Credit Challenges? Here’s What to Do Next | Tampa FL
Tips for Credit Challenged Buyers
Trying to make any big purchases with a less than ideal credit score can be tough. When you’re not sure where to start when you aren’t proud of your credit score, we can help you sort out some of your financial questions and concerns. We want our customers to be confident when buying or leasing a new or used vehicle with us, so we’re taking some time to give you some advice to help make your car-buying experience better than ever. Keep reading to learn a bit more about what you can do to potentially improve your credit score and how we can help you.
Check Your Credit Score Beforehand
Even if it’s awkward, it’s always best to know what you’re getting into in any financial situation. Your credit score and history are crucial pieces of information that lenders and dealers will use to determine your creditworthiness. The bottom line: If they’re checking your information, you should know it as well. Typically, scores over 700 are thought of as good for auto loans and a score like that could qualify you for lower interest rates. Your score factors in variables such as how long you’ve had your financial accounts, the number of accounts and the consistency and percentage of minimum payments made.
Improve Score + Fix Credit Errors
If your score is 700 or under, you should consider trying to make it better before applying for a loan. While our finance center has worked with a number of credit histories and scores before, it’s most likely better for you in the long run to bump your score up before committing to a large loan. Plus, interest rates for bad credit are higher. It’s a good idea to check for errors in your credit report since those can reduce your score — you may see a significant increase when you take those steps.
Make a Budget + Get Pre-Approved
Make a budget and stick to it on your next vehicle. Your decision will be based on your needs (larger vehicles are more expensive), your bank account (how much of a down payment you can handle) and how long you plan on making payments. Once you’ve made a budget that includes car insurance and an estimate on annual repairs and maintenance, get pre-qualified with our online finance application.
Here’s the Plan: Big Down Payment + Shorter Term
If you’ve been pre-approved, good for you! You’re one step closer to owning a Volkswagen! After your test drive, you’ll talk with one of our financial experts about your options for financing. We recommend placing as much down as possible and agreeing on a loan term that’s no longer than 60 months. But again, depending on your credit situation, those numbers will change person by person, but you should always plan on paying off your auto loan early, if possible. Your credit score will thank you.
But What If I Got Denied?
Don’t worry. While it can be stressful, there are options available if you’ve been denied a car loan. Consider asking someone you trust to be a co-signer or tackle the debt you already have first to improve your score. Remember, it requires diligence and patience when it comes to finances, so don’t be discouraged if it takes months or even a year or two to see the number you want. And, our experts are always just a phone call away if you’d like to discuss your options in greater detail.
At Volkswagen Brandon, we work with customers from a variety of financial situations. If you’re worried about what kind of vehicle you can afford, come visit us at our dealership located at 9816 East Adamo Drive, Tampa, FL 33619. We proudly serve customers from Brandon, Wesley Chapel, Sarasota and Clearwater.