Can I get approved for a car loan?

Woman using laptop for auto loan approval


Can I get approved?

When it comes to auto financing, it’s the big question, and auto lenders will consider a range of factors to provide you with an answer. Two, however, are typically most important – credit score and income.

Credit score, firstly, is based in part upon your credit history, and those past experiences help a lender decide how likely you are to pay back a vehicle loan. Consumers with good credit habits are better placed to get a loan than those with bad credit, which is generally considered to be a score of 600 and below.* A low credit score doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll struggle to get approved, though, especially if you apply with the right lender. Many full-spectrum and specialist auto finance companies work with people in this position; just keep in mind that such loans will come with higher rates to offset the risk.

Besides knowing how likely you are to repay a loan, lenders also want to know your ability to pay, and like to see a steady income. They’ll normally seek proof of income through pay stubs, bank statements and the like. If approved, this information will enable them to work out a debt-to-income ratio and the size of your loan.


Tactics for getting approved

Flexible financing options enable consumers across the credit range to get approved every day. However, if you’re looking to improve your chances of approval, there are several ways to go about it.

  • Do your own credit checkFind out your credit score in order to understand your credit health. Your credit card account may provide it for free, and there are other options, some of which require a fee. Better still, request your credit reports and clear up any errors they may contain.
  • Build credit – Consumers with poor credit might want to spend a little time building their score before applying for financing. Paying off credit card balances and getting caught up on any late payments are two straightforward ways to do this.
  • Go for preapproval – Applying for an auto loan with a well-chosen lender, or lenders, before you visit the dealership may improve your chances of approval and getting the best terms. RoadLoans, for example, enables you to apply online, with no hassle, whenever it suits you.
  • Use a down payment – A down payment offers clear potential benefits to any applicant. It can lower a loan amount, demonstrate your commitment to a financing contract and also may reduce finance charges if approved for a loan.
  • Team with a co-applicant or cosigner – This is particularly useful for consumers with no credit or bad credit histories, such as many students and first-time buyers. Applying for a joint loan with a creditworthy co-applicant, or getting a cosigner to guarantee responsibility for your loan, will often make an application much stronger.


Let us give you a quick loan decision

It won’t take long to find out if you’re approved for a new or used car loan with RoadLoans. Our short one-page application takes a few minutes to complete, and we’ll give you a loan decision in seconds. All you need to enter is your name, address and contact information along with your Social Security number and income. You also have the opportunity to apply with a co-applicant if you’d like to.

Complete our form and see if you’re approved.


* “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),,, Investopedia, 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 and Santander Consumer USA.


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