How to Get a Car Loan with Bad Credit?

October 29, 2022

If you’re looking for a car loan but have bad credit, you’re not alone. Assuming you’re not a hermit who has never interacted with modern society, you know that in order to get from Point A to Point B, you need a car.

And unless you have tons of money saved up, you’ll likely need a car loan to buy one. But what if your credit score is lower than the average skunk’s tail?

Recent data from the Experian credit reporting body reveals that young Australians aged 18-24 years old have the lowest average credit score at 564, followed by 25-34-year-olds at 610.

Well, that’s not the end of the road. There are a few things you can do to improve your odds of getting approved for car finance with bad credit.

Check out our guide on how you can get a car loan with bad credit.

Appropriate Steps For Car Loan With Bad Credit

an image of a salesman handling car keys to its new owners

You’re excited to buy a car finally. You have your eye on a new vehicle and can’t wait to trade in your old clunker. But then you realize you have bad debt.

You’re not sure what to do or where to turn but don’t worry Madman Motors is here to help. Here are the appropriate steps for getting a bad credit car loan with bad debt:

1. Check Your Credit Rating and Credit Report

When searching for car loans with bad debt, the first step is to get a credit check on your credit score and credit report.

Your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness. It is based on your credit history, which records your past borrowing and other car loan repayments activities if any.

The higher your credit score, the more likely you will qualify for car loans with favourable terms. Your credit report is a summary of your credit history. It includes information about your current and past loans and any late payments or other negative marks.

The report also helps lenders to determine your creditworthiness. If you have bad debt, it is important to check your credit score and credit report before applying for car loans. This will give you an idea of what terms you may be able to qualify for.

2. Compare Interest Rates From Different Lenders

If you’re looking for a car loan with a bad credit history, you’ll want to compare interest rates from different lenders. Your interest rate will depend on your credit history and the lender’s policies.

Some lenders may not be willing to work with you if you have bad debt, so shopping around is important. You may also consider a secured loan using your car as collateral.

Unlike unsecured loans, secured loans can help you get a lower interest rate, but you could lose your car if you default on the loan. When comparing loans, look at the total cost of the loan, not just the monthly payment.

Also, ensure you understand the loan terms before you sign anything.

3. Getting Pre-Approval For a Bad Credit Car Loan

Getting pre-approved for a loan helps you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a car, and you’ll be in a better-negotiating position when it comes time to purchase your vehicle.

You’ll need to do a few things to get pre-approved for a bad credit car loan, but it’s well worth the effort. First, you’ll need to gather your financial documentation, including your credit report and bank statements. Then, you’ll need to find a lender willing to work with you.

Once you’ve found a lender, you’ll need to complete a loan application and provide the necessary documentation. After approving your application, you’ll be able to shop for your new car confidently, knowing that you have the financing in place.

4. Choose a Car That Fits Your Budget

When buying a car with a bad debt loan, it’s important to remember that the price of your vehicle should never exceed the loan amount you can afford.

Although that shiny new sports car may seem like the perfect addition to your life, it could end up causing more financial trouble in the long run.

Instead, opt for a more practical option that fits within your budget. It may not be as flashy, but at least you won’t be drowning in debt. And who knows, you might even appreciate its reliability and functionality as time goes on.

So before you hit the dealer lot, take a step back and consider what kind of car best aligns with your desires and financial capabilities. It may not be glamorous, but trust us – it’s worth it in the end.

5. Make a Down Payment if You Can Afford to do so

Are you in the market for a new car but have bad debt to your name? The first step to improving your chances of landing a car loan is making a down payment, if possible.

It may be tempting to put little to no money down and enjoy that extra cash in your pocket now, but trust me – it’s worth it in the long run. It shows lenders that you are serious about making payments on time and committed to reducing your debt, and it can also improve your monthly payments and interest rate.

Plus, who doesn’t love the instant satisfaction of making a dent in that ever-growing pile of debt? Therefore, before you sign on the dotted line, see if you can afford to make a down payment and watch as your financial situation improves before your very eyes.

6. Avoid Late Payments and Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

One of the best ways to do this is by avoiding late payments at all costs. Lenders will see this as a red flag and may hesitate to offer you future loans or credit.

It’s also important to keep your credit utilization low – in other words, don’t max out your credit cards or take on too much debt.

