Here is some good news for you — you can get an auto loan despite your bad credit score. Now, you can say goodbye to your old car that makes those concerning sounds.
Companies will grant a car loan to people with bad credit scores because a car loan is a form of a secured loan. This means the car you will purchase will act as collateral if you default on your loan.
In addition, you will not be exploited by sky-rocketing interest rates and strict loan restrictions due to the enormous competition in the auto loan industry.
Top 5 Bad Credit Auto Loan Companies
Auto Credit Express has been in business since 1999, and the company partners with different dealers throughout the U.S. to help people with low credit find a car loan. The application for a car loan could not be easier with Auto Credit Express.
The good thing about Auto Credit Express is that the company will connect you with a lender even if you have low credit, no credit history, repossession, or bankruptcy. This company believes everyone deserves a new car. Therefore, no one is deprived of personal loans here.
However, you must remember that if you have a low credit score, the lender will most likely charge you a high-interest rate. This is because the lender makes up for the risk of lending to someone with low credit.
- Easy qualification
You can qualify in a mere 30 seconds, and the qualification form will help you understand whether you can apply for a loan at Auto Credit Express or not. First, the form asks for your credit score, and then, you have to select the range your score falls into.
Next, you have to provide your monthly income before tax deduction, along with your monthly recurring debt. This includes rent, credit card payments, garnishments, and other loan payments.
Make sure you do not put any utility bills or car payments in the recurring debt portion.
You can submit the qualification form and get approved in minutes. Once you complete this form, you can move to the application form, which barely takes three minutes.
- Simple and quick online application
The online form is straightforward and asks for basic information like name, zip code, and minimum monthly income. You must complete all four steps of the form to request a loan. Remember, the form is easy to fill, and you can make the process easier by gathering information beforehand.
As soon as you submit the form, Auto Credit Express starts looking for dealers in your area, which does not take long. So, you will receive confirmation in barely two minutes. Moreover, the application process is free of cost.
- Safe to use
Auto Credit Express enjoys an A+ rating with BBB, and the company has been accredited since 2004 and has experience of over 20 years. This means you can fully trust Auto Credit Express with your personal information.
- Specializes in bad credit and no credit
- Operating for more than 20 years
- Does not charge customers for requesting a loan
- Quick pre-qualification form
- Simple application form
- Customers must earn at least $1,500 per month to qualify for the loan
CarLoans.com claims to be the fastest network in the industry. So, you do not have to wait for more than 24 hours to hear back from your dealers. This is because CarLoans.com is most likely to approach you within minutes of submitting the application form.
The company’s service is free of cost, and the APR range set by it is between 0% and 25%. The rate depends on your credit history, vehicle type, and geographic location.
Remember that CarLoans.com will not charge you with interest. Instead, the dealer will. Therefore, you must know the lender designs all of the lending decisions, and CarLoans.com will not intervene once you are connected with the lender.
Moreover, different lenders might charge different penalties for late or non-payment. Therefore, make sure you thoroughly read the terms and conditions before taking the loan. Furthermore, ask questions from your lender if you are confused about anything.
- Easy loan request process
You can request a loan despite having no or bad credit. The online application form is secure and barely takes three minutes to complete, as it only requires four easy steps.
The form asks for basic information, such as name, date of birth, address, and zip code. You also have to mention whether you own your home or rent it, the number of years you have lived at your present home, and your monthly payment.
Once you submit the form, your application will be reviewed and approved in a matter of a few minutes. After that, you will be connected to a lender.
- Overall rating of 4.5
- Same-day approval
- No application fee
- Ensures no-obligation application
- Eligibility criteria restricts a lot of potential borrowers
myAutoloan.com has been operating since 2003, and the company has managed to attract thousands of customers. They work with credible and renowned lenders, who offer numerous auto financing options, including new and used auto loans, leasing, and refinancing.
The company’s website is updated every day, and it features ‘today’s lowest rate,’ which shows the lowest APR charged to one of the customers on that day. Remember, APR is determined after considering your credit score.
The application form is the same for four different personal loans. So, you do not have to fill in new information in different forms, which saves time and money. Moreover, the company does not charge a fee for its loan applicants.
As a result, myAutoloan.com claims to be free, fast, and easy. Furthermore, the website emphasizes the fact that you are in no way obliged to take the company’s services. There are multiple loan offers, which means you can reject the loan offer if you think the terms are not suitable for you.
