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What are Subprime Auto Loans?

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With the price of cars soaring sky-high in the market today, not everybody can afford to pay for their cars upfront. You might be looking for the best banks for car loans to help you purchase the car you need. If you have been considering buying a new vehicle, but you do not have an ideal credit score, you might have heard about the term "subprime auto loan."

What is a Subprime Auto Loan?

It is the type of loan given to individuals who want to purchase cars but do not meet the credit score threshold. Ideally, a credit score should be somewhere in the 800s. Having a credit score at or below 600 puts you below the ideal threshold and into the subprime range. If you are concerned that lenders will turn down your loan request because you have a low credit score, you have nothing to worry about.

Yes, a lower credit score might not let you get the best possible auto loan. Still, there are lenders willing to work with buyers who are considered subprime borrowers. The loan is possible, but you will likely pay a higher annual percentage rate than a standard auto loan.

There are also cases where the fees for subprime loans are significantly higher. Lenders of subprime loans charge higher premiums due to an increased risk to the lender. It gives the lender an opportunity to recover any potential losses that can occur.

Your Credit Score and Auto Loans

Your creditworthiness is a significant deal for lenders when they consider your loan application.

Lenders look at a few things when they want to know about your credit, including your debt-to-income ratio and the payment-to-income ratio.

When the lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, they want to determine whether your income is higher than what you will pay each month by 50%. Additionally, they consider your payment-to-income ratio to see how monthly payments along with your insurance premiums compare to your total income each month. Ideally, they would like to see this rate lower than 20%.

Your overall credit score differs, and it is calculated using:

Payment history

Your payment history concerns help to determine whether you make your debt payments on time every month.

Credit utilization

Your credit utilization considers how much of your available credit you will be using when you apply for a loan.

Length of credit history

Your credit history is essentially how long you have been using your current credit accounts.

Auto loan lenders go to companies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to get your credit score. These companies calculate your credit score based on your payment history, credit utilization, and the length of credit history. While there is no fixed score for which a lender can place you under the subprime category, the lower range for ideal auto loans is 600.

Should You Consider Subprime Loans?

Here is an example to help you understand the difference between a standard auto loan and a subprime auto loan. These figures are based on typical interest rates you can expect when you are shopping for a 60-month auto loan to purchase a new vehicle.

New Car Auto Loan:

  • Excellent credit score (750 or higher): 4.30%
  • Prime credit score (700 - 749): 4.28%
  • Nonprime credit score (650 - 699): 7.65%
  • Subprime credit score (450 - 649): 13.23%
  • Deep Subprime credit score (449 or less): 17.63%

The rate jumps significantly between Nonprime and Subprime categories. It can entail a significantly higher cost for you to bear when you take out a subprime auto loan.

Avoiding the need for a subprime loan is ideal. However, it is not always possible to prevent a subprime auto loan. You can do a few things to relieve much of the financial burden that comes with taking on this kind of loan. When you are buying your next car, here are some of the things you can consider to ease the strain on your pockets:

  • Assess your credit report.
  • Calculate all the associated costs for your purchase.
  • Delay buying a car right now.
  • Consider the terms.
  • Work with your bank to find a good deal.
  • Shop around for a decent auto loan

Assessing your credit report can help you find out and dispute any discrepancies that can show up. You can get them off your credit report before you apply for the auto loan. Before you sign a loan document, keeping all the costs in mind should give you a better idea of how to allocate your budget to the expenses. If it is possible, you should consider delaying your purchase if you are considered a subprime borrower. You should try to take out the time to improve your credit score because that can help you save substantial money for monthly payments when you get a loan.

When you are shopping for loans, you should carefully consider the terms of the agreement. There are chances that a lower monthly payment could be masked by a more significant overall interest in the agreement. Make sure you know what you're getting into before you sign the contract.

If you have an established relationship with a bank like a credit union, you should consider getting your loan through the financial institution. Having existing accounts and a history of being a client for the bank can improve your chances of getting a better rate.

However, if you cannot find a good rate from your bank, you should shop around for the best possible rates for subprime auto loans.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, a subprime auto loan means you have higher interest rates and less than ideal terms. Still, there are lenders who are willing to loan you money despite your credit score, and that can help you get the vehicle you need. When you need to get a subprime auto loan, you should shop for providers who can get you the best possible rates.

Working with the right lender can help you get ideal rates that help you get the car you want without putting too much financial burden for you. That is where we come in at

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