Q: "At age 19 and with a 550 credit score, what are the odds that I will be able to find financing to buy a car? "
Apr 26, 2021

"My bad credit score is from falling behind on a credit card and phone bill, but that is all taken care of now and I have a job. I found an $8,000 2008 Toyota 4Runner and I have $1,500 saved for a down payment. Could I qualify for a car loan?

"

Answer provided by
Johnny Puckett
Johnny Puckett is a freelance writer and automotive expert. He has contributed content to a number of some of the largest online publications, aftermarket automotive manufacturers’ sites, and automotive informational sites. His experience in the automotive and information fields informs his writing at Jerry. His automotive interests bleed into his free time, where he enjoys modifying his favorite cars and woodworking.

“If you look around, you should be able to find a lender that will work with you. However, at 550, you will likely be forced to borrow from a lender that specializes in bad credit loans.

Lenders that work with borrowers who have bad credit assume a lot of risk, and because of that they have to charge a higher interest rate. Many require a larger down payment as well.

You can get a car loan from a bad credit lender while you build up your credit, and then refinance later to reduce your payments and interest rate, but this could take up to two years. Your best option is to wait and either save up enough money to pay cash for a car or build up your credit score. “

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