What is a car loan prequalification and how do I get one?

I'm thinking about buying a car and an ATV at the same time, but I don't want to hurt my credit score with too many hard inquiries. A friend told me I should get prequalified. What does this mean?

Answer
A pre-qualification for a car loan is almost identical to a car loan pre-approval. It will allow you to see what a lender is prepared to offer you in terms of budget, interest rate, and monthly payments.
One major difference is that pre-qualification only requires a soft inquiry on your credit. This means that your credit score won’t be impacted when the lender pulls your credit score. In contrast, getting loan pre-approval requires a hard inquiry, which can impact your credit.
To get a pre-qualification, you’ll need to fill out an online application to the lender. You’ll need to estimate your income and financial status— and while it may be tempting to fudge these, you won’t get an accurate idea of what type of loan you’re actually qualified for unless you give exact numbers.
While you’re budgeting out your car and ATV, make sure they’re both covered with good car insurance policies. Use Jerry to compare quotes from the nation’s top providers and register for an affordable policy.
Eric Schad
Answered on Oct 20, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
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