Cars Do Not Like Stay-at-Home Orders Either


Although you may not be using your car as much these days as a result of the corona virus, it is still important to maintain it. If you do not, you may find that it will not run as well or at all when you start driving again!

Cars Do Not Like Stay-at-Home Orders Either

Many of us may feel cooped up during the COVID-19 pandemic since most states have enacted stay-at-home orders to help stop the spread of the virus.

However, while date night may be canceled for the foreseeable future, oil change appointments should not be. Even though you are not tacking on miles, your vehicle still needs TLC while it sits idle.

It is simple and easy to keep your car maintained and in tip-top shape during a quarantine – most of these items take little effort on your part.

Start Your Vehicle Regularly

Car mechanics recommend that you start your vehicle at least once a week if you are not driving it. This keeps fluids and oil from going bad, runs everything through your engine, and keeps everything lubricated.

Check your gas tank as well, since an empty tank can lead to moisture buildup. Corrosion is no good and can lead to costly repairs.

Additionally, if your car sits in one place for too long, the tires can develop flat spots. This can mean flat and damaged tires down the line, which can be expensive to replace.

Starting your vehicle and driving it around for a bit is also a good way to keep your battery charged. Since many cars have computers that constantly drain the battery, it loses its charge over time.

So, enjoy a little drive around the neighborhood and shake off some cabin fever – all while keeping your vehicle’s battery healthy, and avoiding the development of flat spots on tires.

Check Your Car’s Oil

While you may not be driving as much, the oil in your vehicle still needs to be checked. Instead of changing your oil based on how many miles you have driven, change it according to the recommended time frame suggested in your car’s owner’s manual. Oil can deteriorate from fluctuating temperatures, as well, even when you are not driving.

If your oil needs to be changed, many states have designated dealership service centers as essential businesses. If you cannot change the oil yourself, call your local dealer to see if their service center is still open. Look for a service center that allows you to stay in your vehicle while it is being serviced, so you can continue to practice social distancing.

Clean Your Vehicle

If you have not taken your car out recently, this does not mean no one has been in it. Animals may have taken refuge in your idle vehicle!

Check in and around your car for critters who could have made a nest. Look closely, because some animals can chew through wires and belts. To avoid creatures taking over your vehicle, clean out any trash or food that you may have left in the cabin since your last outing.

Also, if your car is parked outside, consider investing in a car cover. Constant exposure to sunlight can mean damage to the vehicle’s exterior, and possibly the interior. And before you lock it away, give it a good wash and dry. Water and animal droppings that are left on the paint can cause damage, too.

Stay Home and Research

By keeping up on your car’s maintenance throughout the corona virus lock down orders, you can avoid getting into it once this is over and find a dead battery, flat tires, or chewed-through wires. You can also take this time to research your next vehicle, as well!

Now may be a good time to plan for your next auto loan. Take the opportunity to save up for a down payment and look for the right dealership and lender. If you are struggling with credit issues and you need your next car loan, look to us.

At AdvantageAutoLoans.com, we have connections with dealers all over the country that work with bad credit lenders. We match bad credit borrowers to dealerships with special finance departments, and we are still working hard during this unprecedented time.

To get started and get matched to a dealer for free, simply fill out our application and we will get to work!

 

 

Adding a Cosigner to Your Auto Loan

Many bad credit borrowers ask someone to cosign their car loan. We explore what a cosigner does to help increase your chances of approval, and how it works.

Adding a Cosigner to Your Auto Loan

Having a cosigner is a great way to increase your chances of auto loan approval if your credit score is less than perfect. A cosigner lends you their good credit score and can often help you qualify for better loan terms if you are approved.

A cosigner can really be anyone, as long as they have a good credit score and they meet the lender’s income requirements. Typically, borrowers ask friends or family members to cosign a car loan. If you ask a spouse to cosign for you, they become a co-borrower, instead.

A cosigner simply helps the primary borrower get approved for a loan by offering additional security to the lender by promising to make the payments if the primary borrower cannot. They sign the loan contract with you, but do not get any rights to the vehicle.