Instead, focus on making regular payments and gradually reducing your debt. By staying vigilant and responsible with your finances, you can improve your credit rating and secure a brighter financial future for yourself.

Remember – there’s no overnight solution for bad debt, but with patience and perseverance, you can work towards a better tomorrow.

Tips to Improve Your Chance of Getting Car Loan with Bad Credits

cash handed with a toy car on it

Choose a Cheaper Car

One clear path to success when getting a car loan with bad credit is choosing a cheaper vehicle. Sure, that shiny sports car may be alluring, but at the end of the day, your bank account will thank you for choosing a more affordable option.

Think about it: your monthly payments will likely be lower, and insurance and maintenance costs may also decrease. And hey, let’s be real – sometimes being frugal can actually be pretty cool. So take pride in saving money by driving a less flashy car until your credit rating improves and you can upgrade to your dream ride.

Bottom line: when dealing with bad credit, prioritize affordability above all else to increase your chances of getting approved for car finance.

Get a Cosigner

Are you looking to buy a car but have less-than-stellar credit? Don’t fret because the solution may be as simple as getting a cosigner.

A cosigner assumes responsibility for the loan if you cannot make payments, helping to improve your chances of being approved for the car loan. And believe me, having a cosigner can mean the difference between driving off in a brand-new ride or being stuck with an old clunker.

So who makes the best cosigner? Look for someone with good credit and a steady income. And remember – when it comes time to repay your loan, make sure you don’t leave your cosigner high and dry.

After all, nobody wants to mess with a disappointed cosigner. So if you have bad credit but still want to hit the open road, consider finding yourself a trusty cosigner. It might be the key to unlocking that shiny new set of wheels.

Increase Your Down Payment

While it may seem counterintuitive, a larger down payment can actually improve your chances of getting approval for a car loan.

This is because putting more money upfront lowers the amount the lender needs to finance, reducing their financial risk and making them more likely to approve your loan.

So, before heading out to the dealership, consider saving up some extra cash for a larger down payment. It may not make up for your less-than-stellar credit history, but it could be the boost you need to drive off in your dream car. Plus, who doesn’t love having a little extra cushion in their bank account?

Look Into Second-Chance Bad Credit Car Loans

Second-chance bad credit car loans can still allow those with less than stellar credit to purchase a vehicle. These loans typically have higher interest rates and may also require a cosigner or larger down payment, but these sacrifices could prove worth it in the end.

Remember that being approved for one of these loans is not guaranteed – lenders will still assess your individual financial situation before making a decision.

However, those who are committed to improving their credit and making timely payments may be able to use second-chance car loans as a stepping stone toward better financial health. Don’t lose hope if your credit is less than perfect – give second-chance car loans a chance!

Bad Credit Auto Loans of 2022

credit score counter for car loan

Dealer-Arranged Financing

There are a few options available when it comes to financing a car.

One is dealer-arranged financing, in which the dealership helps you secure a loan through a major bank or credit union. While this may seem like an easy route, it’s important to remember that the dealership is looking out for its best interest, not yours.

They may suggest higher interest rates or longer loan terms to increase their profit margin. It’s always wise to research and compare different loans before committing to one arranged by a dealer.

However, if your credit rating isn’t stellar and you don’t have time to shop around for the best rate, taking advantage of dealer-arranged financing can still be a viable option.

The information and knowledge are the keys to what questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.

Bank or Credit Union

When it comes to auto loans, should you go with a bank or a credit union? It ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Banks tend to have more locations and may offer lower interest rates for certain borrowers. However, credit unions often have lower fees and may offer members personalized service or special perks.

It’s worth researching and comparing the options before making a decision.

And remember, regardless of where you choose to get your loan, make sure you read all the fine print and thoroughly understand the terms before signing on the dotted line.

Buy Here, Pay Here

“Buy Here, Pay Here” lots for your solution. Similar to traditional car dealerships, these lots offer a wide variety of makes and models for you to choose from.

The biggest difference? These dealerships finance the car themselves rather than relying on third-party lenders. This means they are more lenient with credit standards, allowing those with less than stellar credit to finally get their hands on a set of wheels.

And don’t worry about sky-high interest rates. While Buy Here, Pay Here dealers typically charge higher interest than traditional lenders, laws are still in place to protect consumers and prevent unfair practices.

Go ahead and come down to your local Buy Here, Pay Here dealership to drive away happy finally.

