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10 Easiest Credit Cards to Get Approved For (2020)

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You’re approved!

Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Qualifying for a credit card is one of life’s little victories. To help you achieve that triumphant feeling, we’ve identified the 10 easiest credit cards to get approved for.

These cards offer you your best shot at approval, whether your credit is fair, bad, or non-existent. If you’d like to establish or build your credit, one of these cards may be the perfect answer to your credit needs.

No/Limited Credit | Bad Credit | Fair Credit | Students | Business | Balance Transfers
Secured | Unsecured | Prepaid | Store
FAQs

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is our top choice for an easy-to-get card when you have no credit history. To qualify, you must provide a refundable security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, which will serve as collateral for a $200 credit limit.

You can make a larger initial deposit, up to $1,000, if you want a higher credit limit. You must have a bank account from which you can fund your deposit.

  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app

N/A

N/A

26.99% (Variable)

$0

Limited, Bad

To be approved, your application must be verified by Capital One and you must reside in the United States or a U.S. military location (excluding correctional institutions). Your monthly income must exceed your mortgage or rent payment by at least $425. In addition, you must be age 18 or older and possess a valid Social Security number.

You won’t be approved if you have an unresolved bankruptcy, already have two or more Capital One credit cards, or have a Capital One card that is past due, over its limit, or has been charged-off within the past year.

The Fingerhut Credit Account accepts applicants with poor or scant credit. There is no stated minimum credit score. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old with a U.S. mailing address, a Social Security number, and enough assets/income to make monthly payments.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card

N/A

N/A

See Issuers Website

$0

Poor Credit

Approval will be withheld if you are a member of a consumer credit counseling service, are in active bankruptcy, have serious derogatory items on your credit report, or have past-due Fingerhut Fresh Start payments.

If you can’t qualify for a Fingerhut Credit Account, you may still be eligible for a Fingerhut® Fresh Start Installment Loan. This loan requires you to deposit at least $30 before making your first purchase, which must exceed $50. You then must repay the loan within six to eight months to be upgraded to the Fingerhut Credit Account.

The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® is designed to help you rebuild your credit by reporting your payments to the major credit bureaus. You can pre-qualify by filling out a short form that includes your Social Security number and total monthly income.

However, pre-qualification doesn’t guarantee ultimate approval, which requires you to complete a full application.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Qualified applicants will receive a card with a competitive APR and no annual fee along with 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, terms apply
  • View updates to your Experian credit score with free online access, terms apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Access your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts

N/A

N/A

19.49% to 25.49% Variable

$0 – $99

Fair

To receive approval, you must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old. You must authorize Credit One to obtain the information it needs to verify the accuracy of your application.

You won’t be approved if you have an unpaid Credit One account or live at a military base. An annual fee may be required.

To qualify for the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, you must be a college student, at least 18 years old, and enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★

4.9

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.

0% for 6 months

10.99% for 6 months

19.49% Variable

$0

Fair/New to Credit

To receive approval, you must authorize Discover to contact you via phone or text. The card charges no annual fee.

Discover will perform a hard pull of one or more of your credit reports from the national credit bureaus and use them and other sources to verify the information on your credit application. That means you must authorize Discover to contact your bank and employer (if any).

You can use the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business to build and strengthen your business credit. To be eligible, you must reside in the United States or a U.S. military location (excluding correctional institutions).

Furthermore, you must be at least 18 years old and have either a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★

4.5

  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Build and strengthen credit for your business by using this credit card responsibly
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount

N/A

N/A

24.49% (Variable)

$0

Average, Fair, Limited

Capital One will reject your application if you’ve been approved for a Capital One card within the past six months, have five or more Capital One cards, any of your Capital One cards is over its limit or past due, you had a Capital One credit card charged off in the past year, or are currently in bankruptcy, among other contingencies.

The Discover it® Secured card requires you to deposit cash collateral with Discover Bank in an amount equal to your credit line. The minimum security deposit is $200 and it must be exclusively allocated to secure the credit card.

