Compare student car loans

How to get a car loan as a post-secondary student.

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Having a car can make student life a lot more convenient — and expensive. If you can’t save up money to buy a car outright and can’t ask your parents for help, consider getting a car loan. But finding a loan with low interest rates can be tough if you have little or no credit. Find out your student car loan options in the guide below.

LoanConnect Car Loans

  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • Interest Rate: 1.90% to 46.96%
  • Loan Term: 6-60 months
  • Pre-approval in as quick as 60 seconds
  • Quick and simple financing
  • Safe and secure loans
  • All provinces

LoanConnect Car Loans

Get access to 25+ lenders through Loan Connect's brokerage, and receive pre-approval in as fast as 5 minutes, and financing up to $50,000 in as little as 24 hours from the time of your application.

  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • Interest Rate: 1.90% to 46.96%
  • Loan Term: 6-60 months
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What types of car loans are available to students?

There are two main types of car loans to choose from:

  • Secured car loan. Secured car loans usually have lower interest rates because your car is used as collateral. If you default on the loan, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle. Check that your car is eligible before applying as some lenders place restrictions on a car’s age and condition.
  • Unsecured personal loan. If you want to purchase an older car or get a loan that covers more than just the cost of the car, consider an unsecured personal loan. You’ll likely need a strong credit history for an unsecured personal loan because they’re more of a risk for lenders. Interest rates may be higher, but if you default on the loan, at least you’ll still have your car.

Compare car loan options for students

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Interest Rate Fees Loan Term Min. Credit Score Link
LoanConnect Car Loans
$500
1.90% to 46.96%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
6-60 months
550
Go to site
More Info
Get access to 25+ lenders through Loan Connect's brokerage, and receive pre-approval in as fast as 5 minutes, and financing up to $50,000 in as little as 24 hours from the time of your application.
CarsFast Car Loans
$500
4.90% to 29.90%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
12 months - 8 years
N/A
Go to site
More Info
Browse thousands of vehicles from dealers across Canada and get matched with financing that meets your needs. Apply online to purchase a new or used vehicle and get the vehicle delivered to your door.
Car Loans Canada
$7,500
4.49% to 29.90%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
12-84 months
300
Go to site
More Info
Search thousands of vehicles online, including $0 down options, from dealers across the country and get matched with affordable financing options. Auto loans are also available to those with bad credit, consumer proposals and bankruptcies to help rebuild credit.
Auto Arriba Car Loans
$3,500
8.99% to 29.50%
Contract fee of $499.00
6-84 months
N/A
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More Info
Auto Arriba offers car loans starting at $3,500 up to $100,000, with as little as a 30 minute loan turnaround time. On a limited number of approved loans, Auto Arriba is currently offering a rebate of the amount of your first scheduled payment 30 days after it has been processed up to a maximum of $500.
Carloans411 Car Loans
$500
1.90% to 19.99%
Varies
Up to 84 months
300
Check eligibility
More Info
Get connected with suitable lenders through CarLoans411. Finance your next car, van or truck with loans available in amounts from $500 to $35,000. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
$5,000
19.99% to 23.99%
Varies by province
3-10 years
560
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More Info
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $35,000.
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How to find a competitive deal on a student car loan

When comparing student car loans, consider:

  • Interest rate. Get the most competitive interest rate by applying to a number of different loan providers. Make sure these lenders only do a soft pull, not a hard pull, on your credit in order to give you their initial quotes. Too many hard pulls on your credit will damage your credit score.
  • Fixed or variable rate. With fixed rates, your repayments stay the same for the entire loan term, but fixed-rate loans tend to come with more restrictions on early repayment. Variable rates change throughout the life of the loan, but you usually get more early repayment flexibility.
  • Fees. Take a look at the upfront and ongoing fees for the loan to get an idea of how much it will cost.
  • Repayment flexibility. Are you able to choose how often you make payments? Can you make additional payments without penalty? Can you repay the loan early without penalty? These are things to look out for.
  • Features. Does the loan offer any additional features? Some of these may include pre-approval, online account management, a car-buying service to help you find your car or discounts on other products and services.

7 steps to getting a car loan as a student

Finding a car loan is pretty straightforward. Here’s how it works:

  1. Consider getting pre-approved. Before deciding which car you want to buy, see how much you can borrow by applying for pre-approved loan. This can give you more bargaining power at the dealership or a car auction.
  2. Find a car. For private sales, look on car sales sites and the newspaper, or head to a dealership. Find a car that’s within your budget and in good condition.
  3. Compare your loan options. Start comparing your loan options once you’ve found the car you want or have an idea of what you’re looking for. Consider the interest rate, fees and features of the loan to find one that’s right for you.
  4. Check the eligibility criteria. Even if the loan sounds right, you may not meet its eligibility criteria. Lenders usually require you to be at least 18 year old, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, earn a regular income and be employed. Your car will also have to meet eligibility criteria. If you’re under 18 years old, an adult such as a parent can help you get a loan instead.
  5. Get your documents in order. Gather all the required documents, which usually include a valid form of government-issued ID, pay stubs and information regarding your employment and finances (income, expenses and debts). Once you choose your car, submit the make, model, year, VIN number, registration number and purchase price to the lender.
  6. Submit your application. Depending on the lender, you may receive an instant response. Other lenders may take a few days to review your application and fund your loan.
  7. Buy your car. This can happen in a few ways. The lender may pay the dealer or private seller on your behalf or you’ll get funds to pay the seller directly.
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Car loans for international students

Finding a car loan as an international student can be particularly tough: you likely can’t meet most lenders’ requirements for documentation, credit and/or permanent residency. Luckily there are a few lenders out there like Go Auto that specialize in financing for students in your situation.

You will need to get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in order to fill out a loan application, which is fairly easy to do. To get a SIN, go to a Service Canada Office with personal identification and one of the following documents:

  • A study permit stating that you “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada, OR
  • A study permit and a “confirmation to work off campus” letter issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) prior to February 6, 2015 OR
  • A work permit (such as a co-op, post-graduation, or spouse/partner work permit)

Your SIN will be issued the same day.

Plan on making a sizeable down payment (50% or more of the car’s purchase price). You might also want to look into getting a personal loan — often these don’t require a Canadian cosigner and can be used to buy a car. And if you do get a car, make sure you get insurance you can qualify for as an international student.

8 helpful tips for applying

If you’re a student you may be working part time, be on a lower income or have a limited credit history. This can make it difficult to get a car loan. Use the guide below to find out how to get approved for a car loan.

Ready to choose the perfect car?

Since this is probably your first car purchase, you may want to stick to an economical car. Here are some tips that can help you narrow down what you need:

Do

  • Shop around
  • Attempt to negotiate; you don’t have to accept purchase terms exactly as they come
  • Ensure the vehicle you want meets your lender’s loan requirements

Don’t

  • Buy the first car you see
  • Accept for the first loan offer you receive
  • Apply for every loan available — narrow down your choices to three

Bottom line

You might have trouble getting a car loan on your own while you’re still in college. But it’s not totally impossible. By working with a lender that accepts students or allows you to apply with a cosigner, you could be on the road with a new set of wheels in no time.

Want to learn more about how car loans work? Check out our comprehensive guide.

Frequently asked questions

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