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Where Can I Go to Get a Car Loan?

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Knowing where to go to get your next auto loan is important so that you can avoid being turned down unnecessarily. There are different types of lenders for different borrowers, so choosing the one that meets your needs is vital. If you’re struggling with poor credit, the loan process doesn’t start out by choosing a vehicle, but the right lender.

Types of Car Loans

When you have poor credit, big-ticket items such as car loans can be more difficult to get approved for. If you’re working with the right kind of lenders, though, they have processes in place to help you get an auto loan. Because it’s so important to start out your car loan on the right foot, you have to know where you should start looking – auto loans aren’t one size fits all, and where you get your loan from matters.

Typically, there are three main types of financing you could get for a car loan, depending on your situation and needs:

  1. Where Can I Go to Get an Auto Loan?Direct loans, which is what most people think of when they’re talking about traditional loans, come from banks, credit unions, or online lenders. These loans are typically reserved for borrowers with good credit scores. If your credit score is around 660 or below, you may have better luck with a different type of auto loan.
  2. Subprime lenders are for borrowers who aren’t eligible for a direct loan. These lenders know that people who are struggling with credit issues are more than just a credit score, and use as much personal and financial information as they can to help them get a better picture of your situation. These lenders are sometimes referred to as bad credit lenders, and they can work with people in many different credit situations. Subprime car loans are indirect loans, though, and you can only get one by applying through a special finance dealership.
  3. Buy here pay here dealers are for borrowers who aren’t in a position to qualify for a subprime auto loan. These dealerships specialize in in-house financing, and aren’t as prone to checking your credit as other types of lenders. This makes them a good choice for second-chance financing if you’ve been turned down before. However, this type of car loan may not be as helpful as you hope. The price of skipping the credit check can really take a toll, and, in some cases, you may end up paying much more than you bargained for on a used vehicle here.

As you can see, there are lots of lenders out there for you to choose from. Your personal situation, and what your credit reports say about you, are going to dictate which step you take next.

Your Credit Score Matters

To find out what type of auto loan is best for your credit situation, you need to know your credit score and what’s on your credit reports. You can stay on top of your credit score by signing up for a credit monitoring service, or find it through your credit cards, bank, or credit union, many of which provide this free of charge.

In order to see what’s impacting your credit score, you also need to get a copy of your credit reports. Now through April 2021, you’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three national credit bureaus once every week. You can request them by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

Knowing what’s on your credit reports lets you know what the lenders are seeing, giving you a bargaining chip if they try to determine your credit for you. If you know your credit score, you also have the power to research possible interest rates so you know what kind of a deal you may be eligible for. Your credit score is the biggest factor in determining your interest rate.

If you find that you have a low credit score, don’t assume that you’re out of the running for a good deal. There are a lot of options for getting a car loan if you work with the right lenders for the job.

The Bad Credit Auto Loan Process

Applying with a subprime lender is often the best bet for credit-challenged consumers, but the process may seem a little different than you imagine it. Instead of choosing a particular vehicle and then finding financing for it, you need to find a dealer with the right lending resources first.

Before heading to the dealership, it’s important to gather all the documentation you need to prove to the lender that you meet their requirements for getting an auto loan. Though specifics can vary by lender, all subprime lenders have similar qualifications you need to meet.

These include proving that you meet the income and employment requirements, have residential stability, and are willing to invest in your own car loan success.

Generally, proving you meet these requirements means providing the following items to the dealer:

  • Check stubs – Lenders need to know that you make enough money to pay for an auto loan, so they require proof of income with a computer-generated check stub showing year-to-date income. Typically, subprime lenders require you to make around $1,500 to $2,500 a month before taxes.
  • Utility bills or bank statements – These are used to prove your residence. They must be in your name, and match the address you’re currently living at that you listed on the application.
  • Phone bill – Lenders need to be confident that they can contact you whenever they need, so they require proof of a working landline or contract cell phone in your name.
  • Personal references – Most lenders still ask you to provide a list of around five to eight personal references with complete contact information.
  • A down payment – This shows that you’re willing to have some skin in the game. The amount you’re likely to need may vary, but many subprime lenders require a minimum of $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle’s selling price.
  • Driver’s license or state ID – Some lenders only require a state ID, but you need a valid driver’s license to operate the car. Any form or identification you use must be valid, meaning it’s not suspended, expired, or revoked.

