Can I get a car loan with bad credit?

My credit score is considered bad. I'm trying to work on it and didn't want to take out any loans until I improved it, but our car just died. I need a vehicle to make it to work, pick up my kids, and drive my grandma to appointments. What’s the best way to get a car loan with bad credit?

Answer
I’m sorry to hear that your car died. Understandably, you’ll need a replacement to get around. Don’t worry about your bad credit—you can still get a car loan.
You have a few options:
  • Ask a friend or family member with good credit to cosign on the loan
  • Make a significant down payment on the vehicle
  • Find a lender with a financing department that works with people who have bad credit
Before signing, make sure you read over the loan agreement carefully. Often, lenders that work with people with bad credit will offer you high interest rates and longer loan terms that may raise the risk of going upside-down on the loan, meaning you owe more than the car is worth.
As time passes and after several on-time loan payments, you will build up your credit. Eventually, you can remove your cosigner from the loan agreement (if applicable) and refinance into a lower-interest-rate loan.
Refinance quickly and easily by downloading the Jerry app. Jerry compares offers from multiple lenders to make sure you never overpay for your loan. On average, car owners pay $85 less every month by refinancing.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 17, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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