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It can be difficult to find car loans for bad credit. Auto lenders view borrowers with low credit as the least likely to pay loans off, so it can be hard for these consumers to get low-interest rates or to even get loan approval. However, it’s still possible for high risk borrowers to get approved for bad credit auto loans and find affordable rates.

In this article, we will highlight our top picks for the best bad credit car loan lenders. We will also go over what rates you can expect with a poor credit score, how to get auto loans with bad credit, and some methods to help you get lower rates when approved. As with all companies that offer vehicle financing, we recommend comparing multiple loan offers before making a decision.

Best Car Loans for Bad Credit

Below are our top picks for the companies with the best auto loans for bad credit. Each of these bad credit auto loan providers sets low minimum credit score requirements–or none at all. Each subprime lender also has low annual income standards and has received standout reviews from customers.

Top Bad Credit Car Loan Lender

Best For

Minimum Credit Score

Minimum Annual Income

1. Auto Credit Express

Best for Bad Credit

No minimum

$18,000

2. myAutoloan

Best Auto Loan Marketplace

575

$21,600

(purchase)

$18,000

(refinance)

3. Auto Approve

Best for Refinancing

600

$18,000

4. Capital One

Best Prequalification Process

No minimum

$18,000

Keep in mind that Auto Credit Express, myAutoloan, and Auto Approve work as auto financing marketplaces. That means potential borrowers who use these sites will receive offers from lenders rather than the two companies themselves. Also, Auto Approve only serves borrowers who need to refinance a car loan.

#1 Auto Credit Express: Best For Bad Credit

Like most of the lenders on our list, Auto Credit Express connects drivers with auto loan companies instead of offering its own vehicle financing.

People with bad credit can find auto loans for new or used cars through Auto Credit Express, as well as options for refinancing or leasing. Because of its broad availability and relatively low standards for approval, we named Auto Credit Express Best for Bad Credit.

Auto Credit Express Pros

Auto Credit Express Cons

Easy to compare providers’ rates

Not an actual auto lender

No minimum FICO® credit score

Offers financing during bankruptcy

#2 myAutoloan: Best Auto Loan Marketplace

Those seeking an exceptional vehicle financing marketplace should consider myAutoloan. As we mentioned, the company connects car buyers with lenders instead of offering its own loans.

Compared to our other picks for the top bad credit car loan providers, myAutoloan has slightly higher minimum requirements. However, myAutoloan has a stellar customer rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars from over 750 reviews on Trustpilot.

myAutoloan Pros

myAutoloan Cons

Outstanding customer service scores

Higher credit and income requirements

than some providers

Easy to compare loan offers

Plenty of financing options

#3 Auto Approve: Best For Refinancing

Auto Approve is well worth a look for those hoping to refinance a car loan with bad credit. You’ll likely get a steep rate when you finance a car with bad credit, but it’s easier to get competitive interest rates by refinancing once you’ve paid off some of your original auto loan.

Borrowers also appreciate Auto Approve for its great customer service. The auto refinancing marketplace earns 4.7 out of 5.0 stars from over 3,000 customers on Trustpilot, making it one of the industry’s top performers.

Auto Approve Pros

Auto Approve Cons

High customer satisfaction

Only offers vehicle refinancing

Partners with a network of lenders

Works with borrowers who

have bad credit

#4 Capital One: Best Bank For Bad Credit

While you may not expect large companies such as Capital One to offer auto loans for bad credit, the provider is worth consideration. Capital One doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, so even drivers with relatively poor credit history may prequalify for a loan.

Borrowers can finance new or used cars or refinance their existing auto loans through Capital One. Keep in mind that Capital One car loans are only available if you purchase a vehicle from a qualifying dealership, and the company doesn’t offer loan preapproval.

Capital One Pros

Capital One Cons

No minimum FICO credit score

No preapproval process

Plenty of car financing options

Only works with certain dealerships

Backed by a large provider

With Bad Credit Can I Get a Car Loan?

Even if you have bad credit it is still possible to get a car loan. You can get auto loans with bad credit through vehicle lenders that specialize in helping those with low credit scores. Borrowers sometimes have difficulty finding bad credit car loans because many leading car finance companies avoid those with below-average credit. However, due to this, a space in the market has developed for bad credit auto loan providers allowing those with poor credit the ability to finance a vehicle

How To Get an Auto Loan With Bad Credit

Below are our recommended steps you should take for getting approved for an auto loan with bad credit.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Before you begin comparing your options for bad credit car loans, you should check your credit score. Typically, credit scores used by lenders include the FICO and VantageScore models which range from 300-850. This will allow you to set expectations when searching for an auto loan with bad credit and help you determine whether you are getting a good deal when comparing providers.

You should also review your credit report to check for any inaccuracies that may be lowering your score. Companies such as Experian and Equifax can provide you with a free credit report so you can make sure your credit information is correct. You can also request one credit report yearly from all credit bureaus from annualcreditreport.com.

2. Know Your Income and Outstanding Debts

Even with low credit scores lending companies will take into account your monthly income and debts to see if you can make auto loan payments. This information will be used to help determine the rates you receive, any fees associated with the loan, and the down payment they will require. Knowing both your income and your debt against each other can help you weigh your options and gauge what you can afford.

3. Save up for a Down Payment

If you have a low credit score, a larger down payment can increase your chances of getting a car loan with bad credit. The more money you put down before beginning a bad credit car loan, the less risk the lender faces. You’ll be much more likely to be approved if you cover a significant down payment for your new vehicle, whether with money or a trade-in vehicle.

It’s recommended by financial experts that you put down a minimum of 20% of the car’s value.  However, if you can’t afford this, some auto financing lenders will accept down payments as low as $1,000.

