Editor's choice: Carvana
- Most credit types welcome
- 45-day preapproval
- Seven-day guarantee
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Although it’s illegal for lenders to discriminate based on marital status, it can be difficult to qualify for a car loan as a single parent if you don’t have a strong income. Many lenders have minimum requirements that can be difficult to meet on a single income — especially if you’re only working part time or on government assistance.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t be approved. If you have sufficient income and a good credit history, you’ll likely still be able to qualify for many car loans.
Check out the requirements for each car loan provider before applying.
From traditional secured car loans to leasing a car through a dealer, you have a few options to consider as a single parent.
|Loan type||Loan amount||Interest rates||Loan features|
|Secured car loans||$3,000 to $100,000||4% to 13%||Read more|
|Unsecured car loans||Up to $50,000||5% to 36%||Read more|
|Personal loans||Up to $100,000||5% to 36%||Read more|
|Car leases||Full value of vehicle||3% to 10%||Read more|
Keep these factors in mind when comparing your car loan offers:
When comparing your car loan options, make sure you check the reputability of the lender before applying. Some may claim to help single parents, but then charge high fees and rates that can be difficult to afford.
Instead, stick with a bank, credit union or reputable online lender. These tend to offer lower rates, and some may even be flexible with late payment fees if you have a history of on-time repayments.
You should also consider applying for preapproval, which allows you to check what rates and fees you might qualify for before filling out a full application. Having too many credit applications on file can lower your credit score, which can hurt your ability to qualify for lower rates.
Many lenders allow you to apply online, though some banks and credit unions may ask you to visit a branch in person to fill out an application. While required information and documents varies by lender, you’ll typically be asked to provide:
Some online lenders may be able to provide an answer almost immediately, while banks and credit unions can take as long as week to get back to you with a decision. Once approved, you typically have around 30 days to find the car you’d like to purchase and finalize the loan.
Being a single parent doesn’t have to limit your car loan options. If you have adequate income and a solid credit history, lenders will consider you just as they would a married couple or borrower without children.
To ensure you’re getting the best deal out there, compare your options with our guide to car loans.
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