The Express Lane Blog

Why You Should Know Your Credit History Before Buying a Car

man checking credit history on mobile phone

Shopping for the perfect car and going for test drives may be fun and all but knowing your credit history can be helpful to know if you plan on applying for auto financing to buy a car.

Why should you know your credit history?

Your credit history is a track record for how you use credit and includes:

  • The number of credit cards you have
  • The number of loans you have
  • How often you pay your bills on time

It is what lenders and finance companies consider — usually by checking your credit reports — to determine your creditworthiness.

Checking your credit report to learn your credit history is an important step in the car-buying process because it helps give you a better understanding of your auto financing options. For instance, if you have bad credit or no credit history, it may be more difficult to get approved for traditional auto financing with lower interest rates.

How can you check your credit history?

To know your credit history, you must check your credit report. You have access to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — every 12 months by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling 877-322-8228.

So, what should you do if you have bad credit or no credit history?

If you are someone with poor credit history, you can take the following steps to start building or rebuilding your credit:

  1. Fixing errors on your credit report
  2. Establishing a credit history
  3. Budgeting
  4. Paying down debt
  5. Making on-time payments

Applying for subprime financing is another way you can get credit approval while at the same time taking steps to build your credit history. Credit Acceptance is an indirect subprime auto finance company that works with more than 12,000 car dealers across the country to help credit-challenged car buyers get approved for financing.

If you are in the market to buy a car and need help getting approval, fill out the form on our website to find a dealer near you and start your credit approval!