While they agree to pay the loan in the event that you’re unable to, they aren’t there to help you make payments each month. You still need to meet the lender’s income requirements, and you cannot add a cosigner’s income to yours to meet the lender’s standards.

Risks for the Cosigner

Before you ask someone to sign an auto loan contract with you, let them know the risks involved. The biggest risk that comes with being a cosigner is the possible negative impact on their good credit score.

If you start to miss payments, it not only harms your credit score but also the cosigner’s. Additionally, the lender can go after the cosigner for payments if you start slipping. If you default, it can remain on your and your cosigner’s credit reports for up to seven years. A default, and the repossession that usually follows, can really hurt your chances of getting approved for new credit in the future, and can drastically lower both of your credit scores.

While missed payments can hurt both your scores, on-time payments can improve them. Since your cosigner risked their good credit to help you get approved for the loan, be sure to stay in contact with them throughout the loan and assure them that their credit is in good hands!

A cosigner also can not back out of a car loan once the contract is signed. If your credit score has improved since the start of the loan and you want to remove them, you can refinance the auto loan to remove them from the loan. Refinancing is the only way to remove a cosigner.

Finding a Dealership to Work With

Whether or not you find a cosigner, getting a car loan with bad credit can be difficult. Many traditional auto lenders may take one look at your credit score and turn you away – thankfully, there are bad credit car lenders that can help.

Subprime lenders use more than a borrower’s credit score to make their loan decision and know that people are more than what appears on their credit reports. If you’re struggling to find a lender that’s willing to work within your unique credit situation, start with us at AdvantageAutoLoans.com.

We match borrowers to dealerships with special finance departments with bad credit auto loan options. With a subprime lender, you may be able to get approved for a car loan without a cosigner if you meet their requirements. To get started, simply complete our free online application  and we’ll look for a dealer in your area that works with subprime lenders.

Will a Dealership Finance Me With Bad Credit?

If you cannot get approved through standard financing, you may be able to finance through a dealership that works with subprime lenders – if you can meet their conditions. Things can get tricky, however, because the requirements of these lenders are different than traditional lenders. Here is what you need to know.

How Dealership Special Finance Departments Work

Some dealerships have special finance departments that work with subprime, or bad credit, lenders. Subprime lenders use more than a credit score to determine your eligibility for a loan.

Bad credit lenders evaluate your income, job and residence stability, past payment history, and much more to determine if you qualify and how much car you can afford, based on your credit score, credit history, and the information you provide them.

If approved, they send the dealer a payment call, which is the maximum monthly loan payment you are approved for. From there, you choose a vehicle from the dealership’s inventory that fits within that budget.

Once you have chosen a car, you finalize the rest of the paperwork with the dealer. You can then purchase additional services or coverage, such as GAP insurance or extended warranties, if you want.

To be considered for subprime financing, there are also some documents you need to put together.

Requirements for a Bad Credit Auto Loan

With a bad credit lender, you must meet their requirements before you’re considered for auto loan approval. Some common documents you must provide include:

  • Driver’s license – Must be valid (not revoked, suspended, or expired) with your current address.
  • Proof of income – Subprime lenders typically require a monthly minimum income of anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000, pre-tax. This income must be proven with computer-generated check stubs that show year-to-date income.
  • Proof of residence – This can be proven with a recent utility bill, in your name, with your current address.
  • Proof of a working phone – A working cell or landline phone in your name, proven with a recent phone bill. Prepaid phones usually aren’t accepted.
  • Down payment Bad credit auto loans require a down payment, typically of at least 10% of the vehicle’s selling price, or $1,000, whichever is less. Equity from a trade-in can contribute to this down payment requirement as well.
  • Personal references – Lenders typically require a list of between five to eight personal references of family members, friends, or coworkers, with their complete contact information. None of these references can be someone living at the same address as you.

Since all subprime lenders are different, the listed requirements are general guidelines of what to expect in terms of income and the number of personal references. It’s also possible for some lenders to require more or fewer qualifications.

Additional items may be required based on your own situation. For example, if you were recently discharged from a bankruptcy, you need to bring your discharge papers and, possibly, other paperwork.