Captive Financing

Are you tired of being at the mercy of unreliable third-party lenders? Has the stress of navigating a complicated loan process gotten you down?

Look no further than captive financing for your next car purchase. What exactly is captive financing, you ask?

Simply put, it’s when a car manufacturer or dealership offers its loans and leases to customers. This allows for a streamlined process, with the bonus of potentially getting better rates and incentives.

So why bother with the headache of external lenders when you could save time and money by going straight to the source?

Trust me, switching to captive financing will relieve even the most worried car buyers. So wave goodbye to those stressful loan troubles and say hello to a simpler, cheaper car-buying experience.

Online Lenders

When it comes to shopping for a new car, online lenders may be the way to go. They provide convenience, competitive rates, and in many cases, a smoother application process.

In fact, most of the legwork can be done from the comfort of your couch – no need to spend hours at a dealership haggling with a salesperson. And because online lenders often compete for your business, they may offer lower interest rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks or credit unions.

However, be sure to do your research and read reviews before signing on the dotted line. As always, proceed with caution and make sure you understand all terms and conditions before committing to an auto loan with any lender, online or not.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Car Loan?

salesman explaining a document to customers while holding a pen

So, you’ve saved up a lump sum to buy your first car, but what’s a credit score got to do with it? The answer is potentially everything.

While there isn’t one set credit score for purchasing a car, lenders typically want to see a score of 620 or above. Why? Basically, this number acts as a measure of risk for lenders.

A higher credit score indicates that you have consistently paid off your debts on time and managed your finances well in the past – making it more likely that you will be able to make consistent car loan payments.

However, you may still be able to get approved for an auto loan with a lower score, though it might come with higher interest rates or stricter terms.

It’s also important to note that the required score can vary based on the purchased car type and the lender themselves. It’s always best to work towards improving your credit score before diving into a big purchase like buying a car.

Remember: while it may not seem like a big deal now, those numbers can significantly impact your financial health in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Get a Car Loan With a 500 Credit Score?

The short answer is yes, but there’s always a catch. While lenders will consider all applicants, they will likely offer higher interest rates and stricter terms to those with lower scores.

It may also be harder to find financing from traditional banks and lenders; you may have better luck seeking out loans from non-traditional options such as smaller community banks or online lenders.

Ultimately, having a bad credit history won’t necessarily prevent you from getting car finance, but it does mean you’ll likely have to work harder and potentially pay more for it in the long run.

In the future, make sure to keep track of your credit and work towards improving it to avoid similar roadblocks in the future.

Can You Get a Loan To Buy a New Car If You Have Bad Credit?

Yes! There are options available for those with less-than-stellar credit. One possibility is known as a subprime auto loan.

This type of loan is designed specifically for individuals with bad credit history and comes with higher interest rates and potentially stricter guidelines.

Another option is to get a cosigner on loan, allowing you to piggyback off their good credit.

Whatever route you choose, it’s important to remember that purchasing a car with bad credit doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

What is The Lowest Credit Score to Buy a Car?

Ah, the age-old question – what magic number will allow me to buy a shiny new car? The truth is, there isn’t just one set number that guarantees you the keys to a vehicle.

It all depends on various factors, including the lender you choose and the type of loan you’re applying for. Generally speaking, most lenders prefer at least a score of 620 or higher.

But options are still available even if your score falls below that number. Special financing programs often cater to those with lower scores and can offer competitive rates.

What’s the Easiest Car Loan To Get With Bad Credit?

When it comes to loans for those with poor credit history, “easy” may not be the first word that comes to mind. However, getting approval for some loans may be easier than others.

One option is a secured car loan, in which a consumer puts down collateral, such as a car or savings account, in exchange for a potentially lower interest rate.

Another option is a co-signed loan, where someone with good credit agrees to take responsibility for the debt if the primary borrower defaults on their payments.

Of course, another option to consider is improving your credit before applying for any type of loan – while it may not be the easiest solution in the short term, it can pay off in the long run.

Ultimately, there’s no easy answer to finding a loan with bad credit – researching and finding what works best for your unique financial situation can help you succeed.


Whatever your score looks like, there are options for financing a new or used car. This article has helped you understand your options and feel confident about taking the next step to get behind the wheels of your dream car.

We can provide dealer-arranged financing, and our lending criteria are friendly. Contact us today, and one of our friendly representatives will be happy to assist you.

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