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How to get a car loan without a cosigner

There are options out there — even if you don't have perfect credit.


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While it can be harder to get approved for a loan without a cosigner, you still have options — even if you don’t have perfect credit.

Can I get a car loan without a cosigner?

Yes, you can get a car loan without a cosigner. However, your interest rate — and the amount you can borrow — will vary depending on your credit history and financial situation. Lenders prefer borrowers who are low risk, so if you don’t have the best credit, other aspects of your application need to be strong before you apply. Things like a consistent income and a down payment signals to a lender that you can repay your loan.

Where can I find a car loan without a cosigner?

You can find a car loan that doesn’t require a cosigner at a bank, credit union, online lender or dealership — but which is best for you will depend on your credit.

Those with bad or no credit may want to turn to online lenders and dealerships first. While borrowers with good to excellent credit could find more competitive rates at a bank or credit union.

No-cosigner car loans with bad credit

If you have bad credit, your options for finding a car loan without a cosigner are more limited. Some online lenders specialize in car loans for borrowers with bad credit. And there are buy here, pay here (BHPH) dealerships that offer financing opportunities to borrowers who don’t meet a bank’s strict requirements.

These typically come with higher rates — usually in the double digits — since you pose more of a risk to the lender. And you’ll also want to watch out for car scams like yo-yo financing and other tactics less-reputable lenders use to trick you into spending more.

No-cosigner car loans with no credit

If you don’t have credit or a cosigner, you may face the same limited options as a buyer with bad credit. This is because a lender can’t judge your ability to pay back the loan, making you more of a risk than someone with even a small credit history.

However, there are still car loan options available for borrowers with no credit. It can help to have a big down payment and regular employment if you want to go through a bank or credit union. Otherwise, you might have better luck with an online lender or dealership.

Do I need a cosigner if I have good credit?

No, borrowers with good credit generally don’t need to apply for a car loan with a cosigner. In fact, you can typically expect a decently low APR when you have good credit, a steady source of income and limited debts — sometimes as low as 2% to 5%.

Lenders want to see cosigners for borrowers who may be higher risk. So if you’ve been building your credit history and don’t have any major red flags — like low income or a lot of debt — you’ll find that a cosigner isn’t necessary.

Compare a range of car loan providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
No minimum credit score
3.9% to 27.9%
1 to 6 years
18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies Car Loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
CarsDirect auto loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by network lender
Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
Monevo Auto Loans
3.99% to 35.99%
3 months to 12 years
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
LightStream Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
2 to 7 years
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
Good to excellent credit
Starting at 3.09%
Varies by lender
18+ years old, good to excellent credit, US citizen
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the requirements to get a car loan without a cosigner?

While requirements for a car loan without a cosigner vary by lender, you’ll likely have a better chance of getting approved if you meet the following criteria:

  • Steady source of income
  • Large down payment saved up
  • Fair credit
  • Full coverage car insurance
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old

6 ways to increase your chances of approval

When you’re looking for a good deal on a car loan without a cosigner, keep these tips in mind to help your search.

  • Build your credit score. Taking the time to build your credit score before applying for a car loan will help you score a lower rate or more competitive terms. You can build your score by spending carefully with credit cards or making timely repayments on other loans.
  • Save up for a higher down payment. The bigger your down payment, the less you’ll need to borrow. This means you won’t need to finance as much of your vehicle, which makes you less of a risk to a potential lender.
  • Increase your income. Getting a second job or requesting more shifts with your current employer can be a good way to save up for that big down payment. It also shows lenders you’re serious about paying back your loan, signaling that you’re a trustworthy borrower even if your credit isn’t the best.
  • Pay down your current debts. If your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is too high, a lender will likely consider your other financial obligations as a risk. Because of this, you may want to focus on paying off your debts and improving your credit utilization ratio before applying.
  • Compare multiple lenders. Understanding your options is critical when it comes to getting a competitive rate, even without a cosigner. Most credit bureaus count multiple car loan applications as one hard pull on your report — provided you apply within a certain period of time. Use this to your advantage and compare as many lenders as possible before making a final decision.
  • Find a less expensive car. If you don’t have a cosigner and can’t make a huge down payment, you may need to find a car that costs less. It means you won’t need to borrow as much, which can make it easier to get approved with bad or no credit.

Bottom line

No matter your credit score, you could find a car loan provider without needing someone to vouch for you. Banks and credit unions often offer low rates to borrowers with good to excellent credit, while those with bad or no credit may want to look into online lenders and dealerships first.

Want to learn more about the car-buying process? Check out our guide to car loans.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    jeremyJanuary 22, 2020

    why do i need a cosigner at dealership

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJanuary 22, 2020Staff

      Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      There are certain conditions why a dealership needs a cosigner.

      1. You could be 18 years old.
      2. If you are a college student
      3. You don’t have credit history or have bad credit
      4. If you’re not a US citizen
      5. You need to refinance your car loan

      As it says above, regardless of your credit score, you could find a car loan provider without a cosigner. Banks and credit unions often offer low rates to borrowers with good to excellent credit, while those with bad or no credit may want to look into online lenders and dealerships first.

      You can learn more about the car-buying process via this guide.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the bank should you need any clarifications about the policy.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.


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