You must be a U.S. resident, 18 or older. To qualify, you must authorize Discover to perform a hard pull of your credit reports and to contact your employer, bank, and other information sources. Also, you must allow Discover to contact you via text or phone. The card charges no annual fee, but it does assess a balance transfer fee.

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.5

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It’s a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can’t help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score

N/A

10.99% for 6 months

24.49% Variable

$0

New/Rebuilding

The security deposit account is FDIC insured. You can’t add or withdraw funds from the account, and you cannot be involved in any bankruptcy proceedings or lawsuits that may impact your security deposit account.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® card bends over backward to make approval easy. For starters, it does not subject applicants to credit checks, which means that your credit score will not be negatively impacted.

Your security deposit, which can range from $200 to $3,000, is equal to your credit limit. The card reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus to help you build credit.

SECURED RATING

★★★★

4.0

  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.

N/A

N/A

19.14% (variable)

$35

No credit check

Qualified applicants will be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, at least 18, with a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number. You must have sufficient monthly income to cover all expenses, including card payments.

You’re not eligible if you’ve applied four or more times in the last 60 days for a Capital Bank credit card. Also, you can’t have more than one Capital Bank credit card.

The Milestone® Mastercard® from the Bank of Missouri is geared to consumers with “less than perfect” credit. It does not require a security deposit and promises to give you an instant approval decision.

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★

4.3

  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

  • *Dependent on credit worthiness

N/A

N/A

24.9%

$35 – $99

Bad, Poor Credit

The card’s credit limit is $300 minus the annual fee it charges. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old with a physical U.S. address (excluding West Virginia), a valid U.S. IP address, and a Social Security number.

In addition, you must meet the issuer’s credit and income criteria as detailed in your credit reports and other sources. You are not eligible if you already have a Milestone® Mastercard®, have been delinquent with any account in the last 30 days, have applied for the card within the last 60 days, or have ever had the card charged off.

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card is a cinch to obtain because you don’t need a bank account, don’t have to submit to a credit check, and don’t have to maintain a minimum balance. It costs $9.95 to buy the card at a retail location, but there’s no fee at other purchase sources.

Your deposited funds are maintained in an FDIC-insured account at MetaBank®.

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★

4.7

  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click “Get My Card ” for full details.
  • See additional NetSpend® Prepaid Visa® details.

N/A

N/A

N/A

Up-to $9.95 monthly

Not applicable

As a prepaid account, you need not worry about overdraft fees, as you can only spend the amount on deposit. To qualify, you must be 18 or older, be able to prove your identity, and can lawfully enter into contracts in your state of residence. You can’t obtain the card if you reside in Vermont.

The Fingerhut Credit Account allows you to charge purchases from this online merchant and its partners. No minimum credit score is required, but you must reside in the United States and be at least 18 years old.

You must have a Social Security number and sufficient income to make monthly payments. You’re not eligible if you are in bankruptcy, are past due on a Fingerhut loan account, or are in credit counseling.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card

N/A

N/A

See Issuers Website

$0

Poor Credit

You may be eligible for a Fingerhut Fresh Start Installment Loan if you don’t qualify for the credit account. To get the loan, you must deposit at least $30 and make an initial purchase of at least $50. If you repay the loan on time (within six to eight months) you’ll be switched to the Fingerhut Credit Account.

Without a doubt, secured credit cards are the easiest to obtain. By depositing cash collateral, you reduce the issuer’s credit risk.

This facilitates easy approval and relatively low APRs. We’ve recommended three secured cards in this article.

Unsecured vs Secured Credit CardsOur top choice is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® card, which doesn’t require a credit check to obtain. You can get the card with a refundable deposit as small as $200 or as large as $3,000. Your credit limit equals the amount you deposit.

This card is great for building credit because it reports your payments to all three national credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. In fact, 99% of cardmembers who initially had no credit score built one within six months.

Also, you must live in the U.S., have a Social Security number, and be at least 18 years of age. Previous interactions with Capital Bank may disqualify you from getting this card.

We also recommend the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® if you have no credit history. Your initial card limit will be $200, requiring a deposit of $49, $99, or $200. You can subsequently increase your deposit, and credit line, to $1,000.

