What Documents Do I Need to Get a Car Loan?


Expect to provide proof of identity, income and address when you apply for a car loan. Depending on the accounts listed on your credit report, you may have to provide additional information to your lender. Have your paperwork ready before you apply for a car loan to ease the application and approval process.

Proof of Income, Residence and Identity

Auto loan providers require proof of identity, so bring a driver's license or other acceptable proof identification, such as a passport or military or state identification card. Many auto loan providers also ask for proof of residency, so bring a recent utility bill along with you that shows your name and your current address. Bring proof of your income, such as your most recent pay stub. If you are self-employed, ask your lender what documentation it requires. You may need to bring several years' worth of tax return forms to prove your income.

Employment Information

Aside from your pay stub, you should also have relevant employer information on hand to provide to your lender. Find out your employer’s official name and address. Obtain a phone number that the lender can use to verify your employment. Most lenders do not accept a co-worker's cell phone number. Find out the exact dates of your employment, which you'll also need for your credit application. Do not guess how long you’ve been with your employer; reporting inaccurate information to an auto loan provider may result in the decline of your loan.

Vehicle Information

If you pursue financing from a lender other than a dealership, expect to provide detailed information about the car you want to finance. If you're purchasing from a dealer, your lender requires a bill of sale, which states relevant vehicle and pricing information. If you're purchasing privately, have the car's year, make, model, level and vehicle identification number ready to provide. Also note any extra features on the vehicle, such as a sunroof, leather, alloy wheels or heated seats. Extra features increase your vehicle's loan value.

Other Information Your Lender May Request

Many auto loan providers require the names, addresses and phone numbers of three to five references. Obtain this information beforehand, as some of your friends or relatives may not answer their phones when you find you need the information. You may be asked to provide a copy of your Social Security card or birth certificate, so have the documents handy. Bring your tax identification card if you're not a permanent United States resident or have recently applied for a Social Security number. If you have past due accounts on your credit report, your lender may ask that you prove the accounts are paid.

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