All About the Chevy First-Time Buyer Program

Chevrolet’s first-time buyer program, available at participating dealerships, can help new buyers save on their first vehicle purchase.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Select Chevrolet dealerships may offer a First Time Buyer program, which could make it that much easier to finance a new vehicle.  If first-time buyer incentives aren’t available to you, you might have other options, like finding offers from other lenders, getting a cosigner, or taking advantage of other available deals.
  • Chevrolet first-time buyer incentives and the perks they involve can vary from dealership to dealership.
  • If your local Chevy dealership doesn’t offer a First Time Buyer program, there might be other offers that could still apply to you.
  • With or without a First Time Buyer program, it’s important to make sure the financing terms you take on are affordable for you.

What does the Chevrolet First Time Buyer program offer?

The incentives that come with Chevrolet’s First Time Buyer program may vary from dealership to dealership—and so can the terms that come with them.
Generally, they’re geared toward buyers who don’t yet have much of an established credit history. As such, they tend to have more lenient terms that can make it easier to get approved for an auto loan. And if you’re able to set yourself up with the right car loan, it could help you establish better credit for purchases in the future.
For those Chevrolet dealerships that participate, you might see incentives like being able to qualify for financing without needing a cosigner, or not needing a
down payment
if a rebate can be applied to your purchase.
The best way to find out if your local Chevrolet dealership offers a First Time Buyer program—and to find out what strings are attached to the deal—is to contact the dealership and speak to the finance department.

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

Unfortunately, even if it
your first time buying a car, certain qualifying terms, like
your income
, might mean you won’t be eligible for a First Time Buyer program from a Chevrolet dealership.
If you’re set on buying a Chevy but don’t qualify for the First Time Buyer program—or if your Chevrolet dealership of choice doesn’t offer one—GM Financial, which handles financing for Chevrolet, does have other discount programs you might be able to qualify for.
Here are some examples of possible discounts that could also benefit certain first-time car buyers:
  • GM College Offer
    : Available to current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent students who graduated within the last two years.
  • GM Military Offer
    : Available to active duty military members, reservists, and National Guard members. Veterans, retired military members, and their spouses are eligible as well.
  • GM Educator Offer
    : Available to current employees of both public and private schools, including colleges and universities.
  • GM First Responder Offer
    : Offered for eligible firefighters, police, EMTs, paramedics, and 911 dispatchers.
  • GM Supplier Discount
    : Applies a discount on new qualifying Chevrolets if you’re a qualifying employee of a GM supplier.
  • GM Family First
    : Depending on your relationship, can qualify you for a discount on a Chevrolet purchase if you have a family member who’s an eligible GM employee.
If none of these offers are available to you either, don’t fret. Beyond Chevy’s financing via GM Financial, you still have plenty of other options to explore.
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Pick a vehicle you can afford

Whether or not you qualify for a first-time buyer program, you should find out
how much car you can actually afford
before you start applying for financing—and just because you’ve been approved for a certain amount doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford it.
Used vehicles
will predictably come with lower price tags, and certified pre-owned options can often get you in a like-new vehicle without paying the full new car price.
What’s “affordable” will depend on your current financial situation and what other expenses make up your budget. Limiting your monthly car payment to no more than 10% of your monthly income and paying 20% down on a vehicle when possible are common recommendations from financial experts.
An easy way to start exploring what you can afford is by using a
car loan
payment calculator
. From there, you can pinpoint an ideal monthly payment and your maximum purchase price, then find out what Chevrolet vehicles fall within that range.

Compare loan offers from multiple lenders

Securing a car loan through the dealership
can be initially convenient, but it’s not your only option. And often, buyers end up with higher rates and less negotiating power by not shopping around with other lenders—especially if you don’t qualify for any current offers or incentives.
Getting at least a few additional offers from banks or credit unions—and getting a
if you can—can increase your odds of getting a better deal on your financing. Plus, it’s also possible these lenders may have their own first-time buyer incentives.

Get an assist from a co-signer

Some car buyers who aren’t able to qualify for financing on their own get help from a cosigner with a higher income and/or credit score.
Just be aware that the stakes for doing so have high stakes for the cosigner, since they’ll be responsible for payments if you don’t make them, and their own credit score could take a hit as well.
Depending on the terms of your financing, it’s possible you could
remove the co-signer from your loan
after making a series of on-time payments, or you could
for better loan terms on your own later on.

Wait a bit

If you need a vehicle ASAP, this might not be an option. But if you can afford to wait it out, holding off on a car purchase until you can
build your credit
save for a sizable down payment
could help you save more on your first car purchase.
saving on car ownership expenses
can be tricky after you pull off that purchase, we have plenty of tips to help you do just that.

The best Chevrolet models for first-time car buyers

With or without first-time buyer incentives, if you decide to purchase a Chevrolet, make sure it’s a vehicle that’s right for you. Chevrolet’s lineup offers plenty of options for all types of drivers, but here are some options that might be especially appealing to first-time buyers:
  • Chevrolet Malibu
    : The 2023 Malibu has a starting price of $25,000 and is the sole sedan on Chevrolet’s lineup for this model year. It has solid fuel economy, a comfortable interior, and a spacious trunk that should suit most drivers’ needs.
  • Chevrolet Trax
    : With a starting price of $21,700 the 2023 Trax is a solid option if you’re looking for a practical compact SUV on a budget.
  • Chevrolet
    If you’re looking for a little more passenger space in your cabin, the Equinox is a crowd favorite among Chevrolet fans and starts at $26,600 for the 2023 model year.
If a particular Chevrolet model catches your eye, get in touch with your local Chevrolet dealership’s finance department to get a sense of what financing options are currently on offer.
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