Once you provide these documents at your dealership, they act as the go-between with you and the lender. The dealer reviews your documents and application, and then presents them to the lender for an approval. If your financing request is approved, the lender lets the dealership know what the maximum monthly payment you qualify for is.

The dealer then gathers a list of vehicles they have in stock that fit into the payment guidelines provided by the lender. You’re able to test drive and choose a car from these, complete your paperwork, make the necessary up-front payments (down payment, tax, title, license, and documentation fees), and take delivery of your vehicle.

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you know you have options for where to go for an auto loan, you need to decide which type of lender is best for you. If you’re struggling with credit issues, a subprime lender may give you the best opportunity for a car loan. But, knowing where to find those lenders can be challenging.

Subprime lenders are indirect lenders that only operate through special finance dealerships. It can be hard to tell these dealers from others, but we know where to go to get started! Here at Auto Credit Express, we work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are teamed up with the lenders you’re looking for.

To get matched to a dealer in your area, fill out our fast auto loan request form. Let us help you avoid the hassle of searching for a loan, get started right now!

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Bad Credit

Martin Lewis issues guidance on using credit cards to build ratings – best deals | Personal Finance | Finance

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Martin Lewis regularly urges savers to use caution when utilising debt themed products but at the same time, he acknowledges the need for a decent credit rating to get by financially. Today, the Money Saving Expert was questioned by viewer Miranda on how one can build their credit rating in difficult circumstances.

“What I’d then like you to do is go and do £50 a month of normal spending on it, things you’d buy anyway.

“[Then] Make sure you pay the card off in full every month, preferably by direct debit so you’re never missing it because the interest rate is hideous.

“That way you won’t pay any interest.

“You do that for a year, you’ll start to build that credit history, showing them you’re a good credit citizen.

“Then you’ll be able to move into the sort of more normal credit card range.

“So, bizarrely, to get credit you need credit. What credit will you get? Bad credit, go get the bad credit just make sure it doesn’t cost you.”

Consumers of all kinds may not have the best options at the moment as recent analysis from moneyfacts.co.uk revealed.

In mid-November, they detailed that a number of high street banks have cut the perks and interest on a number of their current account deals.

On top of this, the Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank made credit interest cuts of up to 0.5 percent.

Rachel Springall, a Finance Expert at moneyfacts.co.uk commented on the few options consumers and savers currently have available: “Clearly, it is vital consumers decide carefully if now is the time to switch, but if they wait too long, they may well miss out on a free cash switching perk.

“At present, providers will be assessing how they can sustain any lucrative offers in light of the pandemic.

“With this in mind, we could well see more changes in the months to come and if this does indeed occur, consumers would be wise to review whether their account is still worth keeping.”



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Should you use a balance transfer to pay off debt?

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Should you use a balance transfer to pay off debt?
Image source: Getty Images.


A balance transfer might be the solution if you have debts and want to gain control over your finances. But whether a balance transfer is right for you will depend on a number of factors.

Things to consider before using a balance transfer

The size of your debt

If you want to apply for a balance transfer credit card, be aware that most providers will allow you to transfer up to 90% of your credit limit.

Your credit limit will be dependent on your own personal circumstances, including your salary, your credit history and your residential status (homeowner or renter).

Be realistic about your debt. For example, if you earn £25,000 per year and you have a debt of more than £15,000, a balance transfer might not be cheapest way to pay the debt.

The time taken to pay the debt

The main advantage of a balance transfer credit card is that many offer an interest-free period on the balance. So, if you can pay off your balance in that period, you won’t accrue any further interest charges.

