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Ford Removes Minimum Credit Score For 84-Month Loans

Ford has removed its minimum FICO requirement for 84-month financing, according to a bulletin sent this week to dealers. While 84-month loans aren't for everyone, the change could enable consumers to no longer feel limited by their credit score in the same way as in the past when buying a new Ford car or truck.

7-year loans still aren't common, but incentives earlier in the pandemic saw a sudden increase in these types of deals. In Ford's case, the company introduced 0% APR for 84 months. Even though the offer vanished within a matter of months, 7-year loans have continued to remain a part of Ford's incentive programs.

So does removing its minimum FICO requirement enable anyone to get financed, including buyers who may not be qualified to take out an 84-month loan on a brand-new car? The answer is no, at least based on a statement CarsDirect received from Ford Credit spokesperson Margaret Mellott via email this morning.

"Our proprietary scoring models do an excellent job of assessing the probability that an applicant will be able to pay. FICO is one input. Eliminating the separate FICO requirement opens the prospect of financing to more customers who would qualify for 84-month financing within our models regardless of their FICO score."

While a buyer's credit score plays an important role in getting financed, it's just one basic car loan requirement. In this case, Ford's captive financing company has opted to adjust its requirements. That could make being able to afford a new car seem less like a black-or-white matter tied to one's credit score.

84-month loans often have higher rates that can translate to significant interest costs. While the upside is usually a lower monthly payment, the total cost is another matter. For example, we estimate that Ford's current rate of 6.9% on the 2022 Bronco Sport would make a $40,000 SUV cost over $50,000 before taxes & fees.

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Alex has been writing about car buying and leasing for over a decade. Originally from San Francisco, Alex has a degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has been a lifelong lover of cars. Alex’s work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Motor Trend, and more.

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