A couple of years ago I purchased a used 2012 Ford Explorer. It was the first vehicle that I had ever purchased by myself in my adult life. This means that it is my name and my name only on the car note. Unfortunately, at the time my credit was not the greatest. I knew this going in. Years of “adulting”, a few not so great decisions, a divorce, a job loss, and a house all did a job on my credit. I knew that the loan and rate that I got at the time would not be the greatest. However, I needed a new car. People face this problem all the time. If you need a car, you need a car. Car trouble does not hit when everything is going peachy and you have extra cash laying around. It usually happens when we least expect it. However, if you at least have good credit, you should have no problem getting a new car. But before you use the Capital One Auto Navigator Site to finance and pick out your new car, you may need to evaluate and fix your credit a bit.
Fixing it can be quicker and easier than you think. Now you are not going to jump from a 600 to a 750 overnight, but every few points helps. Pay your bills on time for a few months in a row, and your score will raise a bit. Check your credit report closely, dispute any items that look iffy. Dispute items that are over 7 years old. And dispute incorrect information. Being able to get rid of old items that include late payments or closed accounts can help your score. The higher your score, the lower your finance rate.
The range of a credit score is quite wide.
- 720 or more: Excellent
- 660 – 719: Average/Fair
- 620 – 659: Poor
- 620 or lower: Bad
The average credit score in the US is currently at an all-time high of 695. This is up from 688 back in 2005. While that is considered average or fair, it is still not excellent. That is hard to achieve!
If you feel that your credit score is ready to go, head on over to the Capital One Auto Navigator Site. Oh how I wish that I knew about this site when I purchased my car. Whether you are rebuilding your credit, have average credit, or you are proud of your excellent credit, it can help you find financing AND help you find the right car. You can find out in minutes if you pre-quality for auto financing, without hurting your credit score. And the Test Drive Your Financing tool can show estimated rates and payments based on the vehicle condition and whether you are rebuilding your credit, have average credit, or have excellent credit. It also takes into account the finance amount, and the term length.
For example, say that you have average credit. You want a used car. You have saved $5000 for a down payment, and the car that you want to purchase is $35,000. Set your finance amount to $30,000. If you finance for 5 years (60 months) your monthly payment would be $538 with an APR as low as 2.89%. Ok with stretching that out to 72 months? You can have a payment as low as $461 with an APR as low as 3.39%. You can try several different scenarios until you find what you are comfortable with.
Now I am absolutely in love with my 2012 Explorer, BUT… I like my cars like I like my gadgets, the newer and shinier the better! I just mentioned not too long ago that I'm looking forward to upgrading to a new one soon. And by soon I mean 1-2 years from now. That gives me time to save up a good down payment, and raise my credit score. And when I do, I know what site I'm using to help me find financing, and the perfect SUV for my family.
Are you in the market for a new car? Visit the Capital One Auto Navigator site for more information and to get started today.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Capital One. All opinions are my own.