In addition, the online form is easy to fill, and it asks for information like your name, phone number, address, and SSN. You will also have to provide information like your mortgage and how long you have lived in your house.
The third step of the form asks for your employment status, employer’s name, work phone, and income.
Lastly, you will have to mention the vehicle you plan on buying and the amount of loan you are applying for. The amount, of course, can be an estimate. However, make sure you consider everything from the car’s price to sales tax, license fees, and dealer’s fees.
Once you submit the form, the company will connect you with lenders, and you will receive up to four offers. Then, you will receive a check within 24 hours, which you can use to buy your dream car.
- Multiple services
myAutoloan.com’s website features an interest rate chart, an interest rate estimator, and a payment calculator. You can use these to determine the interest rate you will be charged with and the amount of money you will have to repay.
Using these instruments, you can also check the interest rate charged on different loan types. These instruments ensure you have an idea about the interest rate and repayment amount before you are connected to the lender.
- Offers loans for new or used cars
- Accepts bad credit holders
- Funding within 24 hours
- Works with a national network of lenders
- Application form asks for a lot of details
This name is not new to people looking for auto loans with bad credit, as DriveTime has 136 dealership locations across the country. This ensures people throughout the country can have easy access to DriveTime’s services.
DriveTime offers in-person and online services, and the company claims to have the fastest speed in both lots. Moreover, they guarantee approval of loan requests in two minutes. Overall, the company is a haven for people with bad credit.
DriveTime has helped over four million customers since the company came into existence, and it enjoys positive customer reviews and highly satisfied customers.
- Quick approval
Filling in an online form is a must, but DriveTime’s online application form is easy to complete and only has two steps. This means you can finish the form in no time. The first step asks for your name, a valid phone number, and your zip code.
Once you move to the second step, the form will automatically verify your city and state based on your ZIP code. In this step, you will have to provide information such as address, email, gross monthly income, SSN, and date of birth. Lastly, you will have to agree to the terms and conditions before submitting the form.
DriveTime also gathers information to detect problems with the company’s server, to collect demographic information, to track users, and to analyze trends.
The company thoroughly explains how your information is used and who is given access to it.
DriveTime’s website features an advice center, which you can use free of cost and learn about house financing, balancing credit and car loan, getting a bad credit loan, and more. Moreover, the company advises customers on saving money and budgeting.
So, with this feature, you can choose your desired goal category and get advice.
- Easy and quick application form
- In-person and online services available
- Does not charge initial fees
- Guarantees protection of personal information
- Must meet the eligibility criteria to get approval
As the name suggests, LendingTree connects you to five offers once you submit the application form. Each loan offer you receive has a different interest rate, repayment amount, and loan amount. Remember, though, LendingTree is not a lender.
Therefore, the company cannot decide the amount of the loan or the interest rate. Moreover, the company will step out of the process once you are connected to the lender.
Lenders at LendingTree charge rates as low as 1.99% on purchase and 1.49% on auto refinance loans. So, you can choose the loan type and get personalized rates charged by the lenders at LendingTree. This will allow you to easily compare the interest rate and settle for a loan that does not charge a lot.
At LendingTree, you can get new or used auto loans. So, you will not be bound by one loan type. Moreover, the company allows you to get a 36-month purchase, 48-month purchase, or 60-month purchase.
- Different repayment periods
LendingTree believes in fully disclosing all of the information that is deemed necessary by the customer. The first package is the 36-month purchase, which has an A+ BBB rating, is available in online funding, and is free of cost.
The APR has gone as low as 2.49% in this purchase plan and the interest rate 2.49%. The website explains that if you get $39,967 in loan, you will have to pay $1,153 per month. All of this calculation is done to ensure clarity for the customers of LendingTree.
- Multiple services
The website for LendingTree features auto calculators, which you can use to find an estimate of interest rate and monthly payments you will have to make in return for the loan amount you have borrowed.
In addition, you can read the lender reviews to find the most suitable lender. These will help you compare multiple lenders and choose the one with the most flexible and easy terms and conditions.
Furthermore, you can search car deals on LendingTree’s website, and you can find the rates on new cars before making the final decision. Lastly, you can find information on auto insurance, which will allow you to compare prices and learn about terms set by top insurers in the market.
