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6 Best Credit Cards for Gamers (2019)



Video games have come a long way. Once considered a recreation for kids, video games are now a billion-dollar industry that drives much of the world’s entertainment economy. And our list of the best credit cards for gamers shows the financial industry wants to tap into that market, too.

Entertainment is a big part of what these cards reward. Whether it’s cash back for your purchases or bonus points for category spending, these cards show that Mario isn’t the only person in the video game world who can collect and save coins.

Rewards | Savings | Students | Retail | PlayStation | Bad Credit | FAQs

The Discover it® Cash Back card offers bonus categories each quarter that pays a whopping 5% cash back — and nearly every quarter includes a category where you can buy games. Not only will that 5% cash back come in handy, but you’ll get a second reward at the end of your first year when Discover matches all the cash back you earned during the year.




  • 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 at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

0% for 14 months

0% for 14 months

13.49% – 24.49% Variable



This card has the capability of providing massive savings beyond those you get with your regular video game purchases. With 5% categories that include gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurant purchases, you can earn bonus cash back for just about all your spending, up to the quarterly maximum.

Bonus categories must be activated each quarter, and all other purchases earn 1% cash back.

The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on entertainment purchases. The fine print lists video rental stores as a cash back option.

We all know there aren’t many of those around anymore, but you’ll find that video game specialty stores — such as GameStop or retro game stores — fall under the bonus category.




  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% – 25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% – 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee

0% for 15 months

0% for 15 months

15.74% – 25.74% (Variable)


Excellent, Good

Capital One will also reward you if you’re a regular spender. As a new cardholder, you’ll qualify for a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months with the card.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card makes those late-night gaming sessions less expensive — thanks to the card’s 5% bonus cash back categories that include Plus, you’ll earn a $20 statement credit for each school year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.




  • 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 at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time 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


Fair/New to Credit

This card also qualifies for the Discover Cashback Match program, in which Discover will match all the cash back you earn during your first year with the card. There’s no limit as to how much you can earn, and you’ll receive the cash back in one lump sum shortly after your card anniversary.

Bonus categories must be activated each quarter, and all other purchases earn 1% cash back.

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can expect the same savings you’re used to — with the added perk of cash back for your purchases.

4. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers 5% cash back at and Whole Foods Markets as well as 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • 5% cash back at and Whole Foods Markets
  • Receive a $60 gift card upon approval
  • Variable APR, depending on creditworthiness
  • No annual card fee, but an annual Prime membership fee applies

You’ll instantly receive a $60 Amazon gift card when approved for the card, which essentially pays for a game of your choice. The card offers these perks with no annual fee or other hidden charges.

The card touts itself as a perfect fit for techies and gamers.

5. PlayStation® Visa® Credit Card

New PlayStation® Visa® Credit Card members receive a $50 statement credit when they use their card on within 60 days of opening their account. Cardholders also receive 5X points on all PlayStation Store purchases and on all other PlayStation and Sony products.

PlayStation® Visa® Credit Card

  • 5X points on all PlayStation Store and PlayStation and Sony products
  • Receive a 50% statement credit on a 12-month PlayStation Plus membership
  • No annual fee

You can redeem the points you earn for VIP experiences, games, accessories, and other electronic gear from Sony.

If you have less-than-perfect credit, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® can give you the spending power of a credit card that allows you to buy games and other items online to improve your gaming experience.




  • 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



26.99% (Variable)


Limited, Bad

To qualify, you’ll need to submit a refundable security deposit of either $49, $99, or $200 (based on your credit history) to secure your $200 credit line. You won’t pay an annual fee for the card and Capital One will refund your security deposit when you close your card account, as long as your balance is paid.

If you’re a regular gamer, you’ve likely visited a GameStop or Best Buy. Maybe you’re a regular at one of these locations and buy all your games, consoles, and accessories from the retailer.

You may be inclined to think those regular purchases make the store’s credit card a no-brainer for your wallet. But think again.

GameStop Credit CardAlthough it’s one of the most popular destinations for new and used games and consoles, GameStop shouldn’t be on your credit card must-have list. The GameStop PowerUp Rewards Credit Card is a closed-loop card, meaning you can only use it at GameStop locations.

