Whether you’ve heard it once, twice, or a thousand times, the idea that your credit score affects what kind of car loan you can get is probably burned into your mind, somewhere. On the surface, it seems simple. Higher credit scores equate to better car loans, and lower ones will net you less attractive offerings.
But what are the real credit score requirements for auto loans? It turns out there are some intricate factors at play, and while the conventional wisdom generally holds true, there’s some subtlety you should be aware of, especially if you’re concerned about your current score.
Your Credit Score
Let’s get this out the way right off the bat. Your credit score is an analysis of your credit history, represented numerically, that shows your “creditworthiness.” Lenders use this score to determine how likely you are to be able to repay your debts and whether or not they will offer you a loan.
Without going too deep into the history, your credit score is based on factors like your payment history, length of credit history, how much you owe, and what kind of credit you currently hold. The number can range from 300-850, and scores above 700 are generally considered “good.”
There are several agencies that track your credit score, and if you want to see what your current credit score is, you can request a credit report at any time. Though there is sometimes a fee involved, with some services, you can get this information free of charge.
Bear in mind that your credit score isn’t the ultimate arbiter of whether or not you’ll receive a loan, and even with great credit you might still be denied for certain loan types, but it does give you a ballpark idea of where you stand at present.