- Quick application process
Online lending has allowed borrowers to benefit from quick financing. In addition, the online application form is simple and will not take more than five minutes to complete. The form asks for your name, address, phone number, income, SSN, and ZIP code.
Once you submit the online form, your request is approved in mere minutes, and the company connects you to five lenders. Now, the deal will take place between you and your dealer, and you are free to discuss terms, interest rate, and loan amount.
Make sure you thoroughly read and fully understand the terms before accepting the loan offer. Then, you can accept the offer and complete the paperwork on the same day. Lenders at LendingTree are known to make contact in less than 24 hours.
The company also explains the reason why they require certain information, what is done with your information, and who can read your information.
- Easy and simple application form
- Connects you to five dealers upon filling in only one form
- Free service to use
- Promotes disclosure of information
- Offers multiple services
- Must earn a stable income to become eligible for an auto loan
How We Made This List
Buying a car is a big investment, and it can often bring other hidden costs, such as road taxes, auto loan interest, and insurance. Therefore, it is important to consider factors associated with an auto loan.
Mostly, car buyers put a lot of emphasis on the type of car they want to buy. Due to this, they tend to forget how to finance the purchase of the car. As a result, most users ignore the factors like interest rates and sign the auto loan in a hurry without considering each detail.
So, to ensure customers do not fall into the trap of signing an auto loan with high costs and strict terms, we have created a list of companies that offer a car loan on easy terms.
We realize the importance of a good car loan. Therefore, we paid the utmost attention to each step while selecting the best car loans for bad credit.
First, we made a list of all companies offering bad credit auto loans, which was quite long. Therefore, we decided to visit the portal of each company and look at its terms and conditions. After thoroughly reviewing the terms, we narrowed down the list.
Next, we looked at customer reviews to learn about the other side of the company. For example, it is common for people to read customer reviews before buying clothes or shoes. However, they tend to forget the importance of reviews for car loans.
So, we read reviews regarding each company to learn about its service quality, customer care policy, and speed. This step was time-consuming, but it helped us pick some of the best companies offering bad credit car loans.
After reading customer reviews, we considered multiple factors to form the list containing the most flexible and effective bad credit car loans.
Each of the factors is explained below:
- Interest Rate
Interest rate is the cost of borrowing money. However, it is the most important factor to consider before taking a car loan, especially when you have a bad score.
Different auto lenders charge different interest rates. Therefore, we considered interest rates charged by lenders working with each company. This step is crucial, because there is no standard interest rate set for car loans in the market.
Therefore, companies have the freedom to charge whatever they want. So, we picked considerate companies that charged affordable interest rates to people with bad scores.
Remember that a minor difference in the interest rate charged by different lenders might not seem that big. But in the long run, this minor difference matters a lot. Moreover, we looked at whether the interest rate charged by each lender was floating or flat.
- Documentations Required
You must be aware of the ‘Know Your Customer Rule’ every lender has to comply with. Therefore, lenders require customers to submit their credit reports and different documents for identity verification and validation.
Some lenders required basic documents like photos, income, and valid home addresses. At the same time, others demanded tax return statements, credit card statements, and bank or credit union statements.
So, we chose networks that required the least documents, as gathering them can be time-consuming and tiresome. Moreover, many people might not be willing to go through the hassle of getting a bank statement. Therefore, we shortlisted companies that only required basic documents.
- Loan-to-Value Ratio
This ratio calculates the portion of your car’s price the lender will fund. So, the remaining amount has to be paid by you. This is because cars are expensive, and most lenders do not fully finance the purchase of the car.
This might mean you will have to make big down payments to avoid high-interest rates. However, financing a portion of your car purchase might lead to the depletion of your emergency funds.
Therefore, we picked companies that had a flexible or high loan-to-value ratio.
- Processing Fee
Almost every network charges a processing fee before taking you on board. Just like the interest rate, there is no standard processing fee, meaning each company will charge a different fee.
After taking a car loan, you will have to make interest payments and save money to repay the loan. This is a lot to handle, especially when you have other expenses to meet. Therefore, we shortlisted companies that charged affordable processing fees.
- Prepayment Fees
Customers prefer making prepayments because it reduces the interest cost. However, some lenders discourage prepayments and restrict the number of times a customer can make a prepayment in one year.
