What car buyers can do with little to no credit

Woman holding phone showing auto financing application

For those with little to no credit, there are still opportunities to purchase a vehicle.

Although poor credit scores aren’t ideal, they don’t tell the whole story for a consumer, and Chrysler Capital works diligently to provide full-spectrum auto financing options to these shoppers.

“Chrysler Capital does have buying power for first-time buyers for some of the subprime applicants that are out there,” says Kevin from the Chrysler Capital Credit team.

“We have opportunities for the credit risk that is sometimes associated with a first-time buyer or someone trying to reestablish themselves – including someone recovering from a previous bankruptcy. Partner that with FCA US’ great lineup of vehicles and it’s a win-win.”

We spoke further with the Chrysler Capital manager to gain insight on the important factors that consumers with poor credit should know when looking to purchase a vehicle.

How is auto financing provided to a customer with poor credit?

Kevin: The bulk of auto finance decisions are made through our system, auto-decisioned within just a few seconds, which means a computer looked at the “black and white” and sent back a decision.

Many times, when it comes to subprime, there are gray areas that require a person to take a look at what’s going on. In these instances, the dealer or the Chrysler Capital credit analyst (sometimes both) will reach out to “rehash the deal” and see if there is an opportunity to put the consumer in a better position to buy.

How can someone improve their credit score?

Kevin: Making 24 months of auto payments without missing a single one really helps provide that snapshot of “This is a responsible paying customer. It looks like they are meeting their original commitment.” That is going to inspire an auto lender of any nature to maybe want to take a step forward on a vehicle.

Does that mean we don’t recognize 12 to 18 months of consistent payments? Not at all. Not missing a payment for an extended period is a sign of hard work and rising to the occasion.

where power meets purpose, view offers

Are other monthly payments, such as rent and credit card payments, recognized?

Kevin: We are looking for some sort of consistency and stability when it comes to paying bills.

If you’re handling the work-life balance in a responsible manner and showing that you’re handling your business, that’s something to hang your hat on. We always welcome that stability.

What’s your advice for first-time buyers or those with little to no credit?

Kevin: First, save up to make a solid cash down payment. However much you’re able to offer, all of it impacts how we look at the risk associated with a potential buyer.

Second, choose a vehicle that’s in line with a first-time purchase. I would encourage a lower-priced vehicle versus something brand new or more expensive since you’re building your credit profile. Doing so will bring down the risk level on the potential purchase.