It has a high APR, as most retail cards do, and you’ll only earn $5 in rewards for every $250 you spend. This is equivalent to a 2% cash back card, but considering you can only earn and redeem rewards at GameStop, you’re much better served using a cash back card that allows you to earn rewards everywhere you shop.

My Best Buy Credit CardThe My Best Buy Credit Card, on the other hand, offers solid rewards. With 5% cash back (6% for certain loyalty members), this card can be a good choice — but only if you pay your bill in full and on time every month.

That’s because the high APR — over 29% for some cardholders, based on creditworthiness — is substantially greater than those of most other cards. If you tend to carry a balance from month to month, you can quickly find your gaming purchases costing far more than you expected. This card is only recommended for gamers who never carry a credit card balance.

One way to level-up your gaming experience is to maximize your cash back options. This will help reduce the overall cost of your games, consoles, and accessories, and increase your ability to purchase the newest games as soon as they’re released.

Discover it® Cash Back CardThe Discover it® Cash Back card allows you to do all of that. You’ll receive two-fold rewards with this card. If you leverage the bonus spending category, you can earn as much as 5% cash back on your purchases — not just video games.

At the end of your first year with the card, the Discover Cashback Match program will match the total amount of cash back you earn during your first year with the card. That means you can earn up to 10% cash back on your purchases over time.

Just remember the card’s 5% categories must be activated each quarter, and there is a quarterly maximum on rewards earned. All other purchases earn 1% back.

So, while this card may not promote itself specifically to gamers, there aren’t many cards on the market that increase your buying power as this card can.

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit CardIf you want to receive an ongoing 3% back on your gaming and entertainment purchases, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid option. Plus, you’ll receive an instant cash bonus when you meet the minimum spending requirement in your first three months with the card.

So, if you have your eye on the newest game console, you may be able to achieve the bonus in a single swipe and save significantly on your new toy. If you’re a PlayStation loyalist, the new PlayStation® Visa® Credit Card may be a great choice, especially if you’re a PlayStation Plus member.

Yes, you can — and you can earn rewards for your purchases. Not only does the card offer 5X points on purchases at the PlayStation Store as well as on PlayStation and Sony products, but you’ll also earn 3X points when you use your card to pay your mobile phone bill and 1X points on all other purchases.

PlayStation® Plus Membership

Cardholders can earn 50% off the price of a 12-month PlayStation Plus membership.

Sony obviously designed this card for avid PlayStation fans, as you can only redeem your rewards points for Sony and PlayStation products and experiences. You’ll also get 50% back as a statement credit when you use the card to pay for a 12-month PlayStation Plus membership and make at least $3,000 in total purchases within a year.

You also receive a 10% statement credit on PlayStation.Vue, PlayStation.Music, and PlayStation.Now memberships.

Every 100 points equal $1 in Sony Rewards and you can redeem your points for PlayStation games, consoles, downloadable content, subscription services, Sony electronics, movies, music, and experiences. You can use the points through the Sony Rewards portal, which offers all of these options, plus several more rotating special offers for cardholders.

And, since this is a Visa-branded credit card, you can use it at any location that accepts Visa cards — which is just about everywhere.

Credit cards offer varying rewards options that include, but aren’t limited to, cash back, points, and loyalty programs.

Cash back is just as it sounds. You get a percentage of each purchase back as either cash or a statement credit.

This essentially lowers the price of your purchase and makes your games, consoles, and accessories more affordable. Cash back works everywhere and will allow you to purchase more games and downloads — or you can save the money to purchase any other items or services you choose.

Points work in different ways. You can earn and save your points to redeem them for cash back, travel rewards, or merchandise credits and gift cards. Points have varying values, depending on how you choose to redeem them, but offer more options.

Loyalty programs work very much like the PlayStation Rewards structure on the PlayStation® Visa® Credit Card. They are tied to a specific brand, as is the case with this card and Sony.

How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

With the PlayStation® Visa®, you’ll earn a set number of points on every purchase. You can redeem these points for games, consoles, accessories, downloadable content, experiences, and more.

