Do you have big credit card balances and late payments that have hurt your credit score? Are you having problems with your car that make you worry about getting to work dependably? Unlikely as it seems, you may be able to get a new car loan.

So-called subprime loans—usually involving credit scores of 620 or less—have grown in the recovery from the last financial crisis and now represent about one-third of all car loans and 15 percent of loans for new cars. So clearly loans are available for car shoppers with less-than-perfect credit.

If you want to increase your chances of buying a new car that will fit into your budget, here are some easy to follow steps:

Keep the price down.

Don’t aim for more car than you can afford. Shopping for a newer vehicle priced between $15,000 and under $30,000 will make it likelier that you can get loan approval. And many cars in that range now are comfortable and look at up-to-date technology.

Get your credit score and credit report.

You should know in advance what any potential lender will be considering. At, you can get one free report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If there are erroneous details in your report, say a debt listed as outstanding that you have paid, you can contact the reporting company and try to correct it.

Have the necessary documents.

Any lender will want to see a recent pay stub, a current driver’s license and a current utility bill. You will seem like a better loan candidate if you come prepared. If you have evidence of a debt recently paid off, bring that along.

While a low credit score limits your financing options, if you can buy a new car and pay it off successfully, it can help rebuild your credit rating.

Car Loans & BankruptcyFor people considering bankruptcy, one of the biggest fears is:

“What will I do about a car?”

You likely believe that once you declare bankruptcy, you will have a hard time qualifying for an automobile loan. Our eBook with walk you through everything you need to know about buying a car during and after bankruptcy. Learn about your options so you can make the best decision for your circumstances.

Automotive Fresh Start Center, LLC is NOT a debt relief agency, as defined in section 101(12A) of the Bankruptcy Code. We do not provide bankruptcy assistance. The articles, videos, images, digital products, and other content maintained on this site as well as the opinions voiced in this material are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No information on this site constitutes legal or financial advice and should not take the place of consulting with a licensed bankruptcy attorney, debt relief agency, or certified financial advisor.