Poor credit might feel like an extra load, but it doesn’t have to make buying a truck hard work. There are huge numbers of pickups on the road today, and not all of their drivers got behind the wheel with perfect credit scores. Here are some useful pointers for purchasing a truck with bad credit, including how to save time and money.*
1. Check your credit
Credit score is a big factor in most auto lending decisions, both in terms of whether an application is approved and what rate may be offered. Your score is based in part upon the information contained in your credit reports, so check those reports for errors that might limit access to a loan and the best terms, and dispute them if necessary. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to request a free copy of your reports from the major credit bureaus.
2. Try boosting your score
Consider improving your credit score before you apply for financing. Fixing errors contained in a credit report can help, but you could also try measures such as paying off overdue credit balances, and correcting any bad habits that were highlighted in your reports.
3. Build a down payment
A down payment can be a good thing for all parties involved in a loan and will be a requirement in many cases. Money up front could reduce your potential loan amount and financing costs while decreasing lending risk for the creditor. However, if you don’t have much or any cash for a down payment, you may still qualify for a loan.
4. Know your trade-in value
A trade-in can be used in addition to or in place of a down payment and offers similar benefits. Look up the trade-in value of your current vehicle, if you have one, at sources like NADA Guides and KBB.com so you can add it into the truck-buying equation and negotiate a fair price at the dealership.
5. Estimate a loan amount
Use RoadLoans’ calculators to estimate what you may be able to afford as a total loan amount and monthly payment, to help stay on budget. Down payment and trade-in amounts will be useful here – if you have both just add them together and enter the figure into the down payment field. Adjusting down payment, loan term and APR will enable you to see how the loan amount and monthly payments change, and what might work best.
6. Think about add-ons in advance
Whether you intend to customize your truck or are interested in a service contract to keep it running smoothly, remember these items will increase the total price tag. Plan ahead and decide whether you want to make space for the cost in your loan amount.
7. Consider a co-applicant
A co-applicant is a useful option to think about when you have bad credit, especially as trucks are generally more expensive than cars. Adding a creditworthy co-applicant means you’re applying for a joint auto loan for which two sets of income can be taken into account by the lender. That can increase your chances of approval and, if approved, may get you a larger loan amount and better rate.
8. Get preapproved
Give yourself more control in the buying process by getting your auto loan arranged before visiting the dealer. Once at the dealership, preapproval enables you to focus on selecting the right model and negotiating a great deal on price. With RoadLoans, you can apply for a loan online from work, home or your mobile device with no pressure. It takes just minutes and you’ll receive an instant decision. If approved, we provide multiple offers tailored to your needs. Just select the best option, print your documents and go shop with confidence.†
9. Find a great truck
With truck financing preapproved, you’re free to enjoy the best part – choosing your vehicle. If approved by RoadLoans, visit the preferred dealership listed in your loan documents or use our dealer locator to find another. As a leading lender, we have relationships with 15,000 auto dealerships across the country that are able to show customers select, high-quality vehicles meeting our standards for age, mileage and financing. Our streamlined process means RoadLoans customers can apply and get on the road the same day.
Buy a truck with bad credit and no hassles
The process for buying a truck with bad credit is simple when you’re armed with the right knowledge, and part of that is choosing the right lender. RoadLoans accepts applications from consumers with all types of credit, including those who have been through repossession or have a discharged bankruptcy on file, and has helped thousands of customers into their chosen truck, car or SUV.
Apply for auto financing and get an instant decision.
* “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.
† RoadLoans does not provide financing for commercial vehicles.