All About the Kia First Time Buyer Program

Kia’s First Time Buyer program will allow you to drive a new or certified pre-owned Kia vehicle without prior credit history.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Pat Roache
Kia’s First Time Buyer program allows buyers with no prior credit history to use a $500 credit towards the purchase of a new or pre-certified vehicle. However, you will have to meet certain specifications to qualify for this benefit toward your
car loan
  • You do not need previous credit history to apply for Kia’s First Time Buyer program.
  • The program will give you a $500 credit toward your purchase.
  • You must have a monthly income of at least $2,000 to qualify.

What does the Kia First Time Buyer program offer?

To be eligible for Kia’s First Time Buyer program—and the $500 bonus towards your car purchase at qualifying dealerships—you must meet the following qualifications:
  • No previous car credit
  • No negative marks on your credit reports, including bankruptcy, foreclosures, repossessions, tax liens,or any other delinquent credit history
  • Verifiable income of $2,000 or more per month
  • Payment to the applicant's gross income from primary job cannot exceed 15%
The two clear benefits of this program are the $500 towards your first car purchase and the fact that you don’t need any credit history to make the purchase. This program gives new drivers a bit of a break and helps them get a vehicle in their driveway—which in the end, helps Kia out as well!
However, you may have to check with your local Kia dealership to see if they offer this program. Some dealerships may require a minimum
, while some won’t. You can call your local Kia dealer for more details about the restrictions and benefits that are available at the location closest to you.
MORE: Are Kias expensive to maintain?

Tips for low-credit Kia financing if you don’t qualify for the First Time Buyer program

You may not qualify for the First Time Buyer program if you have a
low income
that doesn’t meet Kia’s restrictions or have less than stellar credit history. But there are still ways that you can lower your car buying costs and qualify for a manageable car loan.
Here are a few easy ways to buy and finance a vehicle without breaking the bank!
MORE: Car loans for people with no credit history
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Pick a vehicle you can afford

Budgeting for a new or certified pre-owned vehicle is an important step! You can use a car loan payment calculator to see what vehicles are in your price range based on your credit and income.
Choosing to go with a used car can help
make financing more manageable
. Your local Kia dealership will likely have a pre-owned selection to choose from—be sure to check the reliability of the vehicle you choose to keep your ownership costs and
car insurance
at a reasonable rate.

Compare loan offers from multiple lenders

In-house financing through the dealership
is the easiest way to get a car loan, but it might not be the most affordable. Be sure to compare auto loan rates between a few sources before signing a financing agreement. It’s worth checking with your bank or credit union to see if you can get pre-approved for a loan!

Get an assist from a co-signer

Another option is to ask a family member or friend with a good credit score to cosign for your vehicle purchase. This makes it more likely that you’ll get reasonable rates, and if your credit score improves, you can
remove the co-signer
refinance your car loan
MORE: How to get a cosigner for a bad credit car loan

Wait a bit

Taking the time to build your credit score and save up for a downpayment can make a difference when it comes to financing a car purchase. Follow these links for a few ways to improve your credit rating and save on car expenses

The best Kia models for first-time car buyers

Whether you are eligible for the First-Time Buyer program, you want to make sure that your first vehicle is a keeper! Here are some reliable Kia models you can check out:
  • Kia Forte
    : Starting at $20,815 new, the Forte is a small frugal sedan that has a sporty appearance. Great on gas and classy on the inside, the Forte is a solid pick for new drivers.
  • Kia Rio
    : For $17,875, you’ll get tons of tech features and great gas mileage. However, it’s a little cramped in the backseat—but for this price, it may be worth it!
  • Kia K5
    : A new K5 will cost you $26,415, but you’ll get a sharp-looking sedan that is a legit hotrod, and the interior is also pretty classy!
  • Kia Telluride:
    With a starting price of $37,255 and a 10/10 rating from Car and Driver, the Kia Telluride is one of the best SUVs out there! For first-time buyers who need a little more space and hauling power, this is the Kia for you.
If any of these are piquing your interest, see if you can take one out for a test drive! Kias are generally reliable, have excellent warranty coverage, and are pretty affordable, too! These are great benefits for first-time car buyers!
“I was struggling because I wanted great insurance for my new car.
was so helpful, and the team answered all of my questions. Now I have the policy type I was looking for!” —Avery W.
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