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Yes, you can get a car loan with a credit score of 600. However, it can be harder to find lenders that will approve you for a loan with such a low credit score. More importantly, you might not get the desired rates or loan amount you want with 600.
Credit scores are indicative of your ability to carry and pay back debt. Lower credit scores raise red flags for lenders. Whether you’ve defaulted, used too much credit, or have little history, it can be an issue.
However, because car loans are a type of installment loan and secured loan, more lenders are willing to work with you because the car can be repossessed if you miss your payments.
What Is the Minimum Credit Score Required to Buy a Car?
In some cases, you may not need a credit score to purchase a car. However, you may need to put more money down and deal with higher interest rates. This isn’t always desirable. If you have a credit score, you want to leverage it to finance your car.
So, what is the minimum? If you have a 600 credit score, you’re not far off. Most agree that a 660 credit score is the bare minimum you should have when you’re looking to buy a car. This will get you a decent loan with fair rates.
That being said, it’s not unheard of for those with a 500 score to get financing. It depends on your situation and what’s available to you.
But as with anything, a higher credit score will offer much better results. You’ll have more lenders and better rates to choose from with a higher score. Keep this in mind before you begin shopping for your next vehicle.
Credit Scores and Interest Rates – How Do They Work?
The better your credit score, the easier it will be to land lower interest rates. But what exactly can you expect when you begin reaching out for an auto loan? Credit score statistics show a correlation between credit score ranges and average APRs as follows.
Credit Score Ranges and Average Car Loan APRs
|Credit Score Range||Average APR for a New Car||Average APR for a Used Car|
|300-500: Deep Subprime||13.42%||20.62%|
Better rates can help you save money on your loan. A minor jump doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re paying out more over the life of your auto loan.
How to Get a Car Loan With Bad Credit
There are ways to navigate getting a loan with bad credit. Here are a few tips to help you get your hands on the cash you need.
Go to a Used Car Dealership
A used car dealership is going to offer cars at much lower prices. This makes it more affordable. With a smaller loan, you’ll be able to get more buying power so you can get something that falls within your budget.
You may even be able to find a dealership that works with people with low credit. This can support you in your unique position. If you can’t get as much with your credit, buy used.
Make a Down Payment
If you have low credit, you need to take other approaches to get your car. One such strategy is making a down payment.
Down payments give you a greater chance of being accepted for a loan. More importantly, they can help you lower your rates, reduce the interest you pay, and make your car more affordable.
It may take more time to save up for a down payment. But once you have it, it will be a major asset towards getting your next car.
Consider a Cosigner
If you have poor credit, consider reaching out to someone who has better credit. This often is a family member or very close friend.
Enlisting the help of a cosigner can help you access loans you won’t be able to alone. It boosts your approval odds, improves your rates, and helps you get more buying power.
However, it’s vital that you make all payments on time. Failing to do so can land your cosigner in hot water. The last thing they’ll want to be is on the hook for a failure to make your car payments.
How to Improve Your Approval Odds Before Applying for a Loan
There are some ways you can put your mind at ease when it’s time to finance a car. Let’s take a look at a few helpful tips to improve your approval odds.
Try to Get Pre-Approved
Getting pre-approved can help you understand what you qualify for before you begin shopping. This way, there’s far less guesswork involved and you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to price.
See if you can get pre-approved before you begin your car search. This can save you the pain of looking at cars that you won’t be able to afford because you can’t get the right loan.
Make Last-Minute Credit Score Improvements
It’s never too late to begin working on your credit. Depending on how long you have to adjust, here are some last-minute credit score improvements to try.
- Get up to speed on payments. Delinquency can tank your score and make it harder to get approved for future lines of credit.
- See if you can reduce your overall credit utilization. For those who are at 600, try to keep your credit utilization below 10%.
- Consider reporting your utilities and rent to the bureaus with a third party, this can improve your credit score overnight.
- Challenge any mistakes on your credit report. Sometimes, things sneak in there that are wrong. Check credit scores and reports regularly. Don’t let these go undisputed if they’re present!
While most things you can do won’t increase your credit score overnight, you can see some progress soon with perseverance.
Can I get a car loan with a credit score of 600?
It’s certainly possible! Start your journey with the tips above and work towards better credit to make buying future cars easier.
Can I Get Approved for a Car With a 600 Credit Score?
You can get approved for a car with a 600 credit score. It can be a bit challenging, but there are strategies out there that will make it possible. If you can’t wait until your credit is better, use the tips we’ve offered in this guide.
How Much Should I Put Down on a Car With a 600 Credit Score?
Bad credit is a common issue for people shopping for a new car. This is why a down payment is commonly recommended.
But how much do you put down? A good rule of thumb is to put at least 20% down. If you have to, you can go as low as 10%. However, the more you pay, the easier it will be to afford your new car.
What Credit Score Is Needed to Buy a Car Without a Cosigner?
A credit score of 660 is a safe bet to buy a car without a cosigner. However, the higher your credit score, the easier it is to secure an auto loan. Try to get your credit score up before shopping for a car so you can get better interest rates.
Dylan Buckley is a freelance finance writer and editor with 7 years of professional experience. Specializing in personal finance, cryptocurrency investments, and Fintech, Dylan is deeply passionate about creating content that helps readers make informed, confident financial decisions. He studied finance in college and maintains a credit score over 780.