Therefore, we carefully looked at whether the lenders allowed the customers to prepay. Lastly, we chose networks that imposed the least restrictions on the number of times you can prepay the monthly installments.
In the end, we checked whether these networks lent money to people with bad scores. This is because sometimes companies claim to offer personal loans to people with a low credit score; however, the terms and restrictions are so stringent that customers find it almost impossible to get a car loan. Therefore, we checked the eligibility criteria and selected networks that demanded the least.
After carefully reviewing each of the factors mentioned above, we formed a list of the best bad credit car loans.
Beginner’s Buying Guide
Finding a car loan with bad credit is not impossible, but, undoubtedly, it is hard. Therefore, make sure you do thorough research and consider all of your options. Research is important, especially when you are new to auto loans.
So, settle for an option that serves you the best despite your poor credit score, and make sure you always look out for scams.
Here is the list of things you must consider before applying for a car loan with bad credit:
- Your Credit Score
Before you apply for a loan, check your credit score. The credit score range set by the FICO is between 300 and 850, and your score is considered poor if it lies below 580.
Moreover, you will learn about the amount of money you owe, your payment history, and the length of your credit history. These can be negatively impacted if you do not make timely payments, overdraw your bank account, or have a short credit history.
These factors are put into place, so you can work on them to improve your credit score. This article focuses on bad credit auto loans, but you usually have to use this type of loan. You can get a loan despite your bad credit, but you will be charged whopping interest rates.
Therefore, you must take action to improve your credit score before applying for an auto loan online.
- Down Payment
Yes, an auto loan means you will get a loan to purchase a car. However, sometimes you do not get the amount of loan you desire. Moreover, the chances of getting a big amount are less if you have a bad score.
Therefore, you must save money to make a down payment, as this will increase your chances of getting approved for a bad credit auto loan.
Moreover, if you have money for a down payment, you will have to pay a lesser interest rate. In addition, the down payment will lower your loan-to-value ratio, so you can negotiate with your lender to offer you flexible terms and impose lesser restrictions.
One thing this article constantly talks about is research, which will help you prepare. This means no one can catch you off guard during negotiations. Moreover, the lender is more likely to offer flexible terms if you seem confident and knowledgeable.
Therefore, you must calculate the amount of loan you want and the range of APR charged by most lenders. This research will help you from getting exploited, especially if you are a bad credit holder.
Pre-qualification will help you understand if you qualify for the loan before even applying. This is considered important because it saves time and helps you avoid difficult credit checks.
Hard credit checks can worsen your score. So, if you already have a bad credit score, you should avoid a hard credit check. Therefore, you should fill in the pre-qualification form to check if you are eligible to apply for a loan at a specific network.
- Focus on the Terms of the Loan
Before signing, make sure you read all of the terms of the loan thoroughly to avoid higher monthly payments or restrictions in the future.
Sometimes, dealers might inform you with bad news, saying your financing is not complete, and now, you must pay a higher interest rate. This is called a ‘yo-yo scam.’ So, be mindful when something similar to this happens.
- Repayment Tenure
You might prefer lower monthly payments because they look good on paper and seem desirable. However, that is not how they work in reality. Lower monthly payments mean you will end up paying more in total due to the interest accumulation.
Therefore, sign up for an amount you find affordable to pay. Make sure the amount is not too less or too big for your pocket. An amount too big can lead to defaulting, which will negatively impact your score.
- Ask if a Co-signer Is Needed
Online lenders do not usually require a co-signer. However, you must ask your lender if a co-signer is needed. This is because having a co-signer reduces the risk for the lender. As a result, you can negotiate with your lender over the terms, repayment, and APR.
- Be Wary of Scams
Not all networks are genuine in what they offer. Therefore, you must be alert. Remember, companies can scam you into buying add-ons, such as warranties and after-market services. So, make sure you settle for trustworthy companies. Otherwise, you will end up losing your money.
Consider these factors and find the right network for yourself. Remember not to hurry while shopping in the auto loan market. Take your time and be sure about the terms, APR, and loan amount before taking the offer.
FAQs: Bad Credit Auto Loans
Q1. What is bad credit?
The credit score used by lenders usually ranges between 300 and 850. If your score is above 670, then it is considered very good. However, if your score is below 670, it is considered to be fair. Unfortunately, if your score falls behind 580, then the companies classify it as a poor score.
