Buying a new car can be difficult if you don't have good credit. You still have options if your credit score isn't the best, ranging from putting down a large down payment to getting a co-signer. Here are some ways to convince a dealership to lease or sell you a car, regardless of your credit rating.
Know your credit score Before you visit dealerships and apply for an auto loan or financing agreement, find out your credit score. Get this from any of the credit bureaus. It helps to have it from all three as it may vary depending on which bureau your creditors report to.
Review your credit report Pull up your credit report - it gives you some insight as to what the dealership is seeing regarding your financial and credit history. One of the perks of getting a copy of your credit report is that some items might be outdated or incorrect, which you can report and have removed. Get the report from each of the major credit bureaus.
Find a co-signer If possible, ask someone you know and trust (who needs to be able to trust you!) with good credit to be your co-signer. All they need to do is sign your leasing agreement stating that if you are not able to make the payments, they will cover them. Most dealerships are more than willing to sell you a car and help you finance it if you have a co-signer.
Work on your credit It is never too late to start improving and rebuilding your credit. Pay off any debts or collections you currently owe in full or contact the creditor handling the collection and set up a payment plan. In both cases, the creditor should report it to the different credit bureaus that show up on your report. If a dealership pulls up your credit report they will see that you have been working on repairing your credit. Another important thing to do is pay all of your current bills on time every month for at least six months to a year.
Consider a large down payment Dealerships want to know you are financially stable to enough to afford the monthly payments, but it can also help to put down a significant down payment. The standard down payment for a vehicle is 5-10%, but if you can pull off 20%, you are much more likely to be approved for the auto loan. At least put down 10% - and along with either a co-signer or showing you are financially secure, you will have a good chance.
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on how to get an auto loan, small business topics, health, and social media.