Keep car until credit score improves

Dear Terry,
I have a 2000 Toyota Corolla that I have had for almost three years. I am looking into trading it in, but I don't know how to go about it without having to spend $10,000 to $15,000 to do so. Unfortunately, I have a bad credit score. I am wondering how to go about this.
-- Jennie

Dear Jennie,
Do you owe anything on the Corolla? When you mention $10,000 to $15,000, is this the difference between the value of your Corolla and the new car you want to buy?

With a poor credit score, my suggestion is to hang onto the Toyota, clean up your credit score over the next year and then look to trade.


Here are this week's reader questions:
  • Car odometer may be robbing your cash
  • Who can help solve my loan fiasco?
  • Can I void my wife's car contract?
  • Will bad credit sabotage my trade-in?
If you have a question for Terry, e-mail him at Driving for Dollars. Save money on your car -- sign up for Bankrate's new weekend Car & Money newsletter.

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