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1st time buyer with good credit score.

Regular Contributor

1st time buyer with good credit score.

I am 33 and need to buy a car in 6 months.  My credit is clean and FICO scores ranging from 735 to 745.  I seem to know all about applying for credit cards and nothing about buying a car!  I currently have $27,000 in student loans which are in deferment due to still being in school.  My credit card balances total less than 2K.  I am a server and make 18K a year on my paycheck and can submit paperwork to show an additional 5K for a total of 23K.  I have been working there for 3.5 years.  Can someone tell me if I have a good chance on getting approved?  Is there any chance of getting the 0% down 0% financing? 


Thanks in advance!!!

Message 1 of 4
Frequent Contributor

Re: 1st time buyer with good credit score.

I think the most important thing will be your DTI. As long as the monthly payment of the loan fits within your budget you shouldn't have any problem qualifying for financing given your good credit. I just don't know how the dealerships/lenders would calculate your DTI based on the deferred student loans.


Just as a quick data point: I purchased my first car last year as a first-time buyer, no previous auto loan history or anything. My EQ and TU FICOs were 733 and 741. I had only revolving credit cards and a deferred student loan on my credit report. I qualified for the college grad program at 0% APR for 60 months. I came in with a 25% down-payment and the dealer-pulled auto-enhanced FICOs were EX 782 and TU 744. I'll never know what my EX FICO was since they stopped selling them awhile back, but my TU 741 was pretty close to the dealer-pulled 744 auto-enhanced.


So from what it sounds like you shouldn't have to worry about qualifying credit-wise. What kind of a car are you looking for, down-payment you can come up with? new or used? I'd probably want to calculate the DTI with the student loans included just to be on the safe side.

Starting Score: EQ 773, TU 766
Current Score (2/25/2017): EX 813, EQ 823, TU 818
Goal Score: 800

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 2 of 4
Regular Contributor

Re: 1st time buyer with good credit score.

I would be looking at the Ford focus-mid range price around 20K.(unless I qualify for 0 down 0%)  My down payment would be 2-3K.

Message 3 of 4
Established Contributor

Re: 1st time buyer with good credit score.

Typically auto lenders like to see how a consumer handles "big ticket" loans. It seems as though you do not have any auto loans on your credit report.

I would suggest talking to a finance manager to see what exactly you would qualify for.

Ask them if they pull Auto enhanced scores or classic Fico's.

Ask what their primary lenders looks for regarding DTI.

Ask what percentage of the MSRP will a first time buyer with a good credit score but no auto credit qualify for.


Are you a member of a Credit Union? They tend to offer competitive rates with no hassle. It's always good to go into negotiations with an ace in your pocket. If you can get a 5% auto loan from your bank. Let the dealer know what you are already approved for- offer them copies of your Fico report with scores (do not let the dealer shop you) and ask if they can beat your rate.


Years ago when I sold cars we would tell lesser educated as well as well educated customers with good credit but no auto credit that the absence of auto loans on their CR would not qualify them for the prime rates, best terms etc. That is not the case... But this was a long time ago... Before the internet was so prevalent.

Message 4 of 4