Follow these tips to buy your own set of wheels, even if you don't have credit history.
You’ve dreamt about owning a car for months, years even. Public transit has been your main means of commute. It has served you well, but arrival to your destination is on the bus schedule, not yours.
You’ve got stable employment, a small down payment, and a healthy source of income. There’s one problem: you’ve got little to no credit. You’ve tried to finance a car through a dealership in the past, but the sky-high interest rates would leave a huge hole in your wallet every month. Thankfully, there are other options.
Read on for our tips for getting the car you’ve had your eyes on.
Do your research
Keep your eyes peeled for exclusive perks and discounts or seasonal promotions. We offer competitive rates and deals for our members. When you’re ready to apply for a loan, be sure to check with a branch near you for available promotions.
Find branch location
Seek a cosigner
A cosigner vouches for your ability to make on-time monthly payments. The cosigner’s credit history will help you qualify for the loan, but you must remain committed to financing it.
A great place to start your search for a cosigner is within your circle of family and friends. An ideal cosigner has an established credit history, strong credit score, stable employment, and adequate income. If you fail to repay the car loan as agreed, the cosigner is on the hook for it – yikes! This could damage their finances, but also ruin your relationship. Take precautions before entering into an agreement like this.
Save for a down payment
Whether you get approved for a loan can depend on what you’re asking for. To minimize how much you borrow, consider offering a larger down payment. With a large down payment, you can get approved for a better rate and shorter loan term. Other benefits include having more manageable monthly payments and paying less interest.
Strengthen your credit
The hard truth is that good credit is a great asset in life. If you’re lacking credit now, think long-term about building your credit by applying for a credit card. To build credit you must use credit. Your activity gets reported to the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. For good behaviors, such as paying bills on time, your credit score can increase.
Take the first step to strengthen your credit and apply for the Life Matters Cash Back Credit Card. Earn rewards points for every dollar spent. Use your points on merchandise, travel, gift cards and more.
Wait at least six consecutive months before applying (or re-applying) for a car loan. Rack up good credit history during this timeframe and, chances are, you’ll be more likely to get approved. You’ll also increase your chances to have a favorable interest rate at a great term.
A healthy credit score with a strong track record can come in handy for more than a car loan. Credit-based decisions can influence your lifestyle and affect future housing and employment options.
Explore credit cards
Apply for an auto loan
After following steps 1-4, you're now ready to apply for that auto loan. If you're loyal to one credit union or bank, they may be more likely to approve your loan based on responsible money habits and the relationship you've built. Pay them a visit first before heading over to the dealership, and you'll be more confident knowing your options.
Financing options extend beyond the doors of your local dealership. Leave the bus behind and slide into the driver’s seat of your new car.