Tips for Car Buyers With Bad Credit Scores or No Credit History
People with bad credit scores are typically charged significantly higher interest rates than people with higher credit scores. As such, loans for higher amounts or longer periods of time cost those with bad credit or no credit significantly more interest over the life of the loan.
How Much Does a Poor Credit Score Cost?
According to Informa Research Services in January of 2013, the national average for a 36-month $20,000 auto loan would have the following costs.
|FICO® score||APR||Monthly payment|
Based on the above chart, a person with great credit might be expected to pay $1,060 in interest over the life of the loan. Whereas a person with a low credit score might pay closer to $5,668 for the same loan, an amount that is 435% higher.
Improving Your Creditworthiness
Here are a some ways to save money when buying a car with a bad credit profile:
- consider buying a used car that you can afford to pay cash for
- buy a smaller & more affordable car
- this can save money on loan interest costs as well as insurance AND gas
- students who do well in school may also qualify for discounts on insurance rates
- save up to make a larger down payment on your purchase
- get a co-signer for your loan
- borrow from family for part or all of the loan
- get a loan with no pre-payment penalty & make extra payments
- build credit with a credit card & regularly pay it off (carrying no balance from month to month) such that you establish a credit history or rebuild your credit before making larger purchases
- download your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com at least a couple months before you want to buy a car, such that you have time to clean up any issues before seeking auto financing.
- Challenge any information that is not recognized or verifiable. The company that has placed the entry on the credit report has 30 days to respond to a challenge with proof that the creditor owes them what the entry claims. If the company does not respond within 30 days, the entry is removed from the credit report.
- You can also purchase your credit score from MyFICO for $19.99 or sign up for free at CreditKarma, in order to best estimate what sort of interest rate you might be charged for your loan.