Getting approved for an auto loan with poor credit may be easier than you think. Auto loans are different from unsecured lines of credit because they use the car as collateral. If you are unable to make your monthly payments, then the creditor has the right to repossess the car.
Dealer Financed Auto Loan
There are several options for obtaining an auto loan. Many small, local, or used car dealerships offer buy-here-pay-here financing. You finance the vehicle through the dealership and send them your monthly payments. These programs are often less selective about the candidates they approve for financing, but they also generally charge very high interest rates.
Bank Auto Loan
Another option is to obtain a loan through your personal bank. If you have a good history with the bank (few to no bounced checks or account overdraws), and you can prove that you are capable of paying back the loan, they may offer to finance your purchase.
Most of the larger dealerships have banks that they work with exclusively. If you chose to finance through their banks, a loan officer will walk you through all of the paperwork. You can attempt to negotiate the terms of the loan prior to agreeing to make the purchase, but you cannot be sure that you are getting the best deal. Most large dealerships will charge higher interest rates so that they make a profit off of obtaining financing for your purchase.
Online Auto Loan
Perhaps the most active and selective means of obtaining an auto loan is to request quotes through an online database. Many companies have websites that are partnered with several loan companies who will consider your credit, income, and work history, and then present you with the terms of the loan they are prepared to offer. These services allow you to compare loans side-by-side and choose the one that offers the best terms.
If your credit is so poor that you have to accept a less-than-desirable loan offer, then make sure to always make your payments on time. Your credit score will improve with each timely payment. With one year’s worth of good credit reporting, you should be able to refinance your car and obtain better loan conditions.