The type of rewards that work best for you will depend on what you want from the card. While the PlayStation card offers tremendous point potential, you’re limited to only redeeming those points with Sony. If that’s all you care about, then it can be a great choice.

To make the most of your rewards, you need to know where you earn maximum value and use the card accordingly. With any rewards card, be sure to pay the balance off each month, so the interest charges don’t negate the rewards you earn.

Video games aren’t just for kids. The pastime is just as popular with adults as is evident in the number of games, loyalty programs, and even credit cards promoted to the older demographic.

If you play your cards right and use one of the best credit cards for gamers, you can keep playing without the fear of overspending or accruing high finance charges. That’s like getting an extra life when it’s about to be game over.

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Bad Credit

How To Find A Co-Signer For A Loan – Forbes Advisor



If you need to borrow money and your financial situation isn’t the strongest, you might be able to boost your odds of approval by seeking out a co-signer. And on the flip side, if you have good credit and a strong income, it’s possible that someone might come to you and ask you to co-sign for their loan.

The truth is that co-signing on a loan can be a win-win for both parties, but it can also result in broken relationships, destroyed credit and financial hardships for the borrower and the co-signer. In order to forge a successful co-signer relationship, you need to know exactly what a co-signer is, how the arrangement works and how to dodge potential pitfalls.

What Is a Co-signer?

A co-signer is a secondary person who agrees to pay back a loan in case the primary borrower defaults (i.e., doesn’t pay it back). When you co-sign on a loan, the loan is recorded on both your credit report and on the main borrower’s credit report. As long as they make on-time payments, you’ll get the benefit of those marks too. However, if the borrower misses a payment or just stops paying on the loan entirely, you’ll be on the hook for the loan. And if you fail to pay up, the lender can actually take you to court for the money.

If you’re looking to borrow money, lenders generally require you to get a co-signer if you have bad credit or no credit, limited income or something else that makes you a lending risk. This is commonly the case for young people who are just starting to build their finances, and who may not have any credit history yet. For example, roughly 90% of all private student loans were made with a co-signer during the 2019/2020 school year according to MeasureOne, a data analytics company.

However, not all lenders accept co-signers, so if you have a limited credit history and think you’ll need help qualifying, it’s best to confirm with the lender before applying.

When a Co-signer Makes Sense

Using a co-signer on your loan can make sense in a lot of cases:

  • You have bad credit
  • You don’t have much income
  • You’re young and you don’t yet have credit in your name

Using a co-signer can help you overcome these barriers so you can get approved for a loan. You may even be able to get lower interest rates if you and your co-signer are approved.

But in order for this setup to work, you’ll need to have a few things in place:

  • Trust between the borrower and the co-signer. The borrower is asking a lot of the co-signer, and so you’ll want to make sure you trust each other.
  • The co-signer needs to have a good credit score. If the co-signer’s credit is the same as yours—or worse—they may not be approved to co-sign on the loan.
  • The co-signer needs to be able to pay the loan on their own. If the borrower defaults on the loan, a co-signer should be able to comfortably afford the payments on their own.

Co-signer vs. Co-borrower

A co-signer is someone who agrees to be a backup for the loan payments. A co-borrower, on the other hand, is someone who’s equally liable for each payment (i.e., before it’s past-due), and who typically also shares ownership rights for whatever the loan was for.

For example, a husband-and-wife team may be co-borrowers on a loan for a house and both listed on the title. This means they own the home equally, and are both responsible for making payments each month.

But if a parent co-signs on their kid’s car loan, they aren’t first in line to make the payments. The lender only contacts them for payment if their kid doesn’t pay up. They also don’t have any ownership rights in the car—even though they’re on the hook to pay for it.

How to Find a Co-signer

Just about anyone can be a co-signer. But since you both need to trust each other, it’s more common to use friends and family with whom you already have an existing and healthy relationship.

If you need a co-signer, make sure you consider who to ask carefully. This is a big ask of them. You’ll need to be open when discussing your financial situation, and they’ll need to be comfortable with disclosing their financial situation, too.