To qualify for this card, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18+, with sufficient monthly income and a valid Social Security number. You may be disqualified due to previous experiences with the issuer.

Finally, we recommend the Discover it® Secured card if you are looking to consolidate your credit card debt via balance transfers. You can get the card with a security deposit as small as $200.

You must be 18 or older, reside in the United States, and not be in active bankruptcy proceedings.

A leading issuer of easy-to-obtain unsecured credit cards is The Bank of Missouri. It offers a trio of credit cards with similar characteristics, all designed for consumers with bad or no credit.

Should You Get an Unsecured or Secured Card?In this review, we recommend the Milestone® Mastercard® as an unsecured card that’s easy to get. It accommodates bad credit consumers by limiting the initial credit limit to $300 and charging an annual fee that further reduces your credit limit.

To qualify, you must be 18 or older, live in any of 49 states (not West Virginia) or Washington, D.C., and have valid physical and email addresses. Previous interactions with the issuer may disqualify you from receiving approval.

We also like two other cards from the Bank of Missouri that are not included in this review. They are the Total Visa® Card and the First Access Visa® Card.

Their approval requirements closely mirror those for the Milestone® Mastercard®. Both provide an initial credit limit of $300 and charge an annual and a one-time setup fee. Plus, after the first year, they charge a monthly servicing fee.

We would be remiss if we didn’t give props to the Fingerhut Credit Account, which we judged easiest to obtain among store cards and cards for consumers with bad credit. There is no minimum required credit score, and you’re likely to be approved unless you have credit history containing serious derogatory items.

But, even if you’re turned down for this account, you can still qualify for the Fingerhut Fresh Start Installment Loan. If you pay off the loan on time, you’ll be upgraded to the credit account.

There is no set minimum score to obtain a credit card. Instead, cards are categorized by credit rating, i.e., excellent, good, fair, bad, and no/limited credit.

FICO Score® Ranges

FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850, with scores below 580 considered to be bad. But you can get a type of credit card that ignores credit scores. Typically, these include secured, student, and prepaid cards.

Our top secured card for consumers with no credit is the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. It’s easy to acquire because it’s secured by your cash deposit of $49 to $1,000. The minimum credit line is $200.

Requirements for this card are typical in terms of age and residency. Your monthly income must be at least $425 more than your monthly rent or mortgage payment. The biggest obstacle is that you cannot already have two or more Capital One cards.

Two other secured cards are similarly easy for bad- or no-credit consumers to obtain. The Discover it® Secured card is a good choice for folks with credit scores below 660 who are not currently in bankruptcy proceedings. It requires a security deposit of at least $200.

But the winner in terms of availability among secured cards is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® that explicitly does not perform credit checks. The security deposit can range from $200 to $3,000. The only real hurdles involve your previous experience with the card issuer.

Students can get the Discover it® Student Cash Back card without any credit score or history. You just have to demonstrate that you are at least 18 years old and enrolled in a two- or four-year school.

Though not included in this review, the Discover it® Student chrome is equally easy to obtain. It differs only in the cash back it offers, but both of Discover’s student cards offer a Cashback Match that doubles your cash back for the first year after account opening.

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card doesn’t require a credit check because it’s not a credit card. You simply load cash into the prepaid account and forget about overdraft fees or bank accounts. You must be 18+ years old and have proof of identity.

Our rankings of the easiest credit cards to get approved for evaluated the approval criteria of more than 130 credit cards to determine the top 10. We looked at the ease of approval in each respective category and payment reporting to the credit bureaus to help applicants improve their credit scores with responsible card use.

CardRates’ reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.



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Bad Credit

AROUND OREGON: A financial lifeline during Covid

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The economic downturn caused by the pandemic has hit Indian Country particularly hard. Entrepreneurs are turning to small, local lending institutions in a region that’s often outside the reach of traditional banks.

Clients of Roxanne Best take part in one of her paddleboard yoga classes on the Okanogan River. (Courtesy/ Underscore)

Roxanne Best was preparing to relaunch her photography business when Covid made its way to the U.S. A serial entrepreneur and member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Best teaches paddleboard yoga classes and artist-in-business workshops. She also taught “Indianpreneur” classes, the term used by an Oregon nonprofit for its business workshops. To put the photo enterprise back on its feet, she purchased marketing materials and scheduled events to showcase her product to clients.

