What about poor credit?

I’m looking out for my friend who just signed a contract on a job in which she’ll be well-compensates. She needs a car for SoCal life, and her credit is below 600.

The question: Can any deal be done for her? Which brands/dealerships are flexible? I’m not looking to get her an Audi, but Honda/Toyota/Subaru would all be fine choices if possible. Any help is appreciated!

That’s a tough one, allot of it depends on how the deal is structured, cash down, loan to value etc. Sometimes you can get a better rate on a new car, it just depends. Money down is really going to help this deal. It’s tricky because you want to shop for a good deal but don’t want to get her credit pulled too many times. You might want to check with a credit union too. You can always do a deal now with a high rate and refinance it later. Yeah forgot to mention, probably a slim chance leasing, you’ll be looking at a purchase


Honestly better off renting weekly/monthly from Enterprise/Sixt/Alamo/etc, saving money from the well-compensated job, buying a used vehicle after 6 months in cash, and then working on improving credit.

Anything below 650 IMO leases end up terrible as far as MF/apr situation.


Lease not gonna happen on a score below 600. Her best bet is to have someone cosigned for her.

Just buy a used car with cash today.

If she has any money saved, I’d recommend buying a used car and putting that extra money towards fixing her credit or rebuilding it. Leasing/Financing a car is just going to give you a high payment with a high interest rate. IMHO, that’s not worth it. I would definitely check into a credit union and start seeing how to rebuild her credit. Why did her credit drop that low? (if you don’t mind sharing.)

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I can almost guarantee she’d pay less monthly buying a used car even at 10% interest.


Never underestimate the down payment and the power of a good F+I manager. She might not get tier 1 rates, and nobody knows what her report looks like from the OPs post other than the score (her auto enhanced could be higher), but a lease isn’t entirely out of the question.

The question would be…would that be an attractive lease? That part is more doubtful than her actually getting one.

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Isnt that the point of leasing? Because if you can get it finance at a lower rate and lower monthly then why lease. Easier to get good apr on a finance than lease

I’m not arguing. However, you said “lease not gonna happen.” If she’s hellbent on leasing a car, it might take work, and might not be the best terms, but it might get done.

She could lease but why do it with that credit score. You will regret it in a year when you have way better options.

I’d say buy a cheap used car with a huge down payment, say 80%+, but you definitely want a note that you can pay to build fica and auto fica score. Then in a year she could easily have a credit score of 650+. Then you are talking maybe being able to get a reasonable lease deal.

Thanks all, it’s kinda what I was thinking in terms of lease/buy with regards to credit score

580 credit with $$ down will get you into a Dodge.

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Don’t they have special downpayment assistance for people with low credit? Or is that Kia?

Kia dealerships thrive on customers like this. For only $800 a month you can drive this brand new Forte.

Also renting weekly/monthly with Maven, Turo, etc. might be an option until credit improves. There’s another app called fair where you can rent used cars at a reasonable price, but probably they will check credit and there’s an upfront deposit of something like $1k or $2k.


You might be right, vaguely remember that one of the Korean companies has a rebate just for sub level credit.

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the Fair app might well be the winner. they will only show cars the user is eligible to buy with the corresponding rates and, there’s some solid options

thanks everyone

Let me know how it goes. I might look into it myself, but for different reasons.

@deceptacle Poor Credit is not the same as Bad credit so I’ve been told. She can still get approved with strong history of previous car ownership and no late payment history whatsoever across the board. MSD’s can help too if getting a decent MF is your friend’s concern (if allowed in your state). Bad Credit however (i.e. defaults/collection and/or bankruptcy) will be a tough sell. Subprime loans are really not encouraged as you’re automatically tacked on high MF just cause they know you really need the car, or probably getting a car loan for you is your way of rebuilding credit. If that’s the case, find a co-signer or get a second hand car will be your way to go.

Nah, not even Kia will sink as low as Chrysler.