Bad credit may not affect your daily life in noticeable ways, but you'll definitely get a reminder of your low credit rating when you need to make a big purchase. When you're gearing up to buy a car and know that your credit isn't where it should be, you may feel discouraged — and think that there's no way you'll be approved for financing. While you may be tempted to look for a cut-rate seller in the classifieds, it's better to stick with a reputable car dealership, but to take a specific approach to buying. Here are some tips you can use to buy a car even if your credit isn't as high as you'd like it to be.
Put Down As Much As You Can
When you're speaking to your dealership's financing professional, one of the early questions that you'll face is how much money you'll be putting down at the time of your purchase. With poor credit, you'll often improve your chance of getting approved by having a large sum of money to put down. Whether you work hard to save as much money as possible in the months leading up to your purchase or you obtain a loan from a trusted family member, this can play to your advantage.
Provide Documentation Of A High-Paying Job
It's possible that you made poor financial decisions when you were younger that affected your credit, but that you now have a high-paying job and are working to rebuild your credit. Make sure that you have proper documentation of your current salary. This can come in the form of a pay stub, tax documentation, or even a letter from your employer. A car dealer will be more apt to approve you if he or she knows that, despite your poor credit, you're not at risk to default on your payments.
Find Someone To Cosign
In many cases, car dealers will hesitate to sell and provide financing to people with poor credit who are making the purchase on their own. You can successfully navigate this dilemma, however, by having a trusted family member — and someone who has good credit and is in a solid financial position himself or herself — to cosign for your financing plan. This way, if you were to default on a payment, the dealership would know that the cosigner will make the payments for you until you were able to resume paying yourself.