicles they qualify for from that dealership's inventory. If a deal is reached, the next step is finalizing the loan paperwork – another part of the process that shouldn't be rushed. Borrowers need to make sure they understand the terms of the contract and the financing is final before signing.

If all else fails, car buyers with poor credit may need to save up a larger down payment or get a cosigner, both of which can improve their approval chances. A last resort option for buyers is the local buy here pay here lot. These places typically don’t check credit because they finance loans in-house instead of using outside lenders.

Where to Go When You Have Bad Credit

Getting a car as soon as possible can be an uphill battle if you're dealing with bad credit, but dealerships with subprime lending connections are often the best bet. CarsDirect can make finding one of these dealers quick and easy.

We work with a countrywide network of special finance dealerships that are capable of helping borrowers with imperfect credit. We'll work to match you with a dealership in your area if you start the process by filling out our secure auto loan request form online.

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, Contributing Writer

David Topham is an Automotive Content Manager for Internet Brands. He works as the lead editor for CarsDirect and Auto Credit Express, and contributes to those sites alongside other Internet Brands' properties like The Car Connection. He was born and raised in Michigan and is a graduate of Michigan State University.


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