The hardest for many bad credit borrowers to meet is the down payment requirement – but it is really in your best interest to put down as much as you can reasonably afford. The more money you put down, the less you spend on interest charges during the loan term, and the smaller your monthly loan payment. If you have a trade-in with equity, it can add to your down payment, and possibly cover all of it.

Where Do I Find Subprime Lenders?

Subprime lending is more readily available than ever. But if you want to take the hassle out of finding a dealership that offers special financing, we want to help with that. At AdvantageAutoLoans.com, we’ve teamed up with dealers all over the country that have subprime lending options.

You simply fill out our secure auto loan request form, and we get to work finding a dealership in your local area. The form is completely free (yes, free!), and takes only a few minutes to complete. To get started, click here!

Should You Use Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check as a Down Payment on an Auto Loan?

When you’re struggling with credit issues and you need a vehicle, a down payment increases your chances of getting approved by a subprime lender. With that in mind, the corona-virus stimulus checks that are rolling out may be able to help you get into your next car loan.

Who Gets a Stimulus Check?

During the corona-virus pandemic, many Americans have been affected not only by the virus and the disease it causes, but by the temporary loss of their jobs. Due to the economic stress that this pandemic and shelter-in-place orders enacted by many states have caused, the U.S. government made the decision that Americans who qualify should receive a stimulus check.

The most an individual can be given is $1,200 if their adjusted gross income (AGI) is below $75,000. Married couples, if their combined AGI is less than $150,000, receive a maximum of $2,400. Those who qualify with any dependents under 17 receive $500 per child.

You can also consult the IRS’ website (irs.gov) to get all of the specifics.

If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax returns with direct deposit for the refund, and qualify for the economic impact payment, your stimulus check should simply be deposited directly in your bank account. If you don’t have direct deposit set up, your check is mailed to you.

You also don’t need to apply for the stimulus check. Simply being an American citizen with a Social Security number, who meets the income requirements, is all it takes.

If you’re financially stable during these tough times, this stimulus check could help cover all or part of the down payment requirement for a bad credit auto loan.

Bad Credit Car Loan Down Payment Requirements

When you work with a subprime lender, you’re typically expected to have a down payment of at least $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle’s selling price, sometimes whichever is less. The down payment doesn’t have to be only cash. You can also use a trade-in with equity to help cover the down payment – or use both!

For many borrowers in all credit situations, saving for a down payment is one of the toughest requirements to meet. Proving your identity, providing your check stubs, and proving where you live is fairly painless, but coming up with at least $1,000 in cash can be difficult.

However, these stimulus checks that have been approved and sent to many Americans don’t have to be used for anything specific. This means you can use this cash to put toward a down payment on a car loan and meet one of the biggest requirements of subprime lenders.

Other Common Bad Credit Auto Loan Requirements

Having a down payment isn’t the only requirement of most bad credit auto lenders. Here are the other most common stipulations you’re likely to meet:

  • Income – Subprime lenders generally require a borrower’s minimum monthly income to be at least $1,500 to $2,000 before taxes. This can be proven with a recent computer-generated check stub with year-to-date income listed. Unemployment checks can’t be used.
  • Residence – Typically, subprime lenders prefer a borrower with a stable residence history, meaning you’ve lived in the same area for a year or more. You can prove where you live with a recent utility bill or bank statement in your name.
  • Working phone – Bad credit borrowers also need to have a working cell phone or landline phone in their name, proven with a recent phone bill. Prepaid cell phones usually aren’t accepted.
  • Identity – Proven with a valid driver’s license, with your current address listed.

These are the most commonly requested items. Just keep in mind that your lender may require more documents, depending on your personal situation, and that all lenders vary in what exactly they need.

Finding a Bad Credit Lender

Meeting the down payment requirement can be one of the biggest hurdles for any borrower looking to qualify for their next car loan, but the stimulus check can be your solution. If you have less than perfect credit, finding a bad credit auto lender may be even harder – but we want to help with that.

