How to Get a Car Loan If You Have Bad Credit

You can get a car loan if you have bad credit. However, you might have to jump through a few more hoops than if your credit was better. If your credit isn’t great and you need a car loan, there are financing options available to you.

Reasons Why You May Have Bad Credit

Having bad credit doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you probably had some bad luck or made some less-than-stellar choices at some point in your life. If your credit is bad because you’re in the process of building it up from having no credit, just keep doing what you’re doing. If it’s bad because of a job loss, sickness, or other misfortune that caused you to miss some payments, it’s time to take a good look at your current financial situation, make a budget, and work on getting your score back up.

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

Credit scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. Most lenders consider a bad credit score to be around 620 and lower. If your score falls in this lower range, you can still get a car loan, but you should be very cautious in your approach.

Almost all lenders will charge people with low credit scores a higher interest rate.
This somewhat mitigates the risk they assume when they give a loan to someone with bad credit. Paying a higher interest rate may be unavoidable, but you still retain some power in this situation because you can choose what loan terms you’re willing to assume.

Car Loans with Bad Credit

If you need a car loan but have bad credit, shop around, see what different lenders can offer you, and make sure you’re earning enough money to make the payments. If you get a loan you can afford and make regular, on-time payments for the life of the loan, you can enjoy a reliable automobile while improving your credit score.


Bad credit shouldn’t stop you from getting a car loan. In fact, it’s even possible to get pre-approved car loans with credit scores below 620. Shop around, be realistic, and don’t take on more than you can afford.

Posted in: Loans