Can I get a car loan with bad credit?

My credit is a joke, but I need a loan to buy a vehicle. Will anyone be willing to lend me money?

Answer
The short answer is yes, but it may be more difficult — and even if you are successful, the loan will cost more and probably have stricter terms.
If conventional lenders (banks and finance companies) have turned you away, try these options:
Work on your credit score. Improve it if you can by paying off debts and correcting any errors.
Consider a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who has a better or longer credit history than you who agrees to take on the payment responsibility if you default. In effect, the cosigner assumes the risk for the lender in case you cannot pay.
  • Note: People who cosign loans assume all of the risk and get none of the benefits. Since they’ve assumed a debt, this can impact their credit score. So if someone agrees to cosign a car loan for you, take them to lunch or buy them flowers. They are doing you a favor!
Credit unions. Whether you are a member of a credit union or not, this option is worth looking into. Credit unions offer a range of loan options and are well-known to work with people with less-than-good credit.
Good luck!
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Jim Donaher
Answered on Mar 12, 2021
Jim Donaher is a freelance writer and manager with over 35 years' experience in the insurance, banking, and investment management businesses. He provides expertise on a range of topics and is able to explain complex industry information in layman's terms. Jim is the author of two books, including Call Him, He's Home: A Guide to Prayer for Regular People and Then Larry Smiled, a novel about life, death, accountability, and salvation. Taormina, Sicily is his happy place!
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