It’s entirely possible that your first choice for co-signer may not be able to comfortably take on the financial responsibilities. If that’s the case, you need to be able to let them off the hook gracefully. Even if they are financially able to co-sign for you, they may not want to take the risk, and you need to be understanding of that.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that you may not have anyone close enough to you who could be a good co-signer. In this case, it may be necessary to consider some popular alternatives to a co-signer arrangement.

Co-signer Alternatives

Not everyone is able to use a co-signer, and that’s OK. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Here are a few other options to try:

Shopping Around With Other Lenders

The world is full of all types of lenders, some of whom specialize in the types of loan applicants who traditionally need a co-signer. These “bad credit loans” can be a good (if expensive) alternative, but you’ll want to be careful here as there are a lot of shady lenders.

Here are two important things to ask of any bad credit loan lender:

  • What are the rates and fees? Avoid short-term payday loans, which typically charge APRs of 400%, compared to the average two-year personal loan at 9.34% APR.
  • Do you report to the credit bureaus? This will help you build credit, so you don’t need to rely on these types of lenders in the future.

Use Collateral

You might not have a person who can guarantee your loan, but you might have property. Collateral refers to something you own that you agree to give to the lender in case you default on the loan. If a loan has collateral, it’s called a secured loan. Common secured loans include auto loans, mortgages and even some personal loans.

If your lender allows it, you may be able to qualify by agreeing to use something valuable you own as collateral. But remember, if you put up your car as collateral, for example, and fail to pay the loan, your lender can repossess your car.

Ask Friends and Family

If your friends and family are financially stable and willing to lend you the money but prefer not to co-sign on a loan, consider asking them for the money outright. You could ask for it as a gift, or better yet, a loan that you repay back to them.

If you opt for the loan route, make sure you draft up a legal agreement of your own. This reduces the likelihood that your relationship will sour over time if your co-signer feels like they aren’t getting paid back according to schedule. You don’t want to be that family member they’re always hounding for cash.

Go to a Credit Union

Credit unions are often more willing to work with you than banks or other lenders. Of course, it’s not a free-for-all and you will need to meet their loan requirements. But if you’re having a hard time getting approved elsewhere, it might be worth stopping by a credit union in your area to see if they can help.

The downside is that credit unions have their own membership requirements which you’ll need to meet before you apply.

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Fall 2020 Brings Increased Regulatory Focus on Financial Institution Detection of Human Trafficking | Moore & Van Allen PLLC



On October 15, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury (FinCEN) released its Supplemental Advisory on Identifying and Reporting Human Trafficking and Related Activity (Supplemental Advisory). The last time FinCEN provided guidance on identifying trafficking in anti-money laundering (AML) processes was in Guidance on Recognizing Activity that May be Associated with Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking – Financial Red Flags on September 11, 2014. The evolving tactics of human traffickers and behaviors of victims required updated guidance in order for financial institutions to better meet Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) obligations to assist the government in detecting and preventing money laundering. 

The Supplemental Advisory focuses on four emerging tactics used by human traffickers to carry out and hide the proceeds from their illicit operations: front companies, exploitative employment practices, funnel accounts, and alternative payment methods. Front companies are lawful, licensed, and registered businesses which are used by traffickers to comingle the illicit proceeds generated from their scheme of human exploitation with that of a legitimate business. Examples include massage parlors, nail salons, even electrician services, and faith-based mission work. 

Labor trafficking can be harder to detect than sex trafficking for AML departments. FinCEN’s Supplemental Advisory alerts financial institutions to examples of exploitative labor practices, including visa fraud, wage withholding, and recruitment fee advances. Note that in 2019, the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Combating Trafficking in Persons was amended to address prohibited recruitment fees and broadened contractor responsibility for violative recruitment fees in supply chains. 

Funnel accounts continue to be a common tactic wherein a trafficker coerces a victim to open one or more bank accounts in their own name, and then directs them to deposit, transfer, wire, and withdraw monies in amounts below a reporting threshold, for the benefit the trafficker or the enterprise. Because the accounts are often held exclusively in the victims’ names, the trafficker remains anonymous. 

