A woman is stressed out while looking over her credit cards.

Your Guide to Getting a Great Auto Loan


Buying a car can be an incredible experience. From the first test drive to the moment you find the vehicle that truly matches you and your lifestyle, there is a lot to like about the car buying process. That said, many potential buyers are often intimidated by one of the essential steps of the car buying process: finances and auto loans. To be blunt, cars can be expensive, even when they’re preowned. Fortunately, you can curb some of the expense by financing it through an auto loan. That said, not all drivers have equal access to a great auto loan, as credit scores play a huge role in determining whether a financial institution will approve an application or not. No credit or bad credit car loans are hard to come by, though plenty of buy here pay here dealerships strive to provide all customers with an equal opportunity for car ownership. We’ll go over the many ways you can get the best auto loan possible, and why a reputable buy here pay here dealership serves to be an incredible alternative for drivers.

The Existing Challenge With Auto Loans

Visit any run of the mill car dealership, and you’ll likely find a wide selection of cars with plenty of eager dealers ready and willing to get you behind the wheel of one. In most cases, these dealers will hurry you through the process, helping you find a vehicle that satisfies you and your automotive needs the most. Although, the trouble comes when you sit down to discuss financing. As we mentioned before, cars can be expensive, and in order to roll home in one, you’ll need to receive financial support from an approving third party. However, in order to receive that third party’s approval, you’ll need to have a decent credit score.

What is a credit score? Well, it is a calculation by which financial institutions use to measure your financial liability. When using resources like previous loans and lines of credit, your credit score reflects how well an individual pays back what they owe. Unfortunately, a poor credit score isn’t always indicative of someone with a bad financial standing. Some potential car buyers may have no credit history at all, so the lack of a credit record will likely result in them getting rejected for a loan.

Fortunately, you don’t have to settle with a third-party financial institution. Instead, you can purchase a car from a buy here pay here dealership. Buy here pay here dealerships don’t’ rely on a third-party bank because they act as their own lender. So, when you visit a buy here pay here dealership and apply for an auto loan, you’ll receive this loan directly from the dealership itself. While this may seem unorthodox at first glance, this is a totally viable way to purchase a car, especially if you understand the ins and outs of how to get the best auto loan possible from one of these dealerships.

Smart Budgeting and Great Auto Loans

No matter if you buy from a traditional dealership or a buy here pay here dealership, a used car or a new one, smart budgeting can make a huge difference in your overall auto loan. Before you even step foot onto a dealer’s lot, you should take a careful evaluation of your finances to see what you can afford. Going over your budget can dramatically affect your experience and the overall satisfaction you feel towards a vehicle.

So, before you buy, ask yourself, ‘What can I afford?’ ‘What are my existing expenses?’ ‘What is the limit of how much I’m willing to pay on a monthly basis?’ Buying a car is a huge investment, no matter who you buy it from, and chances are you’ll be continuing to make the same monthly payment several years down the road. So, you want to make sure that what you pay doesn’t break the bank.

A woman is budgeting her current bills before looking at bad credit car loans.

The Value of a Good Down Payment

Having a sizable down payment is valuable whether you visit a traditional dealership, or a buy here pay here dealership. A down payment is a sum of money that you pay upfront to a lender or dealership towards the total value of the car. This initial portion of money can lower the total cost that you have to finance for, and at the same time, lower the amount that you pay monthly.

So, how much should you save up for a down payment? The amount can vary depending on the total cost of the vehicle that you’re trying to finance. However, any automotive expert will urge that you put down an initial amount equal to 20% of the value of the car, or more, if possible.

It is important to note that at a buy here pay here dealership, you don’t always have to rely on a huge down payment to receive financing approval. Because the dealership is the one organizing your financing, there is far more flexibility in terms of the kind of deal that you can end up with. This benefit of financing flexibility allows you to tailor your auto loan to better match your unique budget and finances.

Doing the Foot-Work Before You Buy

Unfortunately, buy here pay here dealerships get a poor reputation. There is a common misconception that every buy here pay here dealership is going to try to rip you off by strapping you with a high-interest auto loan, and strict rules regarding re-financing and trade-ins. Sadly, some of these nightmare stories from buy here pay here dealerships are true, as there are certainly a number of dealerships that don’t operate with the driver in mind, but the same could be said of your traditional dealership.

No matter what kind of dealership you ultimately choose to buy from, it is incredibly important that you do your research. Before you visit the first dealership that shows up on your Google search, gauge their competition, and see what people are saying about them online. Between Yelp and Google Reviews, there are plenty of sources out there that can show you the process of a specific dealership.

All that said, you shouldn’t limit your research to just the dealership. You should also look into the prices of a specific dealership’s vehicles. Not all dealerships price their vehicles fairly, and if you’re not careful, you could find yourself paying far more than the actual value. There are plenty of resources online that can show you the true value of a vehicle, whether new or used.

Of course, we highly recommend that you take your time throughout the process. While buy here pay here dealerships serve to be an incredible alternative path to car ownership, you should be certain the vehicle and deal that you agree to fits your expectations and needs. Buying a car can be an exciting process, and fortunately, you still have options for financing no matter what your credit score says about you.