Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,067
Registered: ‎11-02-2009
Re: Questions about Auto loans

1.  Where should I apply first?


If you have a credit union you do business with, you might want to start there.  CUs are generally more flexible.  I'd try to pick a couple CUs and/or banks before going to the dealer to see what terms you are offered.  Then, you go to the dealer to see if they can beat that deal, but at least you know that financing is taken care of.  Time it so that you are going to the dealer reasonably soon after you speak to the CU/banks.  All auto inquiries within a certain timeframe will be scored as one inquiry.  They will each appear on your report, but FICO will only score one.  I always forget the exact timeframe.  I think it was 14 days on the older scoring models, but is 30 (or 45?) on the newer scoring models.


3.  Before or after new year?  Why are you planning on waiting until after the new year?  Only you can decide whether the car fits into your budget earlier.  If you are waiting for certain credit improvements, we'd need more info to try to determine whether a couple extra months will help you.


4.  New vs. old cars.  Lenders have age restrictions for vehicles.  An older vehicle is more difficult to finance because it has less resell value, so their security interest is less.  I don't know where that cutoff is generally, but that is one of the reasons you are not seeing a lot of cars from 2005.

Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720

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