What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Car?


If you’re interested in buying a car, you may need to get an auto loan to help you pay for it. Before you start visiting car dealers or pick out a vehicle, it’s a good idea to know where things stand with your credit so there are no surprises. When looking at your credit picture, you may wonder “What credit score do I need to buy a car?”

Is There a Minimum Score to Get a Car Loan?

Lenders make their own policies on what factors to consider when reviewing a car loan application. There are no universal rules, and the minimum score needed to be approved for an auto loan can vary from one lender to another. 

There are different scores a lender may consider, including your general FICO score and your Vantage Score. There are also industry-specific scores, so for an auto loan, a potential lender may look at an auto-specific score. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of being approved at the best interest rate and terms. If your credit score is 660 or higher, there’s a good chance you’ll be approved at a good rate. 

Other Factors That May Be Considered

While your credit score is a big factor, there are other factors that need to be looked at. Potential lenders are likely to review your credit report to see how you’ve handled borrowed money in the past as well as the total amount you owe. They’ll look at your income and compare it to your debt payments, which is called the debt-to-income ratio. They’ll consider how much you’re able to put into a down payment.

Can You Get a Car Loan with Bad Credit?

If you’ve had some credit problems in the past, you may still have a chance of getting a car loan. A lower credit score makes you a riskier applicant, so if you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate, you may be able to get a car loan. If you’re able to save money for a down payment, putting money down upfront can lower the amount you need to borrow along with the amount you’d need to pay back each month. If your credit score is very low, such as below 500, you may have difficulty being approved. You may still get a loan if you’re able to get a co-signer.

Making Sure Your Credit is Reporting Correctly

Before shopping for a car and car financing, check your credit report to make sure everything is reporting correctly. As many as 2 out of every 3 people have errors on their credit reports. Wrong balances, wrong payment history or accounts reporting twice can bring down your credit score.

If you find any errors, dispute them right away. When you partner with Dovly, we can take care of communicating with credit bureaus for you to make sure they’re reporting only accurate information. Dovly is an automated credit repair engine that can help you track, manage and fix your credit. Contact us today.

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