“Then the pandemic hit and all the gigs I was scheduled for were canceled,” Best said in a telephone interview from her home 40 miles south of the Canadian border. “The income I was expecting was gone.”

Best went from helping other entrepreneurs get started to needing assistance herself. So she turned to the Northwest Native Development Fund, a community development financial institution based in Coulee Dam in north-central Washington state. Known as a CDFI, the fund is a private financial institution that delivers affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. CDFIs mostly focus on specific communities or regions and provide funding and other services to encourage economic development and economic security.

The funds are nothing new — the Northwest Native Development Fund has been around for more than a decade. But the funds have been a lifeline to entrepreneurs who don’t have access to connections with traditional lines of credit during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Indian Country, and businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation, have taken a hard hit during the pandemic, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Center for Indian Country Development.

Many reservation residents in the Pacific Northwest “don’t have an ATM on their land, let alone a full-service bank,” said Amber Shulz-Oliver, a Yakama-Wasco descendant who is the executive director at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians – Economic Development Corporation. “Many don’t have collateral like a house or a rich uncle to borrow $10,000. CDFIs can be an institution that is trusted to get that kind of capital to build businesses.”

The battle to end predatory lending

Ted Piccolo, executive director and creator of the Northwest Native Development Fund based on the Colville Indian Reservation, is considered the region’s CDFI guru.

NNDF, which Piccolo founded 13 years ago, has lending capital of about $5 million. He would like to double that war chest by the end of the year.

“If we had to, if people came to the door, we could deploy close to $8 million tomorrow with the money on hand,” he said, noting that total would include loans already out.

The fund opened its doors in 2009 with classes, workshops, and small business planning.

“I was looking for ways to get some of our Native-owned businesses financing who couldn’t get traditional financing,” said Piccolo, a member of the Colville Tribe. “They were stuck in the water, on the sidelines.”

NNDF became a quasi-business consultant, educating business owners about the financing process and the need for good credit. Toward that credit goal, NNDF initiated an “anti-payday loan” program.

“One of the reasons for bad credit was people getting into all this high-risk stuff, super expensive predatory sinkholes that they couldn’t get out of,” Piccolo said.

People were trapped in a system that operated to keep borrowers in debt. Piccolo said predatory lending practices that include the principle, interest, and fees, can reach 200 or 300 percent, and create an exponential and unending debt.

Instead, NNDF offers a loan product that allows an individual to pay off a hypothetical $1,500 loan over 12 months with an interest rate of 15%, building new credit as he or she pays off the loan.

Borrowers are incentivized to pay off their advances with the promise of better interest — as low as 10 percent — on ensuing loans.

As envisioned, borrowers will pay off their NNDF loans and build enough beginning credit to obtain further credit through more traditional banks or credit unions. On top of providing loans, the fund offers counseling to help clients build business and marketing plans. Staffers hold family budget workshops, and in 2019 the fund financed the construction of a house to address a shortage of homes in the region.

Economic development means a robust private sector

CDFIs serving Native American communities give an economic boost for the entire region, Shulz-Oliver said.

“One of the big tools of economic development is a robust private sector, but small businesses need capital,” she said.

Piccolo said the biggest challenge for CDFIs in Indian Country is “human capacity” to operate the financial institutions.

“Out here on the reservation there just are not a lot of loan officers, accountants or controllers,” Piccolo said. “We need to train them and pay them, and still operate at the same time. We’re all learning on the fly, learning how to train while raising money to train and lend.”

And while CDFIs aren’t new — there are at least 1,000 of them, 70 of which serve Native communities, across the country — they’re growing. A 15-member Northwest Native Lending Network of developing or operating CDFIs was organized in 2019 at the Economic Summit for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians – Economic Development Corporation. The Northwest’s newest CDFI is the Nixyaawii Community Financial Services serving the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in northeastern Oregon.

