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Registered: ‎01-20-2013
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Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

Hi everyone: I had a repossession in December 2010 and I've held off on trying to get another car until I could get my credit & financial situation under control. However, I've gone as long as I possibly can and really need another vehicle. I know it's going to be difficult and I had hoped to just be able to save up enough money to buy my next car in cash. But for work related reasons alone, I NEED A CAR IMMEDIATELY! I am in a position to make a sizable down payment, but am worried that I won't be able to find anyone willing to finance me.

At last check (1 month ago), my credit score with Equifax was 548. Here's a quick snapshot of my back story: I am former military and after departing the Army to start a business in 2008, my finances & credit took a huge nose dive. I have a few charge offs, a few small collections (which I am paying off) and the repossession from RoadLoans (formerly Santander) for my previous car. The balance from that repo has been charged off. Since then, my business has bounced back slowly and I've been making due without a car. But now that my business is growing rather rapidly, I can no longer depend on public transportation and friends to get me around.

Any suggestions on companies that have been known to help people in my situation, other than RoadLoans??? I don't have anyone that could serve as a co-signer, so that will not be a viable option for me. And please... I already know that repairing my credit would be ideal before trying to get another car (tell me something I don't already know). I also know that my interest rate will be excessive, which is a price I'm willing to pay right now. It is more important that I have a reliable means of transportation for work, so if there are any suggestions on second chance financing, I'd like to hear about those. I am looking to buy within the next month or so. Thanks!
Equifax FICO (12/12) = 548
In My Wallet = Pocket lint, an old button and a stick of chewing gum.
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

Do you by chance have membership with NFCU?  You mention military experience, so perhaps you have/had an account with them?  They are extremely generous to their members and don't seem to be bothered by low scores & black marks on credit reports.

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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

[ Edited ]

No, I've never had a relationship with Navy Federal (only USAA). I wonder if they'd be so willing to give me a loan if I were to open an account now... now that I'm no longer on active duty?

Equifax FICO (12/12) = 548
In My Wallet = Pocket lint, an old button and a stick of chewing gum.
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Registered: ‎06-13-2012
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

[ Edited ]

AppleATL1 wrote:

No, I've never had a relationship with Navy Federal (only USAA). I wonder if they'd be so willing to give me a loan if I were to open an account now... now that I'm no longer on active duty?


Did you retire from the military, or are you an annuitant?  https://www.navyfederal.org/how-to-become-a-member.php  Here is their requirements.  If you don't meet those you might try https://www.usaa.com/  get into a relationship with them and see where you get from there.

 

Edit:  I see you have the relationship with USAA.

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Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

[ Edited ]

When I was in a similar situation all I could get at the time was Roadloans and dealer financing, no repo on my reports but similar credit strata.

 

USAA might be a possibility; one thing I personally recommend would be LendingTree as that hits a whole range of lenders, though not sure they have that many in the deep subprime where I was, think there was only three and Roadloans was the one that approved me.  Other possible options would be local CU's, most any underwriter is likely going to want to talk to you so just be ready to explain the situation.

 

That said, if you can come up with 30% downpayment, you can likely get dealer financing somewhere.  The other option is to just buy a beater, but if you have money coming in and want a car longer term, a positive auto loan does help credit a non-trivial amount for most people.... just you'll want to refinance later to knock down the APR.  I had a 551 Auto enhanced pull and wound up with a 19.35% loan for the first 8 months until I could refinance.

 

It's not a fun situation but if you need a car you need a car, sort of have to suck up the subprime loan for a bit unfortunately.  I would make a list out of potential lenders, take a look if you can wade through the Approvals thread and see if there's other ones which jump out for loans in the 550ish range; at that point with the way auto inquiries are rolled up from a scoring perspective, just go swinging for the fences with all of them and see if you get an approval when you're ready to pull the trigger on buying a car; failing that dealer financing may be the only option but doesn't hurt to try with a bunch of prospective lenders if you do it in a short time period, and let the dealer try to beat your current offer even if you do get financing somewhere else.

 

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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

Thanks for the info. Just so I'm clear... you think I would still be able to get financing with a 30% downpayment, even with my repossession and my current credit score? I applied for a car loan online 4 months ago thru a local dealership and was declined. However, the application did not ask for any downpayment information. I applied online to save myself the embarrassment of being denied in person. Do you think if I actually went into a dealership with a nice downpayment, that would change things?

Coming up with a 30% downpayment is not a problem at all because I was actually saving to just buy a car in cash. Of course to do that is going to take me some time and unfortunately, I needed a vehicle like yesterday. I've pondered on buying a clunker but honestly, that would be a bad idea for several reasons. Not only am I not fond of old car maintenance & upkeep, if the car ends up needing major repairs or turns out to be a lemon, I've just thrown away all the money that I saved. I much rather put what I've saved towards a car that I can keep for the long-term and that is reliable (especially for work). Also, financing the car will help improve my credit situation!

 

Let me know if you think going into the dealership or CU with a downpayment would be a better idea. I want to avoid any further loan applications with places like Lending Tree (to minimize the number of credit inquiries) until I know I've found a lender that specializes in subprime credit. Thanks again!

Equifax FICO (12/12) = 548
In My Wallet = Pocket lint, an old button and a stick of chewing gum.
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Posts: 2,690
Registered: ‎09-26-2011
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

Most any "large" dealership (think Ford, Chevy, etc..) will employ a person with a job title "Finance Manager".  Pick your favorite dealership and call to ask for that person.  Then, tell that person what you've told us.  They'll tell you if they can get you financed or not...  I know that in late 2007, my local Ford dealers' Finance Manager assured me that he could get anyone financed with a 525 score or better.

 

This is possible.  Just take your time and be diligent!

 

Good luck!

Current Scores: EX: 615, TU08: 639, EQ: 607. 04/01/2015.

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Posts: 11,123
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

+1 to what tcbo suggests; also, the dealers are incented to sell cars, and specifically the cars they have on the lot right now with the way the auto manufacturing / sales industry works.  If they have a customer there ready to buy a car, they'll go to bat for them and they have relationships with the lenders that you don't as an individual.

 

Finance arms, not so much.  A lot of times what I've seen on dealers websites, they just check the captive manufacturer lending arm, rather than all of the dealer-servicing lenders out there.  I wouldn't sweat that at all.

 

Auto-inquiries aren't a big deal unless you spread them out; simply go ninja loan shopping within a 2 week and no currently utilized model of FICO will ever care in the slightest as it will only count as one inquiry.  More recent models are a 30 day and now 45 day window as well.  It's there to encourage rate shopping, so don't sweat individual ones taken when trying to find a lender.

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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

+1, Find a major dealership that has the car you want and call them and ask if they have special financing. If they do, there's a great chance that you will get financed as special financing departments have a list of several subprime lenders other than road loans that they can shop for a loan through.
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Re: Auto loan for 548 credit score (OTHER THAN RoadLoans)???

It's worth a try. Thanks!

Equifax FICO (12/12) = 548
In My Wallet = Pocket lint, an old button and a stick of chewing gum.
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