What documents do I need for a car loan?

I’m getting myself organized to get a car loan soon. What documents will I need?

Answer
Good idea—getting organized ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle.
Here are the documents you’ll need for a car loan:
  • Vehicle information about the car you want (i.e., make, model, year, VIN)
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Credit and banking history
  • Proof of income (i.e., W-2, payment stubs)
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of insurance
  • Method of down payment
It will also be helpful to be aware of your credit score. That way, you can better gauge whether you’re offered a reasonable APR by the lender.
You should also decide how long you want the loan. The general rule of thumb is to aim for five years or less (60 months).
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Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 22, 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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