What Credit Score is Needed to Finance a Car?

Credit Scores

Whether your credit history is less-than-perfect or nonexistent, strong and solid or somewhere in the middle, there will likely come a time when you have to purchase a new vehicle, leaving you wondering if you have the credit score to finance a car successfully. Fortunately, the majority of Pompton Plains and Randolph car buyers have options, as local dealerships offer bad credit car finance solutions for most budgets. In this guide, our finance department here at Performance Auto Group tells you what you need to know about credit scores and auto financing–and provides an answer to that common question, “What credit score is needed to finance a car?”



What is the Average Credit Score to Finance a Car?

The average credit score of drivers who took out auto loans in 2023 is 742 for new vehicle buyers and 677 for used car buyers. With that said, you can still qualify for bad credit car finance options; you’ll just have to pay higher interest rates. Your credit score falls into one of five lending categories, and the higher the numbers in your category, the stronger your credit, and the less interest you’ll generally have to pay. The five categories are as follows:

  • Superprime:781 to 850
  • Prime: 661 to 780
  • Non-prime: 601 to 660
  • Subprime:501 to 600
  • Deep Subprime:300 to 500

How Can I Get Bad Credit Car Financing?

Most car dealers are more than happy to accommodate buyers with all types of credit histories. Just what credit score is needed to finance a car? Well, the exact answer depends on how much you want to finance and your own personal credit history. Even if your credit is far from where you’d like it to be, you can still seek bad credit car finance solutions. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Focus on Strengths: A borrower who can show that they’ve made responsible financial decisions will be in a better place to get a car loan. For example, you may have never missed a payment despite tough financial constraints, or your debts might be business related; make sure prospective lenders know about those aspects of your credit history that make you a more qualified applicant!
  • Provide Proof: When you go to the dealership, bring proof of your income and identity so you can show lenders you are who you say you are and you have the ability to repay what you owe. Pay stubs, driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards, and utility bills are all generally accepted.
  • Put Up Collateral: If you own your home or can put at least 25% put toward the down payment, you will be in a better position to obtain a bad credit car finance loan. Borrowers who have a higher financial stake in the transaction are a lower risk for most lenders.

Learn More About Car Financing at Performance Auto Group

So, what credit score is needed to finance a car? As you can see, that answer depends, but most buyers will have no trouble finding a financing option that works for their budget. We invite you to check out our new vehicle selection, stop by our dealership for a test drive, and visit with our finance team while you’re here. We are conveniently located in Wayne, just a short drive from Whippany. We’re confident we’ll be able to match you with a loan that fits your specific financial needs!


More from Performance Auto Group

    Performance Auto Group 40.9264314, -74.2683842.