What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a Car?

A credit score is a number that lenders use to decide whether to give you a loan. It is based on your credit history, which is a record of how you have handled debt in the past. The higher your score, the more likely you are to get a loan and the lower the interest rate will be.

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The auto industry and the Federal Trade Commission’s have different ideas about what credit score you need to buy a car. The FTC says there’s no definitive answer, but lenders will probably consider you a high-risk borrower if your score is below 620. Auto dealerships may be willing to work with you if your score is lower, but you may end up paying a higher interest rate.

If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s important to know your credit score and understand how it can affect your financing options. Read on to learn more about what credit score you need to buy a car.

The Minimum Credit Score You Need

If you’re looking to finance a new or used car, you might be wondering what credit score is needed to buy a car. The minimum credit score needed to buy a car is 660, which is the minimum score required by most lenders to approve a loan. However, there are some lenders who will approve loans for people with a lower credit score.

FICO Score

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the minimum credit score you will need to buy a car depends on a number of factors, including the type of loan you are applying for and the lender you are working with. However, we can give you some general guidance on what kind of credit score you will need in order to qualify for a car loan.

For starters, it’s important to know that there are different types of credit scores, and the one that lenders will look at when you apply for a car loan is your FICO score. Your FICO score is a number between 300 and 850 that represents your creditworthiness, and the higher your score, the better.

Generally speaking, you will need a FICO score of at least 620 to qualify for a car loan, but if you want to get the best interest rates and terms, you will need a score of 700 or higher. Keep in mind that different lenders have different credit requirements, so even if your score is on the lower end of the spectrum, there’s a chance you could still qualify for a loan from some lenders.

If your credit score is below 620 and you’re having trouble getting approved for a loan, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. First, make sure there are no errors or incorrect information on your credit report, as this can drag down your score. You can also try working with a cosigner who has good credit and borrow money from friends or family members to put towards your down payment. Finally, consider opting for a secured loan instead of an unsecured one. With a secured loan, you put down collateral (usually in the form of a savings account) in order to get approved, which may be easier if your credit isn’t great.

Keep in mind that while having good credit is important when applying for a car loan, there are other factors that lenders will consider as well. So even if your credit isn’t perfect, don’t get discouraged – there’s still a chance you could be approved for financing.


There are a number of credit scoring models in use today, but one of the most popular is the VantageScore. This score is used by many lenders to determine whether or not a borrower is a good risk, and it ranges from 300 to 850.

Generally speaking, a score of 700 or above is considered good, and a score of 800 or above is considered excellent. If your score falls below 700, you may still be able to get a loan, but you may have to pay a higher interest rate.

The minimum credit score needed to buy a car will vary from lender to lender, but the average is around 620. If your score is lower than this, you may still be able to get financing through a subprime lender.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you’re looking to buy a car, you’ll need to have a good credit score . A credit score is a three-digit number that creditors use to decide whether to lend you money. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of getting a loan with a low interest rate. There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score.

Check Your Credit Report for Errors

The first step to improve your credit score is to obtain a copy of your credit report and check it for any errors. If you find any errors, dispute them with the credit bureau. If the error is corrected, your credit score will improve.

You should also check your credit report regularly to make sure that there are no new errors being reported. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year at annualcreditreport.com.

Make Your Payments on Time

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. Payment history is the most important factor in calculating your credit score, so it’s important to make all of your payments on time, every time. You can set up automatic payments for all of your bills to ensure that you never miss a payment.

Another way to always make sure you make your payments on time is to sign up for email or text alerts from your creditors. Creditors will often send an email or text reminder when a payment is due, so you can always be aware of when you need to make a payment.

One thing to keep in mind is that late payments can damage your credit score, even if they’re only a few days late. So it’s always better to be safe and make your payments on time.

Use Credit Cards Responsibly

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to use credit cards responsibly. That means charging only what you can afford to pay off each month, paying your bill on time, and keeping your credit card balances low.

If you’re not sure how to use credit cards responsibly, start by opening a low-limit credit card with a major credit card company. Use it for small purchases and pay the bill in full each month. As you demonstrate that you can use credit responsibly, you’ll slowly build up your credit score and be in a better position to qualify for loans at favorable rates.

Get Help from a Credit Counselor

If your debt feels overwhelming, it may be valuable to seek out the services of a reputable credit counseling service. Many non-profit organizations exist that can help you find a way to pay off your debt and get your finances back on track.

A credit counselor will work with you to create a budget and come up with a repayment plan that fits your unique financial situation. This type of service can be an invaluable resource if you are struggling to improve your credit score on your own.

There are many credit counseling services to choose from, so be sure to do your research before selecting one. Check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies for some reputable options.


In conclusion, there is no one answer to the question “What credit score do you need to buy a car?” While there are some general guidelines that may vary depending on the lender, the type of loan, and other factors, ultimately it is up to the lender to decide what credit score is needed in order to approve a loan. If you are in the market for a car loan, be sure to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate and terms possible.

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