Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
Bad credit car loans
Bad credit? You still deserve a car, and here are the loans that can get you on the road
If you have a bad credit rating, receiving approval for a loan for a car doesn’t have to be difficult. There are options available to help you drive away in the brand new car of your dreams.
Some lenders deal specifically with bad credit car loans and help people with bad credit finance the purchase of a new car. These providers take on a risk to approve loans for people with bad credit because they’ve previously handled them and specialise in this area.
Compare lenders that welcome bad credit applications
What you need to know (and ask) about bad credit car loans
Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases you’re likely to make, so shop around to make sure you get the best deal. Before you apply for any loan, find out as much as you can about the offer. Here are some things you need to look at before you proceed:
What is the interest rate?
The interest rate the lender charges for the loan affects how much your repayments are. Always find out what rate the provider is offering, and compare it against other car loans to be sure it is competitive. Car loans can be secured or unsecured. Secured refers to the lender using your car as a guarantee for the loan, therefore the rate is typically lower.
What is the term of your loan?
Loan terms can be as short as 12 months or up to 5 years (more with some lenders). A shorter loan term can reduce the amount of interest you pay on your loan overall and get you out of debt quicker, but it increases the cost of your monthly repayments.
On the other hand, choosing a longer loan term reduces your monthly payments but increases the amount of interest you end up paying. Plus, it takes you longer to pay off the debt. Choose a loan term that suits your income and is in line with your financial plans and obligations.
What is the minimum repayment you’ll make?
What is the minimum repayment and is it affordable on your income and budget?
Can you make extra repayments?
Is it possible to make extra repayments on your loan at any time? This flexibility can help you get out of debt more quickly. You can also check if you can nominate to make extra payments as part of your regular repayment agreement. For example, you might decide to pay an additional $100 per fortnight on top of the minimum amount and have this total amount direct debited from your bank account every two weeks.
What kind of loan fees does the lender charge on a bad credit car loan?
Some lenders charge a monthly account fee or administration fee on its bad credit car loans, which may typically range from $5 to $15 per month. Many also charge an establishment fee to initiate your loan, and this fee can be as little as $100 or as high as $600, (or more).
Finally, some loans also include a fee if you repay any or all of it before the agreed loan term date. If you intend to make extra repayments to pay off your debt sooner, check how much the lender charges. You want a loan that doesn’t penalise you for paying it off early; otherwise, the fees can add up and significantly increase how much you pay over the term of the loan.
Do you need to take out car insurance?
As the lender is using your car as security for your loan, they may stipulate that the vehicle must be appropriately insured until you fully repay the loan.
What you should avoid with your bad credit car loan
Unfortunately, this area of the financial world is a breeding ground for dodgy lenders who sometimes engage in unethical practices. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign up for a bad credit car loan. If you don’t do your research, you could find yourself in the midst of a financial nightmare.
Examine and compare what each lender is going to provide you with:
- How much money are you borrowing?
- What is the interest rate on the loan?
- What fees and costs are attached to the loan?
- How much money do you have to repay each month? Can you pay off extra without incurring hidden fees?
- What is the duration of the loan?
Do your sums to work out how much money you’ll pay back over a year, then compare this to the base value of the car you are buying. This comparison should give you an idea of what you are going to pay and how much you are going to spend on the vehicle. Is it worth it and, more importantly, can you afford it?
There are other steps you can take to avoid getting caught out by a dishonest lender. Check review sites, where other consumers rate the performance of car loan providers; peruse discussion boards on car sales websites and car enthusiast sites to see what other people have to say about specific lenders, or ask the advice of people you know who’ve been in a similar position when financing a car purchase.
Alternatives to bad credit car loans
If a bad credit car loan isn’t the right choice for you, there are other options to consider. For example, you could use a credit card to buy a car. The ideal way to pay for a car purchase is to use a low-interest rate credit card or 0% offer, which lets you pay off the balance gradually without the hefty charges associated with a regular credit card or personal loan.
Another way to avoid going down the bad credit car loan route is to wait until the bad marks on your credit file have expired. You can also work to improve your credit rating, by controlling your debt and managing your finances responsibly. Also, by knowing the information on your credit file, you can work to remove any errors or disputes.
Those niggling questions about bad credit car loans
More guides on Finder
Passive income ideas for New Zealand investors
Looking for an easy way to earn money while you sleep? Investing in shares, peer-to-peer lending and renting out property can all offer the returns you desire.
Kiwi Car Loans review
Borrow up to $500,000 for your new vehicle, caravan, boat or motorcycle with a secured or unsecured finance from Kiwi Car Loans.
humm review: buy now, pay later
Buy ‘little things’ or ‘big things’ interest-free with Humm – the new and improved Oxipay.
Sites that will let you book travel with Afterpay
Want to know how you can pay for travel using Afterpay? We’ve got the intel.
Free Calm app offer for AMEX credit card holders
American Express have teamed up with Calm to offer free app memberships for all AMEX personal credit cards in October.
ScotPac business finance review
Access business, trade or invoice finance for businesses of all sizes from ScotPac.
Car finance for work visa holders
When you’re a temporary resident in New Zealand, you want to see everything, which can be difficult without a car. Luckily there are some lenders that consider car loans for people on a work or study visa. Find out how to apply here.
Understanding money – a young person’s guide
Our teenagers’ guide to money answers some common questions about money and finance.
10 ways to teach kids about money
Encourage healthy financial habits for the future with these tips on teaching kids about money.
20 top money tips for students
Be smart with your money while you get your qualification with these top student money tips.
Ask an Expert