When you aim for subprime auto financing, you’re probably wondering what vehicles you can and can't get. While all lenders vary, we’ve got some basic requirements of subprime lenders, and what kinds of cars you may be able to purchase if you qualify.
What Vehicles You Can Buy With Subprime Auto Financing
Subprime lenders have vehicle requirements, meaning that you’re usually required to finance a car under a certain price point and over a certain amount. Subprime lenders can even have rules concerning how old of a vehicle you can finance.
However, subprime lenders don’t force you to choose a new or used car – it all depends on what you qualify for. Although, bad credit borrowers tend to have better luck qualifying for used vehicles simply because their selling price is generally lower.
While the specifics will vary from lender to lender, some common car stipulations of subprime lenders include:
- Requiring that you finance a vehicle that’s less than 10 years old. Some lenders may even require the car to be less than seven years old.
- Requiring a financed vehicle to have no more than 100,000 miles on it.
- Minimum financing amount of at least $5,000.
All that being said, your individual situation is going to greatly determine what you can and can’t finance. Subprime lenders (and other auto lenders in general) want their borrowers to finance a car that’s going to be reliable.
When a vehicle breaks down and it’s being financed, the situation can turn bad really quick if you stop making loan payments. Who wants to pay for a car that doesn't run anymore? This is precisely why subprime lenders have age and mileage stipulations for the vehicles they finance.
All subprime lenders have their own specific rules and regulations, even though they share many common requirements. It's worth your while to ask what you need to do to qualify before you head into the dealership.
Subprime Car Loans vs. Pre-Approval
The process of subprime auto financing is quite different from traditional financing – you could even call it backward. What most people think of when you imagine car buying is picking out a vehicle, going to a bank or credit union and getting pre-approved, then handing the check to the dealer and taking delivery of the car.
Subprime financing is similar in the way that the lender first determines if you qualify for financing before you can drive away with a vehicle. However, it’s more in depth in terms of looking at your financial situation, since subprime lenders look at more than just your income and credit score.
First, you apply with a subprime lender, and they determine what your maximum car payment can be based on your income and individual circumstances. From there, you choose a vehicle that fits the payment you qualify for. The car needs to fit the lender’s requirements, too, so before you set your heart on a specific vehicle, be sure to have a few makes and models in mind that could work for you.
Ready to Find a Subprime Lender?
Subprime lenders aren’t as easy to find as a bank or credit union. But when your credit score is suffering, they can be a bad credit borrower’s next step in auto financing.
Here at The Car Connection, we’ve already done the legwork of finding dealerships that are signed up with subprime lenders. Skip the step of driving all over town and looking for one yourself by filling out our free, no-obligation car loan request form. We’ll look for a dealer in your area that has the bad credit lending options you need.