In the Northwest region, many Native CDFIs’ business portfolios consist primarily of natural resource-based ventures, with loans for logging equipment and fishing boats. However, CDFIs work with all kinds of clients, including a software company trying to get off the ground with help from ATNI’s Economic Development Corporation. The goal of these institutions is to help clients reach financial stability so they no longer need the CDFIs’ services.

“We’re trying to put ourselves out of business, to make individuals credit worthy enough” to access more traditional funding sources, Shulz-Oliver said.

Loan provided needed boost

Best provides training and teaches her yoga classes, but her bread-and-butter is portrait photography, especially photos for high school seniors.

More than a year after the pandemic hit the U.S., Best is still in business, eying senior portraits and the paddleboard yoga season. Best said the NNDF loan provided cash flow that carried her through the initial shock of the economic slump.

“That $5,000 is all it took to get out of the stressed-out mindset,” she said. “Now the bills are paid. You’ve got a good month or two to figure out how to make things work. That one little loan transformed the direction I was able to grow with my businesses.”

This story published with permission as part of the AP Storyshare system. Salem Reporter is a contributor to this network of Oregon news outlets.

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Why Are Certified Pre-Owned Cars More Expensive?

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The used car vs. certified pre-owned (CPO) argument can typically be summed up with the phrase “you get what you pay for.” Both are technically used vehicles, but CPO cars have a few advantages that may be worth their price tag.

Why CPOs Cost More Than Regular Used Cars

A CPO vehicle is commonly called the cream of the crop of used cars, and its price tag often reflects this. CPO vehicles tend to be more expensive than standard used ones.

But, why?

One of the biggest reasons why CPO cars are more expensive than their used counterparts is that CPOs are inspected by a manufacturer-certified mechanic. This means that every CPO vehicle must meet certain standards before it’s labeled as such. A true CPO is sold at a franchised dealership. Mom-and-pop dealers don’t have these vehicle options (and “dealer-certified” is not the same thing as a manufacturer-certified car).

Another reason for the higher price tag is that many CPO vehicles have just come off-lease. When a lessee returns a lease, the manufacturer’s likely to inspect to see if it qualifies for their CPO program. Since most auto lease terms are around two to three years, many off-lease cars make the cut when they’re returned clean and meet the low-mileage requirements. CPO cars are also refurbished, unlike regular used vehicles.

Each auto manufacturer has its own set of standards for their CPO cars, but the guidelines are usually in this ballpark:

  • Vehicles typically must have less than 80,000 miles
  • Some luxury brands require less than 50,000 miles
  • Typically must be less than ten years old, sometimes newer
  • Only one previous owner

Regular used cars don’t go through these rigorous manufacturer inspections before they’re sold. A used vehicle may be inspected in-house at the dealership before it’s sold, but likely not through the manufacturer like a CPO.

CPOs Are Covered

All CPO vehicles come with some sort of warranty, which adds to the overall cost, but offers peace of mind. Being on the newer side, many CPO cars may still be covered under their original manufacturer’s warranty and often include an extended warranty once that expires.

Some perks manufacturers may include in their CPO warranties include:

  • Why Are Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles More Expensive?12-months of 24-hour roadside assistance
  • A 12-month warranty after the manufacturer’s warranty expires
  • A vehicle history report
  • Powertrain coverage
  • Car rental coverage
  • Trip interruption benefits

Of course, manufacturers vary in what their warranties include when you purchase a CPO vehicle. Be sure to read through the exclusions of the warranty so you know what the terms are, how long you’re covered, and if there are any limitations.

Can Bad Credit Borrowers Finance a CPO?

Generally, bad credit borrowers are told to finance a used vehicle over a brand new one because used cars come with a lower sticker price, usually. However, while CPO vehicles tend to be a little more expensive than regular used vehicles, a CPO’s selling price is still likely less than a new car due to initial depreciation. Depreciation is loss of value over time due to mileage, age, and normal wear and tear.

