What Credit Score is Required to Get 0% on a New Car Loan?

Woman talking to a car salesman while looking at a new car.
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A 0 percent new car loan is often a better choice than paying in cash. Not only do you avoid paying interest, but since you don't give a lender a lump sum, you'll increase your monthly spending or investing power. However, as the CarsDirect website notes, one of the biggest disadvantages to the 0 percent loan is that most buyers don't qualify.


Credit Score Requirements

Although each manufacturer sets its own credit requirements, which they typically do not publish, the fine print in 0 percent offers most often states they apply to "highly qualified buyers with excellent credit." The Toyota Motor Company describes excellent credit as a "long, established, positive credit history." According to CarsDirect.com, that translates to a credit rating of 700 to 720 points. Unfortunately, the credit-reporting agency Experian reports that as of 2014, the average credit in the U.S. is 666 points, meaning that only about the top 10 percent of all potential buyers will qualify.

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