Such account activity may lead to an Unusual Activity Report or Suspicious Activity Report but that would erroneously target the victim, not the perpetrator. Accounts may be closed by the financial institution, or at the direction of the trafficker, following overdraft or low balances, which can cause victims to incur bad credit status and prevent them from accessing financial services in the future. 

The Supplemental Advisory further alerts financial institutions to the prolific use of prepaid cards, virtual currencies, smartphone cash applications, and third-party payment processors to advertise their sex trafficking business and receive payment. 

Although the indicators list addended to the Supplemental Advisory is not significantly different than past iterations, it adds a set of case studies. Specific perpetrator and victim vignettes are effective in modernizing detection tools as they allow financial institutions to keep their pulse on real life examples relayed by law enforcement and survivor advocates. The Supplemental Advisory also reminds financial institutions that they are protected from liability for information sharing afforded under Section 314(b) of the USA Patriot Act. Traffickers often implicate multiple financial institutions and only through a wider lens and open communication can otherwise lawful-appearing activity be identified as suspicious.  

Finally, the Supplemental Advisory notes FinCEN’s Customer Due Diligence Rule, promulgated in 2018, which generally requires some financial institutions to identify beneficial owners of commercial customers. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, “whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value” may be subject to criminal and civil liability. Therefore, diligence and monitoring processes are to include potential third-party participants in an exploitive scheme.  

FinCEN’s advisory on human trafficking is timely. In the last few months, regulators have signaled increased attention on financial institution responses to human trafficking. This past summer, Deutsche Bank was fined $150M by The New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) for compliance failures related to client Jeffrey Epstein, his sex trafficking enterprise and correspondent banks. In the Consent Order, NYDFS found the Deutsche Bank “conducted business in an unsafe and unsound manner [and] failed to maintain an effective and compliant anti-money laundering program.” This September, Westpac Bank was fined $920M USD by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Australia’s financial intelligence, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism regulator) for failures in AML reporting, record keeping and detection, including transfers indicative of child sex trafficking. This fine is the largest paid to an Australian regulator for violation of money laundering laws to date. Also in September, the United Kingdom announced that the U.K. Modern Slavery Act of 2015 will be strengthened to (i) allocate more funding to enforce its requirements and (ii) mandate that companies’ modern slavery statements cover certain topics ranging from due diligence to risk assessment. 

Increased regulatory focus on financial institution responses to human trafficking deserves attention.

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Can I Negotiate a Bad Credit Auto Loan?



Yes, you can negotiate your deal on a bad credit car loan, though you may not have the same leverage as someone with a better credit score. Without the strength of a high credit score behind you, you may not be able to qualify for as low of an interest rate or monthly payment as you’re looking for. But a lot of things associated with an auto loan can be negotiated.

Preparing to Negotiate a Bad Credit Auto Loan

Before you go toe-to-toe with a dealer, make sure you know what kind of power you have in this arena. This means knowing your credit score and what’s on your credit reports. Without this information, you’re powerless to push back against a lender’s assessment of your credit situation.

Auto Credit Express Tip: Remember, you’re most likely going to be interacting with the special finance manager at a dealership, who talks to the lender on your behalf. The dealer isn’t responsible for the rates and terms you qualify for, and the lender can’t determine how much a dealership is willing to cut a deal.

The only way to know you deserve better terms than you’re being offered is to do your research. Find out what the average car loan looks like for people in similar situations. You don’t want to go into a dealer with unrealistic expectations.

  1. First, get your credit score and credit reports. Now is a great time to do this, because the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – are offering U.S. consumers free weekly access to their credit reports. This deal only lasts until April 2021; you can request a copy of your reports by visiting
  2. Next, look online for some national averages on auto lending interest rates and see where you fall on the FICO credit scoring model. Knowing where you stand enables you to prepare for the next steps in your car loan: your budget.
  3. The final step to getting ready to negotiate on your auto loan is to plan your car buying budget. If you don’t know what you have to work with, or how to accurately calculate the out-the-door and overall costs of your auto loan, then you won’t have a leg to stand on when talking to a dealership.

What Are You Negotiating For?

Without a plan or a budget to refer to, you can’t have a goal to negotiate for. When it comes to a bad credit car loan, there’s no point in negotiating just because you can.

