Qualifying for a car loan in itself isn't as hard as one might fear. Car dealerships often work with individuals with good, bad or no credit at all to help them drive away in the automobile of their choice. After all, their goal is to sell as many cars as possible each month. However, qualifying for a car loan with a good interest rate is rewarded to those who can show past responsibility with their personal finances.
How to qualify for a car loan
Find a co-signer, or better yet, establish good credit. People with no credit can often qualify for a car loan, but they'll need someone to agree to co-sign for the vehicle first. Establishing a credit history of your own is imperative to receiving a good interest rate on a car loan without the assistance of a co-signer.
Pay your bills on time. It's a good rule of thumb to wait at least six months for your credit report to reflect a regular payment history for the lines of credit you've obtained. During the six months prior to applying for a car loan, any missed or late payments will reflect negatively on your report and influence your credit score. In 2009, a credit score of 620 or below is considered risky by many loan agencies, while any score above 680 is considered good. However, this scale changes periodically, and current score ranges are kept updated on www.myfico.com, the official Web site for the FICO credit scoring system. Naturally, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be approved at.
Shop for deals. Many car manufacturers will advertise special rebates or offers. The lower the price of the car, and therefore the lower the loan amount, the higher the chances a person will be approved for it. Other tips that might help in this aspect are to apply any cash-back amounts toward your down payment or trade-in value. Negotiate the price of the vehicle you're hoping to purchase before agreeing to sit down and fill out an application.
Make a down payment. Having money for a down payment of 5 to 10 percent of the asking price of the vehicle for which you're applying shows lenders that you are serious about investing and are financially responsible. Trading in a car adds value to your down payment as well.