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9 steps to a car loan on damaged credit

9 steps to a car loan on damaged credit
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9 steps to a car loan on damaged credit © Isa Fernandez Fernandez/Shutterstock.com

9 steps to a car loan on damaged credit

Bad credit doesn't mean you can't buy a car, and doesn't automatically mean you can't get a car loan with terms that don't break your monthly budget. 

Like everything else, "bad" is a matter of opinion and degree. If the score is borderline, some lenders might still smell a good prospect while others, with slightly different criteria, would see more risk.

Check your credit score for free at myBankrate.

Most important: Shop around. While the average interest rate for borrowers with good credit is between 4% and 5%, subprime borrowers will pay an average of 10% to 13%, depending on their credit score. Some lenders can go higher than that, according to Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com. "You don't want to have the attitude of 'just get me a loan.' There are still deals to be made."

It's also a good time to be looking. Delinquencies on auto loans dropped in the first quarter of 2015 compared with a year ago, so lenders are more confident, leading to a rise in subprime loans.

Here are nine strategies to help you find the best subprime auto loan.

Shopping for a car or just a car loan? Download Bankrate's auto app for price comparisons, loan calculations and more.

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