4. Determine What You Can Afford

There is a lot more to consider than just auto loan terms when purchasing a vehicle with bad credit. There are other costs that come with car ownership like fuel expenses, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, and taxes to take into account.

Your vehicle loan term should also be considered when searching for a car loan with bad credit. Even though a longer loan term can secure lower monthly payments, you may end up paying more in interest over time. We suggest using an auto loan calculator to help you compare different loan terms and see what rates you might receive from lenders.

5. Consider Loan Prequalification and Preapproval

To give you the best chance to get approved for an auto loan with bad credit, you should consider prequalification and preapproval. Each method of applying for a vehicle loan allows you to get offers on the spot, allowing you to compare lenders. The terms are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences. Below we will lay out what it means to prequalify and get preapproval for an auto loan:

  • Prequalification: When you prequalify for vehicle financing, a lender gives you an estimate of what your interest rate could be. This method involves a soft credit check which does not include a full appraisal of your credit report. Due to this, any offers given are provisional and are not completely guaranteed.
  • Preapproval: Preapproval is typically more useful since it nearly guarantees financing from a car loan company and requires a hard credit check. However, preapproval can hurt your credit score so it is best to consider this before getting an auto loan offer with this method.

6. Compare Auto Loan Providers

Comparing providers can help you find the best deals for auto loans for bad credit. Applying for any vehicle loan can be done through various banks, credit unions, online lenders, and dealerships. Below we will break down each of your options when searching for bad credit car loans:

  • Banks and credit unions: If you are already affiliated with a bank or credit union, starting your search here may help you find savings. Some banks and credit unions may also offer incentives and discounts to members.
  • Online lenders: Comparing options for bad credit auto loans can be easier with online lenders since most provide prequalification tools to see what terms you might receive. Some online vehicle loan providers specialize in subprime lending and can help you find a loan you can afford.
  • Dealerships: Vehicle dealerships typically have strong ties to many banks and financing institutions which can make it easier to get approval for a loan. Some dealership financial departments have dedicated bad credit personnel to help you secure a car loan for bad credit.
  • Buy-here-pay-here-dealerships: If any of the above provider types does not work buy-here-pay-here dealerships can be an option, but be wary. Typically called no credit check dealerships, these lenders can seem enticing since they offer guaranteed auto loans for bad credit. However, this comes with the caveat of some of the highest interest rates on the market, so it is best to stay away.

Regardless of which bad credit loan provider you pick, expect to pay a relatively high annual percentage rate (APR), which is the combination of the interest rate and any added fees. You have a better chance of getting approved if you focus your search on auto financing companies that specialize in bad credit car loans.

Current Interest Rates on Car Loans With Bad Credit

Currently, average interest rates for car loans with bad credit range from 9.75% to 12.84% for new vehicles and 16.85% to 20.43% for used cars. Drivers looking for bad credit car loans typically have FICO credit scores below 580, which puts them in the “poor” credit category. While it’s possible to get an offer when financing a car with credit scores this low, loan applicants in this range are more likely to be rejected.

Average Bad Credit Auto Loan Rates by Credit Score

Below is data on the average interest rates for borrowers in different credit score ranges from Experian’s Q2 2022 State of the Automotive Finance Market report:

Credit Score

Average Interest Rate

for New Cars

Average Interest Rate

for Used Cars

781–850

2.96 percent

3.68 percent

661–780

4.03 percent

5.53 percent

601–660

6.57 percent

10.33 percent

501–600

9.75 percent

16.85 percent

300–500

12.84 percent

20.43 percent

As you can see, you’ll usually pay a steep interest rate for a bad credit car loan. Loan rates between 10 percent and 20 percent are typical for borrowers with poor credit, so you’re probably overpaying if you receive a rate of 25 percent or higher. However, if you can raise your score the rates you get will be significantly lower as you move up credit categories.

How to Get the Lowest Rates for Car Loans With Bad Credit

While it can be difficult to get good interest rates for car loans with low credit, there are ways to help you get the best rates possible. Below are four tips to help you get the best rates for an auto loan with bad credit:

  • Look for cars you can afford: Only look for vehicles you’ll be able to pay off, as this could make you appear less risky in the eyes of auto lenders. However, while used vehicles tend to be cheaper, they typically come with higher APRs.
  • Get a Loan Co-signer: Adding a co-signer to a bad credit car loan means another person promises to pay the lender if you default. Since this reduces the risk to vehicle financing providers, it makes you much more likely to get approved.
  • Improve Your Credit Score: You can increase your credit score over time by reducing your debt and building a solid payment history on your credit report. The higher your credit score gets, the lower your interest rates will be for a vehicle loan.
  • Consider Credit Unions: Some borrowers with bad credit find luck getting car financing through credit unions such as PenFed. This is because credit unions often have less strict credit requirements than banks.

Auto Loans For Bad Credit: Conclusion

Though it can be hard to get approved, there are a variety of lenders willing to work with you to get an auto loan for bad credit. We have provided you with our picks for the top subprime auto lenders on the market to help you make a decision. There are also many ways for you to improve your chances of getting approved for bad credit car loans and receiving cheaper rates. Even though we have provided some good companies for car loans with bad credit, we encourage you to weigh multiple options and look around for the best loan option for you.

Car Loans With Bad Credit: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about car loans for bad credit:

How We Rate Loan Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of auto loan providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a loan company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Rates: Auto loan companies with high loan amounts and low APRs are more likely to meet customer needs.
  • Reputation: Our review team explored ratings from experts and each lender’s number of years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Companies that cover a variety of circumstances scored best in this category.
  • Customer Experience: This rating is based on transparency and consumer satisfaction ratings. We also took into account the helpfulness of each loan provider’s team based on our shopper analysis.

*Data accurate at time of publication.