Companies like Auto Credit Express operating in the auto loan market have made finding a loan with a bad credit score easier. However, you must know that getting a loan with a bad credit score can be expensive.
If you have a bad credit score, then the lender can charge you an interest rate of 30% or above. Moreover, you might face other issues like shorter repayment periods and strict loan conditions.
So, we have researched and shortlisted the best auto loan companies with bad credit to help you find auto loans with favorable terms and comparatively low-interest rates.
Q2. What is an acceptable credit score for a car loan?
Your credit score plays an important role while applying for any type of loan. Fortunately, when it comes to auto loans, there is no minimum credit score requirement set by the lenders.
Lenders do not give that much importance to the credit score because an auto loan is a secured loan. So, the lender knows they can easily take over your collateral if you stop making monthly payments or do not repay on time. This sense of security for the lender makes it easier for people with bad credit to get loan approvals.
Moreover, lenders consider your credit situation as a whole rather than emphasizing the credit score only. As a result, the lender will check if you do not have accrued tax debts, past-due bills, or collections accounts.
The networks we have listed above claim their lenders provide personal loans to people with bankruptcies. This means there is always a chance you will get an auto loan with bad credit.
Moreover, you might think your credit score is bad. However, at times it is not as bad. According to FICO, credit scores range from 300 to 850. Therefore, your score is bad only if it is below 580. The rest is fine and will help you easily find a loan.
The good news is that some lenders in the market lend to people with a credit score below 580. So, your bad credit score will not stop lenders from approving your loan request. However, the loan terms will be decided based on your credit score.
So, if you have bad credit, the online lender is most likely to charge you with a high origination fee, interest rates, strict loan terms, and penalties. Naturally, this will increase the cost of your loan. But, remember the credit score and cost of a loan are inversely related. So, you should work on your credit score if you do not want to incur extra costs.
Q3. How can I tell if I have a bad credit score?
Being a U.S. citizen, the law gives you the right to access your credit report free of cost. So, you can get your hands on the credit rating and check whether your score falls in the excellent, good, or poor category.
The score range between 800 and 850 means you have an excellent credit score. With this score, you can easily find loans. Moreover, lenders will not charge you with high-interest rates or place greater loan restrictions.
Next comes the very good score range, which is when your credit score is between 740 and 799. Below this score level is the good credit range between 670 and 739. Consequently, the range between 580 and 669 is considered fair credit.
The problem arises when your credit score is below 580. This indicates that you have a bad credit score, and you might face issues finding a loan for yourself. At this point, you might consider hiring a credit repair company for you.
Furthermore, you should always try to improve your bad credit score by making payments on time and informing the lender if you think you are about to default. This will help you find less costly auto loans.
Q4. Do I have to provide collateral to get an auto loan with bad credit?
First, you must understand the difference between secured and unsecured loans. A secured loan is the type of loan where you have to provide collateral that acts as security, which can be your home or your car.
However, an unsecured loan does not require any form of collateral. A car loan is a secured loan; therefore, you must provide collateral to get the loan. The lender demands collateral to eliminate the risk.
Moreover, the lender has the right to take over your asset if you fail to make payments on time. Therefore, you must ensure sufficient funds or monthly income to make interest payments on time.
Lastly, you must repay your loan on time to avoid penalties or any other repercussions.
Q5. Can a car loan impact my credit score?
Yes, auto loans can impact your credit score. However, the auto loan can positively or negatively impact your score, depending on the timing of payments.
When you apply for a loan at different lenders, your application, also known as a credit inquiry, is attached to your credit report. This indicates a certain lender has access to and checks your report during the application process.
This stays in your credit report for two years. However, the impact of the record is erased from the credit score in a few months.
Lenders report the timing of your payments to the lending bureaus, which impacts your credit score for a long time. Moreover, payment history takes up 35% of your credit score. Therefore, you should make payments on time.
By now, you should have a comprehensive look at the best auto loans currently available for bad credit holders. Since we compiled this list after conducting extensive research on the industry as a whole, you can use any of these platforms confidently. However, we recommend going for Auto Credit Express or CarLoans.com.
If you choose to branch out on your own and conduct research to find the lending platform most suitable for your needs, make sure to use our buying guide as a point of reference to ensure you are getting affordable rates and are staying away from scams.