You should have a set goal in mind, whether it’s a target interest rate, a specific loan term, or a set monthly payment amount. Don’t give these things away to the dealer, though. Keeping your numbers close to the vest is what gives you the power to make a deal on your terms.

In order to get an auto loan deal you can live with, you have to know what you can afford. To find this out, you can do a few simple calculations that the lender does when determining if your budget can handle a car loan. This is your debt to income (DTI) ratio.

Your DTI ratio lets you know how much of your monthly finances are already being used by your existing monthly bills, including an auto loan and car insurance. If you’re using more than 45% to 50% of your monthly income, a lender may not be willing to add to that burden.

To see how much auto loan you could qualify for, and to find out if those monthly payments fit into your budget, you can check out our car loan and monthly payment calculators.

Know What You Can Negotiate

In order to negotiate on your bad credit auto loan, you have to know what you can and can’t change your lender’s mind on. Not everything on a car loan contract is negotiable.

Here’s a look at what you can have a crack at negotiating:

  • Can I Negotiate a Bad Credit Car Loan?Vehicle selling price – The first thing you should know you can negotiate on when it comes to an auto loan is the price of the car. The sticker price on a new vehicle typically lists the MSRP, or manufacturer suggested sale price, and may list a dealership price, too. You can ask for any price you want, but the dealer may not agree to honor it.
  • Your interest rate – Your APR is likely to be a bit higher than you’d like with bad credit, but you can always ask a dealership or lender if what they’re offering is the best rate you qualify for. Often it’s not, there’s no rule that says dealers have to offer you the lowest rate or best deal that you’re qualified for by a lender. With that said, you don’t have to accept a deal that stretches you too thin, either.
  • Your loan term – Shorter loan terms mean higher monthly payments, but stretching your loan too long means a higher overall cost. Being a payment shopper, only looking at the monthly payment and ignoring the overall loan cost, isn’t the place to be with poor credit.
  • Down payment amount – When you have credit challenges, you generally have to meet a down payment requirement set by your lender. However, it may not be set in stone. Depending on your other rates and terms, you may be able to negotiate the amount you need up front.
  • Your trade-in – If you’re using a trade-in to cover some of your down payment amount, you may be able to negotiate what you’re getting out of it. It also helps to know the value of your trade-in before you head to the dealership so you can have more leverage in negotiation.
  • Prepayment penalties – If you have to take on a longer term to get a more favorable monthly payment, you can save money in the long run by paying more on your loan whenever possible. Look over your contract carefully to make sure you aren’t penalized for this, or ask the lender to remove the clause if you are.
  • Optional features and equipment – Some features on the vehicle you’re choosing could be optional, and carry additional fees which can be negotiated on. Things like window tinting, fabric protection, and certain optional packages like wheel protection or cargo nets could be charges coming from the dealer. You don’t have to agree to these. This also goes for extended warranties and GAP insurance coverage.
  • Dealership documentation fees – A “doc fee” on any auto loan contract, which dealers charge for preparing your paperwork and talking to the lender on your behalf, is pretty standard, but the amount varies. There’s no reason to pay through the nose for this, and many states cap the amount you can be charged. Expect a minimum doc fee, but try to lower it as much as possible.

With all these things to haggle over, there are three main things that are non-negotiable when it comes to a car loan (which are set by the state, so there’s no getting around them):

  1. Taxes
  2. Title fees
  3. License fees

Ready to Negotiate Your Next Car Loan?

If you’ve tried negotiating on a bad credit auto loan in the past and were unsuccessful, don’t give up! Just because one dealership isn’t willing to work with you doesn’t mean that others aren’t.

Remember to keep your search for a car loan to a two-week window. If you apply for multiple loans of the same kind with different lenders within that time frame, you stop multiple hard credit inquiries from affecting your credit score.

Additionally, when you have bad credit and need an auto loan, it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re applying with a subprime lender at a special finance dealer. These lenders are able to help people in many tough credit situations, such as bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy.

Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve cultivated a nationwide network of special finance dealerships, and we want to get you matched to one in your area! We’ll get right to work for you after you fill out our fast, free, and zero-obligation car loan request form.

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