Running credit, can't be done online?

Credit is avg FICO 750, good income, should get money tier 2 credit. Every other dealership wants $2k above their price, but their dealership is a 3 hour flight + 2 hour drive away, so it’s too much of a risk.

Smells like Tier 1 to me.

That’s what I hoped, but I’m uneasy that they could trick up the interest and having no leverage so far away from home would suck.

Have them mail you a contract, else no go. You’re going to fly with a one way ticket and drive 2 hours to potentially get screwed?

So far I’ve only got a quote with the VIN of the car and the final price including taxes. When you say contract I assume this means including my approved credit rate and everything else, right?

A signed physical contract, a DocuSign’d one, I wouldn’t care if it’s something legally binding not a four square offer sheet or anything like that.

But with or without financing details?

The results of your credit report drive the end result of the contract

Have them run your credit
Confirm all numbers
Speak w finance
Have them mail you the final contract or DocuSign
Only go up once signed contract is returned


Thank you very much, this is sound advice. We should add it to a Leasing 101 FAQ for out-of-state buyers that pick up their cars.


We protect our own!


I’ve done this 3 times and every time has been different. But I fully understood the risks and booked a return SW flight just in case things didn’t go right.

  1. Private party. Low mileage Toyota (used). Drove the car, took it a mechanic, everything checked out, went to a bank and took out cash and paid the seller.
  2. Leasing a car. Wasn’t comfortable running credit (bad move but whatever). Dealer was extremely nice and I was very comfortable with their openness. They told me what the monthly hike would be if I was in Tier1, Tier 2 or tier 3 but with my 780 vantage score, I was confident I would be in tier 1. Tier 2 wasn’t a big deal either.
  3. Signed the credit app online. They gave me the final payment on email. Sales guy was honest and open and I didn’t have an issue trusting him.

At the end of the day, if you feel something is fishy. It usually is. In my case, I got lucky that I got good vibes from the other side.

In all fairness, I’ve driven 2.5 hours to a dealer to buy a car and only for them to not honor their email price, which they confirmed over email and phone.


A lot of dealers in SoCal are doing this — credit bump once you walk in.

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One is a scam that has happened many times at car dealerships, the other is a figment of your imagination

Lets put it this way. You fly there and the car isn’t there.
What do you do? Well you just flew there you sign a BAD deal on a car they do have.

I had a dealer email me a quote for a car and I drove to the dealership 2 hrs later (after work) the employee wasn’t there and they had zero cars but they had this lovely camry I could get for ‘near’ the same amount.

Ok, so got 5.95% APR on 60 months. Plan on paying off the car within a year’s time anyways, but is this normal rate for Tier 1?

Also, they offered to do e-sign contract. Is this a “we’re honoring this price” contract or is it a “sign and buy contract”, pick up whenever you want from now on.

That seems really high. Have you shopped other banks?

Apparently they shopped different banks at their finance office. How should I go about this?

If you’re purchasing, you’ve got tons of options. I’d reach out to a few local credit unions to find out what their loan rates are, etc. You can show up at the dealer with your own financing for a purchase.

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I’m also a first time car buyer, only been at my job 1.5 years, credit is 750 fico. Not sure if that still makes it too high.