How to Rebuild Your Credit With a Car Loan

November 12, 2019

Did you know that a car loan can help you build credit? Making routine payments on time shows lenders that you’re trustworthy. Here's why car loans are a great way to improve your credit score and how Canada Drives makes it easy to get an auto loan even if you have bad credit...

Your credit score is the number between 300 and 900 that is listed on your credit report. This 3-digit number represents your overall creditworthiness as a borrower.

Your credit score is based on components like payment history, how much debt is owed, the total length of credit history, what kind of credit you have (revolving or installment), if you have any new credit on file, and your overall payment history.

Although all of these components impact your credit score, they’re each calculated differently. 

Breakdown of Credit Score Factors Factors that determine your credit score as per the FICO credit scoring system

Your payment history accounts for 35% of your overall credit score while 30% of your credit score is based on much of your credit you’re using. If you’re successful at paying back your loans, these large percentages will have a positive impact on your score. 

However, if you struggle paying back your accumulated debt and can’t seem to get your payment history under control, your credit score is due to suffer. A low credit score will negatively impact your chances of getting approved for a loan in the future.

There are several routes to take when it comes to fixing credit. Debt consolidation, negotiating with your creditors, or planning to pay off high-interest debts first are all strategies that can help you lessen the debt load and increase your credit score. 

A car loan (or auto loan) is also an effective strategy for raising your credit score. Consistent on-time payments account for 35% of your credit score, making them extremely helpful in building trust with lenders.

Today, there are lenders that work with car buyers facing all types of credit situations. And that's where Canada Drives come in. We're partnered with over 350 certified dealerships across the nation. We can connect bad credit customers with great vehicles and affordable financing. 

Let's take a look at the advantages of using a car loan to build credit, how to use the loan opportunity effectively, and how Canada Drives makes it easy to get approved for your credit-building car loan.

Advantages of building credit with a car loan 

These three reasons demonstrate how an auto loan might be your best option for rebuilding credit.

  1. Auto loans are secured

  2. Secured credit is a type of loan that is backed by collateral. In the case of an auto loan, the vehicle is the collateral which means that it can be repossessed if a borrower fails to make monthly payments in full each month. Due to this, secured loans will typically have a lower interest rate compared to unsecured loans – loans that can be approved based on the borrower’s creditworthiness without collateral. 

    A lender may be skeptical approving a borrower with less than perfect credit for an unsecured loan and in return, increase the interest rates. With a secured auto loan, you’ll likely get low-interest rates with affordable payments thanks to the collateral.

  3. You need credit to build credit

  4. In order to get your credit rating back on track, you need to prove to lenders that you can responsibly manage a healthy mix of credit. Paying your monthly bills on time and in full will improve your credit score but opening up a new form of credit can add to your mix of credit and help you rebuild your score as you work to pay off your debt.

    To build credit the borrower cannot miss any payments or make late payments. The borrower should also keep the auto loan open for at least a year, even if he or she has enough to pay off the loan sooner. Keeping the loan open shows a pattern of responsible payment history which is what builds a credit score.

  5. Car loans are easier to get approved for

  6. Subprime loans are available to borrowers who apply for an auto loan with a credit score that falls below average. Generally, Canadians with an overall credit score under 670 are considered subprime. 

    While many dealerships can’t help subprime car buyers, there is a growing number of dealerships that specialize in subprime loans, and Canada Drives is connected to nearly all of them. 

    If you have less-than-perfect credit, you can save a lot of time and frustration hopping from dealership to bank to private seller. Apply with Canada Drives, and we’ll connect you with a local dealership that can deliver a reliable vehicle with affordable auto finance.

How to rebuild your credit with an auto loan

Are you ready to start improving your credit with an auto loan? These steps will help you prepare, apply, and get approved for an auto loan.

  1. Get your commitments current

  2. If the current credit you have is past due, overextended, or has been sent to collections, you need to get it under control before applying for a new car loan. You don’t have to pay it all off, but you should catch up with minimum payments for ALL your current credit obligations.

  3. Save up a down payment

  4. The lower the initial loan amount compared with the vehicle’s value, the less risk the lender has to assume. While zero down car loans are available (even to subprime car buyers), your chances of approval increase when you offer at least 10% of the purchase price as a down payment. 

  5. Spend within your means

  6. If your debt-to-service ratio is already high or if you earn a modest income, think Corolla, not Cadillac. Keep your payments reasonably low so you aren’t stretching your ability to repay. 

  7. Don’t shotgun your application

  8. A tendency is to send in a credit application to several lenders or dealers, expecting a few rejections but potentially one approval. This type of process hurts your chances all around. A service like Canada Drives can match up your application to the right dealership in your area. 

  9. Pay on time, every time

  10. Late and missed payments stay on your credit report for seven years, and it shows lenders that you can’t be trusted to make your payments on time. Make sure that you pay your car loan on time and in full every time it’s due, without question. Avoid grace periods as well.

Turn bad credit into good credit with Canada Drives!

Canada Drives is here to help people get the vehicle they want at a price that fits their budget.

Canada Drives is partnered with hundreds of car dealerships all across the country and has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians with low or no credit scores find affordable car loans.

The right car loan will put you on the right track to a better credit score and improved financial standing. Visit Canada Drives today to apply for FREE and see what you could be eligible for! 

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