We've all been there--getting a car loan so that you can get around can be a burdensome, long process that requires a lot of qualifications, applications, and discussions. However, car loans can be absolutely necessary to have access to reliable transportation.

The Top Line

  • Bad credit can drastically decrease your chances of being approved for a car loan.
  • There are ways that you can improve your credit quickly if you want to get a traditional car loan.
  • If you are unable to get a regular car loan, there are other avenues and options that you can take to get financing for your vehicle.
  • We'll walk you through some of your options if you have been turned down for a car loan or have bad credit that is preventing you from applying for a car loan.

Ways to Get a Car Loan

Nobody wants to be without a vehicle. Here are some simple, actionable tips that you can use to get a car loan, even if you are staring down the barrel of a bad credit score or poor credit history.

Improve Your Credit

The first and most obvious step that you might take is to take action to improve your credit. This sounds simple, but it can take quite some time to increase your credit. Because of this, it is not usually a viable option for people that are in a hurry. Still, it's not bad to be able to raise your credit score for the future. You can pay off any debts that are overdue, dispute inaccuracies, and not close old accounts in an effort to quickly raise your credit score.

Work with a Willing Partner

Another option that you have is to accept your credit score for what it is and work with a willing partner. There are many car lending providers out there that advertise to those in difficult situations and with poor credit. You can try to find a dealership that will work with your credit situation, though you should be aware that it often comes with a higher interest rate since you are seen as a higher risk borrower.

Increase Your Down Payment

If you want to make yourself more attractive as a borrower, then one of the options that you have is to increase your down payment. Those with good credit can make low down payments or no down payment at all, but those with lower credit are seen as higher-risk. You could spruce up your application by making it known that you are willing to pay a higher down payment, showing that you do, in fact, have the cash to afford the loan.

Collateral and Co-Signers

Another way that you can make your application more likely to be approved is by providing the lender some assurances that you won't be skipping out on the loan, and if you do, they will be able to recoup their losses. One way to do this is to offer collateral. This could be another vehicle, stocks, and other assets. This means that if you do not pay your loan, the lender could seize your assets to pay back the balance. Alternatively, you could get a co-signer to sign the loan so that the lender would also hold them responsible for the balance.