Reasons a Good Credit Auto Loan Might Be Right for You

Young woman examining new cars at a dealership, considering an auto loan.
A prospective buyer evaluates her options at a car dealership, highlighting the importance of understanding auto loans.

Owning a car does make traveling easy, but applying for a car loan can be a complex process and very expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing. While getting an auto loan is possible for those whose credit score needs improvement, applicants aren’t going to get the same terms as compared to those who have a higher credit score.

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The Options

Each lender has a different credit score that they will use to calculate the interest rate of an auto loan. The FICO score and VantageScore are the two metrics that lenders use the most frequently.


VantageScore used to range from 501 to 990, but now it ranges from 300 to 850. It uses a different set of criteria than FICO and evaluates things differently. Payment history, balances, recent credit, credit depth and usage, and accessible credit are among the variables utilized.

FICO Rating

The FICO score is the one that is most frequently utilized for auto loans. The score is between 300 and 850. The payment history, the amount due, average credit history, and credit that’s available are taken into account while calculating the score.

Insurance companies use a range of additional criteria in addition to your credit score when determining your premiums and use other criteria as well. By increasing your rates, rejecting coverage, or terminating your insurance, they are not allowed to punish you for a low score.

Nevertheless, credit-based scoring, in the opinion of insurance provider Nationwide, yields the most accurate evaluation of a driver’s risk, and the business claims that it actually cuts premiums for approximately half of its clients.

The most reliable approach to determine whether your credit score might lead to savings is to request a free quotation from an insurance provider. You may also see your credit-based insurance score using LexisNexis.

Breaking Down FICO Scores

For those of you who are wondering, here’s a quick breakdown of the FICO score that you should know;

FICO score ranges from 781 to 850.

This credit rating category is for super-prime borrowers. If your credit is this good, you’ll probably be eligible for the best rates when looking to purchase a new or used vehicle. Also, you could be eligible for rebates or 0% financing offers given by specific automakers.

FICO score ranges from 661 to 780.

This broader range is thought to be prime. However, it does come with an average interest rate of 4.9 percent. Improving your credit before applying for an auto loan might save you thousands of dollars on the cost of your loan.

601 through 660 on the FICO scale

Those borrowers with a fair credit score are found in this range. Given that the average interest rate is currently 7.25 percent, favorable interest rates are somewhat more likely if your credit score is in this range.

FICO score between 501 and 600

The subprime range is from 500 to 600. Even though you might have additional financing alternatives, improving your credit score before you apply will probably be quite helpful – if you can afford it. The average rate for this period was 10.11 percent, which is still high.

500 or below on the FICO scale

Deeply subprime borrowers are those with credit ratings beneath 500, and they are likely to pay the highest interest rates. Deep subprime vehicle loans had an average interest rate of 12.93 percent. Yet, with a credit score of 500, you could not even be eligible for financing depending on your income and other factors.

Moreover, FICO offers credit scoring models tailored to the auto sector, providing lenders with more precise data on your propensity to repay a car loan on schedule. Any prior payment troubles you’ve had with auto loans might make it more challenging to get authorized if a lender considers this score throughout the screening process.

FICO first calculates your “base” scores, which are the conventional credit scores you might be more acquainted with, before determining your FICO Car Scores. The algorithm is then modified by FICO based on risk relevant to the sector to provide customized vehicle scores. These ratings aid lenders in estimating your propensity to make agreed-upon auto loan installments. Your FICO Auto Scores, which vary from 250 to 900 points, are the outcome.

What Score Do You Need?

The truth is that there is no set credit score needed to get approved for a car loan. When evaluating your application for a vehicle loan, lenders consider your credit score along with other monetary considerations like your salary.

Your capacity to repay debt is significantly influenced by your credit score. But, depending on the lender you select and the scoring model or models they employ to assess your creditworthiness, how it impacts your vehicle loan may change. Yet, in general, the greater your chances of obtaining a cheap interest rate and more flexible loan conditions, the higher your credit score.

Regardless of your credit position, it is still feasible to secure an auto loan; however, doing so with bad credit might cost you thousands of dollars, making it less enticing if you don’t need a new automobile.

One thing to bear in mind is that a credit score isn’t the only aspect lenders evaluate during the auto loan process. Also, they’ll consider your job history, credit record, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which compares your monthly debt payments to your gross monthly income, and other criteria.

Your chances of obtaining a reduced interest rate may increase if your financial profile is excellent overall, but your credit score isn’t in terrific shape.

The quality of your credit score affects almost every aspect of your financial life, including loan and mortgage applications, as well as something as important as a lease on a new apartment. You may also be eligible for the highest introductory rates and rewards credit cards with VIP benefits like concert ticket presales, invitations to exclusive events, and in certain cases, opulent concierge services with good credit.

Nonprofit credit counseling organizations are a wonderful resource for folks who want assistance in developing a strategy to get back on track with a credit card and loan repayments.

One of the many benefits of getting an auto loan on good credit is you may pay the whole cost of your vehicle in installments with a car loan. But, this also accrues interest over time, just like any other loan scheme. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign a contract with a lender. To avoid spending more money than you intended to, take into account the factors mentioned above.

A vehicle loan may be obtained with any credit score, regardless of the minimum. Any credit score can be authorized for a car loan, but your chances of getting approved with favorable conditions increase the better your credit history. Philly Auto has some of the best deals in town, regardless of your credit score.