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?

Answer
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.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 19, 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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