Brand new vehicles lose a lot of value in the first two or three years of ownership, possibly up to 20% in that time, and it’s usually the steepest drop in value over the life of the vehicle. However, after those first couple of years, depreciation tends to slow down. If you opt for a CPO car, it’s usually much less expensive than its brand new equivalent, and very likely has already seen its steepest drop in value.

A CPO car is likely a more attainable option for bad credit borrowers than a brand new one. And if a borrower with credit challenges works with a special finance dealership that’s signed up with subprime lenders, CPO vehicles can be an option if they meet lender requirements.

Ready to Stop Looking and Start Shopping?

Sometimes the toughest part of car shopping is figuring out which dealership you can work with. There are so many dealers out there, and it can be tough for bad credit borrowers to tell which ones are signed up with subprime lenders that can assist with credit challenges.

At Auto Credit Express, we’ve crafted a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are able and willing to help bad credit borrowers get the vehicle they need. Skip the search for a dealer with bad credit resources and let us do the legwork for you.

Starting is simple: complete our free auto loan request form and we’ll look for a dealership in your local area with no obligation.

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My husband signed for a car for a friend — against my wishes. Now we get notices for unpaid tolls and parking tickets. What if there’s an accident?

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My husband signed a car lease for a friend. He told me he was co-signing because his friend had bad credit even though I objected to that and asked why his friend can’t just buy a used car. Then at the last second, my husband told me that his friend’s credit “was so bad he had to take out the whole loan” in my husband’s name only.

Aside from the fact this story doesn’t add up, he is now getting second notices for unpaid tolls and parking tickets, and just sends them to his friend and trusts him to pay. He ensures the lease payments are made every month, and tells me that tolls will send collections notices before reporting to credit-collection agencies.

He also claims that his friend has insurance, but that doesn’t add up. The state we are in requires the owner to have insurance. He tells me that none of this is my business, and I have no right to be upset. Yet every time another “past due” envelope arrives I panic at the thought of the savings I worked so hard to put away might be gone in one accident, and that the home I wanted to buy with our excellent credit won’t be possible anymore.

Can you help me explain to him why this was a very bad idea, and why it’s not “none of my business,” as he says? What options do I have to get us out of this mess before we lose everything?

Panicking Wife

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Dear Panicking,

Yes, your husband is responsible for the vehicle insurance, especially if someone else is driving this car on a regular basis. If the documents say the borrower should be the primary driver, your husband’s arrangement with this friend is a “straw deal” and is likely also illegal.

But your problems go way beyond this car. Your husband’s willingness to take out a lease on behalf of a friend, and endure these collection notices, raises many red flags. What does your husband owe this person? Why would he go above and beyond any reasonable expectation of a friendship to risk his finances and credit rating in this way? The fact that he did this against your express wishes and good sense adds insult to injury. Something is wrong with the bigger picture.

As for your husband’s legal liability. According to Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, a law firm based in Fort Lee, N.J., “As strange as it may sound, you can be held liable for a car accident that involves your vehicle — even if you weren’t present at the time. In most motor vehicle accidents, the negligent driver is the one held liable for any injuries or harm caused. However, in certain situations, the law can attribute fault to the owner of the car instead.”

The firm cites the legal principles of negligent entrustment and negligent maintenance. The first involves “entrusting your vehicle to someone who was unfit to drive.” Negligent maintenance “is the failure to properly maintain your vehicle, presenting a safety risk for anyone driving the car. This term ‘negligent maintenance’ is used because you have a duty to other drivers to keep your car in safe, working condition as to minimize the risk of an accident.”

Given that your husband owns the car and it is being driven by someone who is not paying its bills, and creating more costs through careless driving and bad parking, your husband is already fully aware that this is a bad situation. You are left without a “why” or action by your husband to address this. Take a closer look — with the help of an attorney — at your joint/separate finances, and explore ways to protect your savings. You also need to take action to restore your peace of mind.

Otherwise, you will be driving around in proverbial circles without knowing your legal and financial options. Whatever that potential action entails should be decided between you and your attorney in the first instance. I am willing to guess that this is not the first time your husband has made a decision in your marriage that has left you baffled. A lawyer should explain to you why it’s a bad idea to endure these kinds of unilateral decisions, and what you can do about them.

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