What You Need to Know about Buying an SUV 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.


, - April 29, 2019

SUVs and crossovers are now the most popular types of vehicles in the US. If you’re looking into buying an SUV for you and/or your family, but are struggling with credit, you may want to look into buying used instead of new. Sure, new SUVs are cheaper to finance, but you have a better chance of approval if you choose a used SUV over new.

How to Lower the Overall Cost of Your SUV

Financing an SUV isn’t always easy, and if you’re struggling to come up with a budget, there are ways you can lower the overall cost of your loan. These include:

  • Making a larger down payment – While most subprime lenders ask for a minimum of $1,000 or 10 percent of the car’s selling price, you can put more money down. When you do this, you lower your monthly payment and the total interest charges.
  • Getting the lowest interest rate possible – This is where rate shopping comes in handy. If your credit isn’t too bad, you may be able to get multiple quotes with different lenders and compare offers. If you have bad credit and can’t rate shop, you may be able to negotiate the interest rate with the lender, although this isn’t always possible.
  • Negotiating the vehicle’s price – If you plan on buying a used SUV, you certainly can negotiate its price. You can get an idea on how much it should be selling for by visiting a vehicle valuation sites such as NADAguides. Use the estimate as a reference point for negotiating.

The Best Used SUVs to Consider

Ideally, if you’re looking to buy a used car, you should look into a vehicle that’s between two and three years old. This way, you avoid the biggest depreciation drop and are picking a car that’s nearly new but much more affordable.

For this year (2019), these are the current best used SUVs according to The Simple Dollar. Price, fuel economy, and drivetrain are based on the lowest trim levels, while the safety rating comes from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and fuel economy is from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Compact SUVs

2016 Hyundai Tucson

  • Fair purchase price: $15,099
  • Fuel economy: 23 city / 30 highway / 26 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

2015 GMC Terrain

  • Fair purchase price: $13,624
  • Fuel economy: 22 city / 31 hwy / 26 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

2015 Honda CR-V

  • Fair purchase price: $15,329
  • Fuel economy: 27 city / 33 hwy / 29 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

Mid-Size SUVs

2015 Nissan Murano

  • Fair purchase price: $16,406
  • Fuel economy: 21 city / 28 hwy / 24 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

2016 Kia Sorento

  • Fair purchase price: $15,202
  • Fuel economy: 21 city / 27 hwy / 24 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

2015 Toyota Highlander

  • Fair purchase price: $22,109
  • Fuel economy: 20 city / 25 hwy / 22 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

Large SUVs

2015 Buick Enclave

  • Fair purchase price: $18,186
  • Fuel economy: 17 city / 24 hwy / 19 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

2015 Dodge Durango

  • Fair purchase price: $20,737
  • Fuel economy: 18 city / 25 hwy / 20 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive

2016 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Fair purchase price: $17,375
  • Fuel economy: 15 city / 22 hwy / 18 combined
  • NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

The Bottom Line

Financing a used SUV isn’t always easy, especially if you’re struggling with credit, but we can help you out. With our new and used car sections, you can compare and view different used SUV models. Once you choose a vehicle, or have an idea on what you want to buy, you can find a local dealer through us.

At CarsDirect, we work with special finance dealerships all across the country that are teamed up with the lenders you need. To get started today, simply fill out our auto loan request form. Our process is fast, easy, free, and puts you under no obligation.

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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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