How to Get a Car Loan with Bad Credit

Credit History

You’ve finally saved up the funds to get your dream car—what if you’re held back from moving forward by a less than perfect credit score? Many Raleigh-area car shoppers fear that a bad credit score will prevent them from getting financing for a vehicle purchase. The truth is, when you have a good dealership team on your side, it’s very possible to get a bad credit car loan. Learn how to get a car loan with bad credit with the team at Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint! 

First, Apply for Pre-Approval

If you’re one of many Cary and Chapel Hill drivers wondering how to get a car with bad credit, the first step is simple: apply for pre-approval! At Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint, your finance application is 100% secure, viewable only by our in-house finance team. One of our professional financiers will review your application and reach out to you via your provided contact information to discuss the next steps. We will connect you with the best lender based on your credit situation so you can get the best possible rate, whether that’s from in-house financing or through one of our trusted lenders. 

Tips for Securing a Bad Credit Car Loan

Bad credit car loans are easier to obtain than many car shoppers realize. Below, we’ve laid out our top tips regarding how to get a car loan with bad credit: 

  • Create a thoughtful budget. Often, drivers create a budget that’s based solely on the total amount they can afford to borrow. However, you should leave extra room to account for annual registration fees, maintenance costs, fuel costs, and car insurance. This may mean you have to opt for a lower trim or eliminate a few features from your configuration, but it will ensure you don’t end up with a car that’s too expensive to own. 
  • Make as large of a down payment as possible. When you’re hoping to get a car with bad credit, a larger down payment will work in your favor. From a potential lender’s point of view, a large down payment means there is less money they have to trust you to pay off. Of course, the larger perk here is that you’ll have a lower monthly payment and less interest to pay in the long run. 
  • Assess your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from all three major credit bureaus, which you should take advantage of before applying for a bad credit car loan. Comb through your credit report checking for errors; if you find any, it’s worth disputing them, especially if an error is hampering your credit score. Additionally, keep an eye out for outstanding debts that may have been placed on the backburner—making movement on them with small payments will help increase your score. 
  • Focus on the budget. Choose a vehicle that meets your lifestyle requirements while also prioritizing affordability. You might consider a pre-owned or certified pre-owned option for a great deal on a like-new vehicle if advanced interior features are important to you. 
  • Apply to a handful of lenders. When you’re applying for a bad credit car loan, you’re not necessarily limited to the first lender that accepts you. Apply to a handful of lenders so you can compare their rates—just be sure to limit applications to a 14-day period so as not to harm your credit score with multiple credit inquiries.

Find a Vehicle You Love at Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint!

Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint is here to help drivers in the Raleigh area find a vehicle they love for a price they feel great about. Contact us to learn more about your options, or stop by our dealership the next time you’re in Durham! Planning to trade in a vehicle to help with your down payment? We offer top market dollar! Value your trade online to get started. 


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