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You do get to pick your vehicle when you take out a bad credit car loan at a dealership. However, your vehicle choice is typically limited to what you qualify for and the requirements of the lender, so you may not be able to get the car of your dreams or qualify for a new vehicle. Keep reading if you’re wondering about car requirements and other bad credit auto loan rules.

Vehicle Requirements for Bad Credit Car Loans

More than likely, you’re going to be working with a subprime lender if you have less than perfect credit and need a vehicle. These lenders are bad credit auto financing experts, and work with many credit-challenged consumers.

In order to get approved, the type of car you choose must fit their requirements. They vary by lender, but your vehicle typically must meet these three requirements:

  1. Age – Subprime lenders have age limits for cars they finance. Typically, this means they won’t finance a vehicle that’s over 10 years old, although some cap this at seven years, so make sure you ask the dealer about this.
  2. Mileage – Just like age, lenders have a maximum mileage they consider. Generally, a car must have less than 100,000 miles on the odometer, but this varies by lender and model year.
  3. Amount financed – Each lender sets the minimum amount they’re willing to finance. Usually, this is $5,000, but it also varies by lender. Keep in mind that this is the total amount being financed, not the vehicle’s selling price. You could finance a car with a selling price under $5,000 as long as the amount financed with extras like an extended warranty meets the lender’s minimum.

What you qualify for also depends on your specific situation. The lender evaluates your application and issues a payment call to the dealership. This lets the dealer know which vehicles in their inventory you qualify for and can choose from.

Other Requirements for Bad Credit Financing

Of course, the vehicle you pick is just one piece of the bad credit auto loan puzzle. When it comes to qualifying for a loan, each subprime lender has different requirements borrowers need to meet, but they’re going to ask that you prove these three things:

  1. Income – A recent computer-generated pay stub showing year-to-date earnings is needed. Subprime lenders typically require that you make a minimum of $1,500 to $2,000 a month before taxes from one job.
  2. Residence – A recent utility bill in your name showing the address listed on the application to serve as proof of residency.
  3. Phone – A recent phone bill in your name that can be either a landline or contract cellphone is also required.

The Bottom Line

You do get to pick the car with a bad credit auto loan, but what you qualify for depends on your situation and the lender’s requirements. For more help, you can use our payment calculator and car loan estimator.

That’s not all Auto Credit Express offers, though. We can also connect you to a local dealership that has the lending resources you’re looking for. We’ve been helping credit-challenged consumers find financing for over 20 years.

Our service is easy, free, and comes with no obligation to buy anything. Get started right now by filling out our auto loan request form!