How can I be approved for a car loan?
I need a car to drive my grandma to her doctor's appointments and work. I want to make sure I won't get denied when I apply. What’s the easiest way to get approved for a car loan?
To get approved for a car loan, get organized before applying. You should know the car you want, your credit score, and the down payment you can afford before beginning to shop around lenders for the best deal on a loan.
The type of car you want probably seems obvious to you. But if you figure out the exact vehicle, it can save you time and help you budget. You’ll want to know:
- The make
- The model
- The VIN (just ask the dealer for this)
- The year
- The sticker price
If you know your credit score, you can better gauge whether or not a lender is offering you a good deal. The better your credit, the better the interest rate and loan terms will be. A good credit score is around 660 or higher.
If your credit score is lower, you may need a cosigner or a more significant down payment to qualify for the loan.
The down payment is the amount you can pay out of pocket before taking out the loan. Once you know the sticker price of the car you want, subtract the amount you can afford to put down, then request a loan for the remaining amount. A good rule of thumb is to make a down payment of 20% of the sticker price—if you can afford it.
Having all the necessary documents ready can help a lot, too. These include proof of identity, proof of insurance, proof of residency, and proof of income.
Once you have all your ducks in a row, start shopping around lenders. You do not have to stick with your personal bank. Get quotes from local and national banks, credit unions, dealerships, and online lenders to find the best deal available.
If you don’t like the agreement you end up with initially, you can always refinance into a better loan down the line.
Refinance quickly and easily through the Jerry app. On average, those who refinance pay $85 less every month.
Did this answer help you?
Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.
Have a different question?
You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.
Read advice from car experts at Jerry
Browse by topics
What others are asking
Do I qualify for a car loan?
I just got into a master's program. I started school with my dad's old beat-up truck, but it's getting expensive to repair. I need something more reliable. My credit score is only 600, and with student loans, I can't afford much in monthly payments. Will I even be able to get a car loan?
Nov 19, 2021
How do you get car insurance on the weekend?
I’d like to buy a new car, but I really only have time to shop on the weekends. I’m pretty sure my insurance agent wouldn’t be available, so how do I get car insurance on the weekend?
Nov 19, 2021
Can you be denied a car loan after pre-approval?
I'm looking into buying a car for the first time and am getting pre-approved. I was pretty confident, but then a friend said they still got denied after getting pre-approved. Can you be denied a car loan after pre-approval?
Nov 19, 2021