Need to replace your car but worried that you won’t qualify for a loan? Maybe your credit is less than perfect or you’re buying your first car and don’t have much of a credit history? You can improve your chances for approval before you go car shopping just by doing a little extra planning!
First and foremost, have your down payment saved up well in advance. The more that you can save, the better off you’ll be. Not only will a potential lender look more favorably at a sizable down payment, but you’ll have a lower payment AND you’ll save money on interest.
Secondly, pull your credit reports and scores from all three credit bureaus ahead of time so that, regardless of which one your lender pulls, you’ll have already seen it and you’ll know what’s out there. (If your credit score needs work and you have time to do so, work on it before you buy that car!)
And finally, shop around BEFORE you go to the dealership. Check with your bank, savings & loan, or credit union first, then, check online for potential lenders. There are so many really good options out there that you can’t afford not to compare offers, even if your credit is not perfect. Don’t just automatically use the financing offered by the dealer unless it is better than what you can get on your own – remember, their lenders are working for them and not necessarily for you, so it pays to know your options before you ever set foot on that dealers’ lot.