Tips for Buyers with Less than Ideal Credit in Lakeland, FL


Tips for Buyers with Less than Ideal Credit
in Lakeland, FL

If you have a credit score you're not proud of, purchasing or leasing a vehicle from dealerships can be stressful, especially if you're a first-time buyer. We’ve found that a number of our customers haven’t tried to improve their credit, so we’ve created a list of tips that may be helpful when looking for your next vehicle. Keep reading to gather some helpful tips on the financial side of car buying:


Check Your Credit Score Beforehand

It might be awkward, but knowing the details of your financial situation is crucial before you can apply for credit. Your credit score and history are vital pieces of information that lenders and dealers will use to weigh your creditworthiness, so if they’re double checking your information, you should as well. Typically, scores above 700 are thought of as good for auto loans and they can get you lower interest rates. Your score factors in everything from how long you’ve had your financial accounts to the number of accounts and the consistency and more.


Improve Score + Fix Credit Errors

If your score is below 700, you might want to attempt to improve it before applying for a loan. While our finance center has worked with a variety of credit histories and scores before, it may be better for you in the long run to bump your score up before committing to a large loan. Plus, interest rates for less than ideal credit are higher, making your monthly payment higher as well. 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 those errors are resolved.


Make a Plan + Get Pre-Approved

Figure out how much you'd like to spend on a new or pre-owned vehicle. Your decision will be based on your needs, your bank account and how long you plan on making payments. Once you’ve made a plan that includes car insurance and an estimate on annual repairs and maintenance, get pre-qualified with our online finance application.


Here’s the Bottom Line: Big Down Payment + Shorter Term

If you’ve been pre-approved, congratulations. You’re one step closer to owning the car of your dreams. 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 finance options in greater detail.

At Audi Lakeland, 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 1215 Griffin Rd., Lakeland, FL 33805. We proudly serve customers from North and South Lakeland, Orlando and Tampa.