At AdvantageAutoLoans.com, we’re teamed up with dealerships that work with subprime lenders through their special finance departments. We’re still working hard to connect credit-challenged borrowers to bad credit lenders, and we’re still doing it for free. To get started, simply complete our car loan request form and we’ll look for a dealer in your local area with bad credit auto loan options.

Leasing a Car vs. a Rent to Own Car

When someone says renting, you may think of a lease agreement. No wonder there’s confusion when it comes to the differences between car leasing and rent to own vehicles! They sound very similar – like they go hand in hand. We’re here to outline their differences.

Leasing a Car vs. a Rent to Own Car

While renting and leasing are often used interchangeably or alongside one another, these terms have very different meanings when it comes to auto financing.

One of the main differences between a lease and a rent to own car is the dealership where it’s offered. Leases are almost exclusively for new vehicles and available at traditional, franchised dealers. Rent to own cars are offered at dealerships with in-house financing, where the dealer is also the lender. Rent to own vehicles, also called lease to owns, are used cars.

How Leasing a Car Works

Traditional leasing is only available at franchised dealerships and is almost exclusively reserved for new vehicles. Typically, a lease’s monthly payments are more affordable than financing a new car with an auto loan, and leasing can be great for someone that wants to drive a brand-new vehicle every few years.

With a car lease, you pay the difference between the negotiated selling price and the value of the vehicle at the end of your lease term (also known as residual value). In other words, you’re paying only for that portion of the car you use while you’re driving it.

Once your lease is up, you return the vehicle to the dealer or leasing company. You don’t have any ownership rights to it since your name isn’t listed on the title. However, there’s usually the option to purchase the car at the end of the lease, while many leasing companies waive the termination fee if you turn it in for another leased vehicle. But you aren’t obligated to do either – you can simply pay any fees, turn it in, and walk away if you want. However, with a lease, you typically don’t gain any equity to put toward future purchases.

Keep in mind that new car leasing is generally only for borrowers with good to great credit scores. If your credit score is less than perfect, you may have issues getting approved for a new vehicle lease.

How Rent to Own Cars Work

With rent to own cars, you typically purchase the vehicle at the end of the rental agreement. The goal is to complete your rent payments so you can own the car. Similar to a traditional auto lease, your name isn’t listed on the title for the rent to own vehicle, unless you purchase it at the end of the rental period.

Only adding to the confusion, rent to own is sometimes called a lease to own. However, if you hear “to own” at the end, it’s likely for a used car at an in-house financing or buy here pay here (BHPH) dealership.

Rent to own agreements are often offered at BHPH dealers that only have used vehicles. These dealerships generally don’t check a borrower’s credit score during the approval process, which makes these kinds of dealers very appealing to borrowers struggling to get financed by a traditional lender.

While BHPH dealerships don’t normally check credit scores, they also may not report your rental agreement to the credit reporting agencies, either. Even if you make every payment on time, your credit score may not improve. If you decide to look for a rent to own car, be sure to ask the dealer if they report rentals and payments to the major credit bureaus if you want to help your credit score.

Some BHPH dealerships may also allow the renter to back out of the rent to own agreement, unlike a traditional lease. But this means you forfeit your down payment, all rent payments, and gain nothing at the end of the rent to own contract.

Additionally, with a rent to own vehicle, you may be expected to make weekly or biweekly payments at the dealership. Renting also may be more expensive than simply financing a car, and it’s often a last resort option for bad credit borrowers who need a vehicle right away.

Financing a Car With Bad Credit

Car leasing is typically for those with good credit scores, while a rent to own car may not improve your credit score and is typically more expensive than financing one. If you want a reliable used vehicle and a way to help your poor credit score, financing through a lender that offers bad credit auto loans could be for you.

Bad credit lenders, also called subprime lenders, work through a dealership’s special finance department to help bad credit borrowers get financed for their next car. These lenders report auto loans to the credit bureaus, so you can improve your credit score for future car loans or leasing opportunities with on-time payments.

At AdvantageAutoLoans.com, we have connections with dealers that have special finance departments. We match borrowers with all types of unique credit situations to these dealerships for free. To get started, simply complete our auto loan request form and we’ll look for a dealer in your local area.