3 Ways to Use an Auto Loan to Repair Your Credit

If you have poor credit, you might think that getting a good deal on an auto loan is far out of reach. While credit issues can be a challenge when acquiring financing, they don't have to be a dealbreaker. Many dealers and lenders specialize in subprime lending, and there are many bad credit car financing options available, so your odds of getting a good loan on a car you want may be better than you think.

More importantly, you can use that loan to help repair your credit and make financing future purchases much more effortless. If you're planning to get a car loan with less-than-perfect credit, these three tips will help you utilize your new car to help rebuild and repair your damaged credit score.

1. Stick with Affordable Options

Late or missed payments can cause significant damage to your credit score, and a vehicle repossession can be even worse. Failure to make your payments on time can quickly undo attempts to repair your credit score and wipe out months or years of work in the blink of an eye. As a result, it's crucial to make sure that you only take on new loans that you can afford.

If you're taking out an auto loan to repair your credit, make sure you stick with affordable options and a monthly payment that won't stress your budget. When working with your lender, make sure you factor in car insurance premiums and other monthly expenses to avoid leaving yourself with a loan payment that's too high. Buying a cheaper car is a better option than missing future payments.

2. Plan Your Loan Term

If you're buying a car with poor credit, you may not qualify for the best APRs that lenders are currently offering. Taking out a higher APR loan is still worthwhile to improve your credit, but you should plan your loan term accordingly. If your goal is to improve your credit score, you may want to try for a better rate in a few years.

Planning your loan term can help you achieve this goal. Taking out a smaller loan for a shorter period means you'll be able to trade in your car for a newer model more quickly. This approach will let you take advantage of your eligibility for better rates after your credit improves.

3. Keep Focusing on the Big Picture

Your credit score includes numerous factors, and it's crucial to keep a good balance of different types of credit accounts. Making monthly payments on a car loan will improve your credit score over time, but it's only one of many factors. Make sure that you continue to focus on the big picture by paying down other debts and using credit responsibly even after financing your new car.