When you’re thinking about getting a new car, one of the first things to mind is how you’ll pay for it. If you want to take out a car loan in the future, you should first conduct some research to see what kind of interest rates are available and which ones are best for your budget.

Your annual percentage rate, or APR, may fluctuate greatly depending on a number of factors, but the most important of which is your credit score. Before you start the procedure, you need to verify your credit score. There are several free credit score-checking programs available online. If your score is below the poor score range, you might end up paying a lot of money in interest. Waiting to buy while you work on increasing your credit score may save you a lot of money.

How does your credit score have a significant impact on your car loan interest rate?

When it comes to assessing your capacity to repay debt, your credit score is an essential factor. However, the impact on your vehicle loan will differ depending on which lender you pick and which type of credit score model your car lender uses to assess your creditworthiness. Always keep in your mind that the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get a cheap interest rate and less restrictive loan terms.

To put it another way, you can acquire an auto loan regardless of your credit condition, but doing so with bad credit might cost you thousands of dollars, making it less tempting if you don’t need a new car. If your credit score isn’t perfect, but your financial profile is solid overall, you might be able to receive a better interest rate.

What are the different credit scores model that car lenders use?

Although it’s impossible to predict which credit score a car lender would use, the following credit scores are common choices.

  • FICO 8 and FICO 9 – These are the most recent FICO scoring models in general. Although these models are not created particularly for car lenders, they are popular and commonly used credit scores, and auto lenders may utilize an essential FICO Score when assessing vehicle loan applications. FICO 9 is comparable to FICO 8. However, there are specific differences in terms of collections and rent payments. Medical collections are treated less severely by FICO 9 than other collections, so a surgical bill in collections will have a lower impact on your credit score than a credit card bill in collections.
  • FICO Auto Scores – The industry-specific FICO auto Score, which was designed exclusively for auto lenders, comes in several variants. FICO auto score is based on a general FICO Score, which is then altered to forecast better a person’s chances of repaying an auto loan on time. Your vehicle loan history may play a significant role in establishing your FICO Auto Scores.
  • VantageScore® 3.0 or 4.0 – These are the two most recent versions of VantageScore’s credit scoring model formed by the three leading credit agencies in the United States, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. The VantageScore models differ from the FICO models in a number of ways, although they both utilize the same data in your credit report to evaluate your creditworthiness.

Tips to improve your credit score.

  • Pay off your credit cards – FICO credit scores are used by more than 90% of leading lenders to assess your creditworthiness, which is calculated by five factors. Payment history, accounts outstanding, credit account age, credit mix, and new credit inquiries are all aspects to consider. Your score is greatly affected by the payment history, contributing 35% of the total. That is why it is preferable to have debts that have been paid off. It is an excellent advantage for you if you pay your obligations responsibly and on time.
  • Check your credit report for inaccuracies and file a complaint – You may dispute anything on your credit report that you think and suspected to be incorrect. If a mistake that reduced your credit score is erased, disputing an item on your credit report will not harm your credit and may even improve it. It occurs more often than you may think, so be vigilant in checking your credit report for mistakes that might harm your credit score.
  • Limit your new credit requests and only apply if you needed – Inquiries into your credit history can be divided into two categories: “hard” and “soft” inquiries. In these two inquiries, “hard inquiries” can affect your credit score. A single hard inquiry usually has a minor impact on your credit score and only lasts a few months. Showing multiple hard inquiries in your credit report in a short period of time, you may appear to be a higher credit risk.

Bottom line

If you’re like many individuals that were looking for a brand-new car, getting your credit score in shape is a must, but it may take some time. Consider reviewing your credit reports and scores at least a few months before applying, so you have enough time to make changes or submit a dispute.

When it comes to getting an auto loan, having bad credit may be a significant stumbling barrier. A strong credit score might help you secure a loan with better conditions and cheaper interest rates. So, ensuring your credit report and credit score is in good shape before heading to the dealership will make the process easier.