However, these periods typically range from 18 to 24 months, so if you think you will need more time to pay the debt, you may need to factor in additional interest charges when the interest-free period ends.

Whether or not a balance transfer is the right debt payment solution will depend on your personal circumstances. Check our balance transfer calculator if you want to work out how much a balance transfer could save you in interest payments.

Your credit score

The advantage of a good credit score cannot be underestimated in this situation.

When applying for a balance transfer credit card, the company will check your credit score. Based on this score, they could refuse your application.

Even if you are accepted, if you have a bad credit score they could reduce your credit limit. Ultimately, this will determine the benefit of a balance transfer as a suitable debt payment solution.

If you think your credit score might be a problem, it’s worth checking with the credit reference agencies before applying. That way you can avoid any nasty surprises.

There are three main consumer credit reference agencies in the UK. They are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (Noodle).

Alternative solutions to balance transfers

You could still use a balance transfer even if the size of your debt is bigger than the credit limit.

Transferring part of the debt would enable you to benefit from any interest-free period, where applicable.

Alternatively, if you have multiple debts, you could consolidate all of your debts so that you can make a single regular payment. If necessary, you could do this using an unsecured personal loan over a period longer than 24 months.

Take home

Look at your own personal circumstances with a critical eye. Remember that you need to factor in living expenses when thinking about how long it will take you to pay off your debt.

Balance transfers are a useful method for debt repayment, but be aware that credit cards are an expensive way to borrow money. Take full advantage of any 0% deals wherever possible. Check out our list of the best 0% credit cards.


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Turn credit declines into a win-win | 2020-11-20

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The pandemic has left millions of people needing credit at a time when lending standards are tightening. The result is a lose-lose situation—the consumer gets a bad credit decline experience and the credit union misses out on a lending opportunity. How can this be turned into a win-win?

The case for coaching

Let’s start by deconstructing the credit decline process: The consumer is first encouraged to apply. The application process can be invasive, requiring significant time commitment and thoughtful inputs from the applicant.

After all that, many consumers are declined with a form letter with little to no advice on actions the applicant can take to improve their credit strength. It is no wonder that credit declines receive a poor Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 50 or often much worse.

On the flip side, forward-looking credit unions provide post-decline credit advice. This is a compelling opportunity for several reasons:

  • Improved customer satisfaction. One financial institution learned that simply offering personalized coaching, regardless of whether or not consumers used it, increased their customer satisfaction by double digits.
  • Future lending opportunities. Post-decline financial coaching can position members for borrowing needs even beyond the product for which they were initially declined.
  • Increased trust. Quality financial advice helps build trust. A J.D. Power study noted that, of the 58% of customers who desire advice from financial institutions, only 12% receive it. When consumers do receive helpful advice, more than 90% report a high level of trust in their financial institution.

Provide cost-effective, high-quality advice

AI-powered virtual coaching tools can help credit unions turn declines into opportunities. Such coaches can deliver step-by-step guidance and personalized advice experiences. The added benefit is easy and consistent compliance, enabled by automation.

AI-based solutions are even more powerful when they follow coaching best practices:

  • Bite-sized simplicity. Advice is most effective when it is reinforced with small action steps to gradually nurture members without overwhelming them. This approach helps the member build momentum and confidence.
  • Plain language. Deliver advice in friendly, jargon-free language.
  • Behavioral nudges. Best-practice nudges help customers make progress on their action plan. These nudges emulate a human coach, providing motivational reminders and celebrating progress.
  • Gamification. A digital coach can infuse fun into the financial wellness journey with challenges and rewards like contests, badges, and gifts.

Virtual financial coaching, starting with reversing credit declines, represents a huge market opportunity for credit unions. To help credit unions tap into that opportunity, eGain, an award-winning AI and digital engagement pioneer, and GreenPath, a leading financial wellness nonprofit, have partnered to create the industry’s first virtual financial coach. To learn more, visit egain.com.

EVAN SIEGEL is vice president of financial services AI at eGain.

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