The ease of getting an auto loan depends on several factors. Your credit score, your income, how long you have held your job and what kind of down payment you are prepared to offer all affect the process. There are some things that you can do to help make applying for a loan easier, and make the process smoother for the lender. It helps to be prepared when shopping for a loan to avoid wasting your time and any potential lender's time, too.
Things You'll Need
- Experian credit report
- TransUnion credit report
- Equifax credit report
Analyze your credit reports and make sure all of the information on them is accurate. If there is inaccurate information, use the dispute procedure outlined in the credit report to get the information corrected. If your credit score is 650 or higher, you stand a good chance of getting a loan without a co-signer. A score of lower than 650 may require more down payment, a co-signer or both. If there are items on your credit report that are due to be removed soon, wait for them to fall off your credit report before you start shopping for a car loan. If there are any judgments or repossessions on your credit report that have been paid, get a letter from the creditor stating that the account has been paid in full.
Collect your last four paycheck stubs and make copies of them to give to the loan officer. If you work as an independent contractor, make copies of your last four pay statements and a copy of your last tax return. Make a copy of your last few bank statements that show the gradual accumulation of the down payment you will be using on the vehicle. If the down payment is a gift, get a letter from the gift giver stating that fact.
Use the local newspaper and the Internet to find banks that are offering car loan promotions, or banks that are advertising the best interest rates. Call and make appointments to meet with loan officers from at least three different banks. If you will be using a co-signer, make sure to bring them with you to the appointments.
Be at least 15 minutes early for your appointments. Dress in no less than business casual attire. A business suit is preferred if you have one. Be clean shaven and look professional. Have your paperwork in a briefcase or a professional-looking bag.