You may have seen advertising for “guaranteed auto loans” and “guaranteed auto loan dealerships” while shopping for car financing, especially if you have bad credit.* It sounds appealing, but you may want to ask yourself how a company can offer a guarantee without knowing your individual credit and financial situation, or what type of vehicle you want to buy.
At RoadLoans, we don’t claim to offer guaranteed auto loans but we can give you some tips on how likely you may be to get approved and, if so, what kind of interest rate you might get.
You may also like to know that we accept applications from consumers with all types of credit, and give approved applicants flexible financing options so they can choose the right vehicle with the right terms for their circumstances.
Here are the tips on applying for an auto loan.
Your credit history counts
Credit score is generally one of the most important factors for lenders considering an application for a car loan. A credit score is based on a consumer’s credit history, which includes things like how many lines of credit they have open and whether they pay their bills on time. People with higher credit scores are more likely to get approved, and with lower interest rates, than people with bad credit. But don’t worry if you find yourself with bad or no credit history – there are millions of Americans in a similar situation and many lenders that will accept their applications for auto loans.
Consider checking your credit reports with the major credit reporting agencies for errors that might count against your application, and dispute them if necessary, before you get started. You can request a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three agencies once every 12 months and, for a fee, also request your credit score. There are other ways to get your score, some of which will cost you nothing. Many credit card customers can access a score from their online account, for example. Remember that you have more than one score, which may be different according to the source.
Be realistic about a vehicle
Your financial circumstances will have an effect not only on whether you can get approved for a car loan but, if so, the loan amount and other terms. Use auto finance calculators to budget and better understand what you may be able to afford as a monthly payment and total loan amount. Considering the relative prices of new and used cars could also be useful.
A down payment may help
Being able to make a down payment on a car may not lead to a guaranteed auto loan approval but will show the lender a tangible commitment to a potential financing contract. Money down will also reduce the amount you need to borrow, and so may improve any loan terms you might receive.
Consider a co-applicant or cosigner
Applying with a co-applicant, effectively a co-borrower with equal rights to the vehicle and responsibilities for the loan, is another approach that often improves the odds of an approval. Some lenders also accept applications from cosigners, who guarantee to meet any missed payments or repay the full loan amount if needed, but who don’t have rights to the vehicle. This approach will typically strengthen an application, too.
The idea of a guaranteed auto loan can seem like a golden ticket to your next vehicle, but you may want to shop around to consider all the potential financing options, as well as know how to strengthen your application when you’ve decided on a lender or lenders to apply with.
RoadLoans’ simple online application takes a few minutes to complete and you’ll get an instant loan decision. If approved, you can shop the same day at the preferred auto dealership noted in the loan packet, already knowing the terms of your financing. As the direct-lending platform of national auto lender Santander Consumer USA, we have years of experience lending to customers of all credit types, and helping them into high quality new and used vehicles.
Apply for a car loan online.
* “Bad” or “poor” credit generally is considered a FICO score around 600 and below by sources including the Consumer Federation of America and National Credit Reporting Association (reported by the Associated Press), Bankrate.com, Credit.com, Investopedia, NerdWallet.com and others. The Congressional Budget Office identifies a FICO score of 620 as the “cutoff” for prime loans. FICO scores are not the sole factor in lending decisions by RoadLoans.com and Santander Consumer USA.