If you’re 18 and in need of a car to get to school and work, getting an auto loan may be your best bet. If you have never applied for a line of credit before, getting approved can be difficult, but definitely not impossible.
Wonder how to get a car loan at 18? We’ve compiled some methods to help you get an auto loan with minimum credit history.
Unlike most adults with an established credit history, you will not be able to walk into a dealer and leave with a new car. Getting a car loan at 18 with no credit is challenging, but not impossible.
Auto Loan at 18
Credit score for a car loan at 18
Your credit score will affect almost every financial decision you make in your life. Even if you haven’t had a credit card or other line of credit before, go online and check.
If you have been listed as an authorized user on your parent’s credit cards, you may have some credit history which will help increase your credit score and the likelihood of getting approved for an auto loan.
If you don’t know where to find your score, you are entitled to a free copy of all 3 of your credit scores and reports once per year from the government mandated website www.annualcreditreport.com.
Save for a down payment
A down payment is money that you provide upfront before you take possession of the car. Giving a dealer a downpayment is a great way to increase your odds of getting approved, as you will pose a smaller risk to the lender.
Most lenders will require a minimum down payment of 10% of the total purchase price or $1,000, whichever one is less in order to get an auto loan at 18.
The larger the down payment you leave, the more money you will be saving on interest charges. After some time, you may also be eligible to refinance your auto loan at a more affordable rate.
Get a cosigner for an auto loan at 18
If you have a little credit history and are still finding it hard to get approved for a loan, you may want to consider a cosigner.
In fact, if you are only 18, your lender may specifically ask you to provide a co-signer, which will usually be your parents or another legal guardian.
Getting a cosigner will increase your odds of approved for a car loan, as the lender will also factor in the co-signers credit and credit history.
Working with a cosigner could also get you a better interest rate if your cosigner has a good credit score. To find a cosigner, talk to your family and friends first. You can read our complete guide
Remember, a cosigner will also assume all legal liability if you were to default on your loans.
If you are 18 and want an auto loan with no cosigner, your only choice may be a buy here pay here dealership.
All in all, purchasing a car with an auto loan at 18 can be an exciting time. Be sure to come prepared when you arrive at the dealership, armed with your credit score and reports.
Be sure to shop around and find the best interest rate you can for the amount you need to borrow and the down payment you can provide upfront.
If you are looking to finance your new car and have less than ideal credit, CrediReady offers one of the largest databases that connects dealerships, lenders, and buyers in all credit situations.
Take a few moments to fill out our free and confidential loan search form online and we will match you with a dealership in your local area that can meet your auto financing needs.