You’re tired of relying on public transit, Uber rides and car rentals to get from Point A to Point B. You want — you need — a more reliable means of transportation. In simpler terms, you need a car. But before you can buy one, you first need to get approved for a car loan or financing. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
Check your credit.
Knowing your credit score and history before visiting the dealership gives you a better idea of what to expect when trying to get approved for financing or an auto loan. Whether your credit is pristine or you’re credit-challenged (sometimes referred to as “bad credit”), it’s important to be aware of the information reflected in your credit history before applying for financing. You can check your credit history by retrieving a copy of your full credit report from annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Also, be sure to check for mistakes in your credit report. If you happen to come across any, you can dispute them. If the disputed information is wrong or cannot be verified, the company that provided the information must delete or change it and provide a correction to the credit bureaus that received it. Successfully disputing mistakes in your credit report could raise your credit score.
Improve your credit score.
Once you’ve checked your credit, there are active steps you can take that may help raise your score if needed. These include paying your bills on time, every time; not getting close to your credit limit; establishing a long credit history; being careful with closing accounts; and only applying for loans and credit you need.
Get your credit approval.
Obtaining credit approval is key to purchasing a vehicle. If you’re having difficulty getting approved for financing because you have bad credit, a dealer enrolled with Credit Acceptance can help you get approved. If you’d like to get started on your credit approval, you can fill out the form to receive contact information for participating car dealers in your area.