What is the credit score needed for a car loan?

I’m going to need a car loan for my next car. What credit score do I need to shoot for to secure one?

Answer
Generally, any score in the prime range or above (that is, 661 or higher) is a safe bet if you’re looking to get approved for a car loan.
A prime or higher credit score will give you access to lower interest rates, allowing you to pay less in the long run.
If your score is subprime or lower, you still have a chance at getting approved for a loan, but your terms won’t be as favorable. Students and people with no credit history can apply for special programs, like first-time buyer loan programs, if applicable.
If you can’t reach a prime or higher score, you may need to bring a cosigner onto the loan in order to get approved. A cosigner is a third party with a high credit score who agrees to assume responsibility for the loan if you fail to make payments.
If you end up stuck with unfavorable loan rates, you can always complete an auto refinance to renegotiate your terms down the road. If your credit has improved by then, you would also be able to remove your cosigner.
In the meantime, you should consider shopping around for car insurance quotes to make sure you aren’t missing out on potential savings that could go toward the new car. Use Jerry to compare dozens of competitive quotes without any hassle or pressure.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 15, 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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