This is the only place where I knew to turn for a question like this. I am a student (if that will make me look better to the loan officers), but I'm fairly certain I have no credit. I took out a secured credit card and have been playing with that for that sole purpose but I am unsure if it's come to fruition yet.

I can close $800/mo confirmed income as I work part time, however I have no expenses as I live at home. I have no co-signer as I am on my own with this one.

I really need a vehicle that is attractive and comfortable (sedan) to transport people in. I want to enter a career and that is pretty much a requirement unfortunately. I'm looking at a specific make and model at $10-11k which I am sure can be brought down to $9-10k with some haggling.

My question is, will I be able to get financing whether through a dealer's connections or through a bank? I was told by someone that I should get approved without a co-signer simply because I have no actual expenses to speak of so that's pure cash (after taxes of course) rolling my way to put towards the loan.

So is there anyway to get this done? And is it likely to get approved? I don't want to go to the dealership and then be told no, that would be as disheartening as it can get for me.

Again, I'm not sure where else I could ask a question like this. If it is inappropriate, please direct me to a site or multiple sites to post this at as it's something I have been researching for a very long time but cannot find existing answers from people in a similar situation.

2 Answers 2


Instead of going to the dealership and not knowing if you will be able to get a loan or what the interest rate might be, go to a local credit union or bank first, before you go car shopping, and talk to them about what you would need for your loan. If you can get approval for a loan first, then you will know how much you can spend, and when it comes time for negotiation with the dealer, he won't be able to confuse you by changing the loan terms during the process. As far as the dealer is concerned, it would be a cash transaction.

That having been said, I can't recommend taking a car loan. I, of course, don't know you or your situation, but there are lots of good reasons for buying a less expensive car and doing what you can to pay cash for it. Should you choose to go ahead with the loan, I would suggest that you get the shortest loan length that you can afford, and aim to pay it off early.

  • 1
    Remember that a car which has had a few years of use may be almost indistinguishable from a new car and half the price. It may or may not be worth buying a new car at some time in your life, but now is probably not the time.
    – keshlam
    Jan 18, 2017 at 6:05
  • @keshlam at $10-11k, I doubt OP is looking at a new car.
    – user40002
    Jan 18, 2017 at 13:27
  • I really appreciate the advice. It does help, I will start calling more banks and credit unions then. For banks, do you know any that will be more likely willing to help, so I can start by calling them first? Also how much down payment do you reckon they'd want from me? That's important to know so I know how much to save. And you are correct, I am not looking for a new car, just one that looks like such as to keep the passengers happy and comfortable. I mean, I can get a BMW for $5k which is pretty much a beater but what bank loans for so little? Again, I really appreciate it.
    – revofire
    Jan 18, 2017 at 13:52
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    Most banks will make loans of that size, or smaller. Ask.
    – keshlam
    Jan 18, 2017 at 14:05
  • @revofire I'm not sure if you are an "actual student" based on phrasing in the question, but if so you might look to credit unions and banks that have relationships with the local high schools/colleges, if you have that. Any institution can do it, but if they have such existing relationships then obviously they are quite familiar with limited/no credit young people, and sometimes even have special programs designed for them. You'll have to talk with them about down payment and the need for a co-signer though - no way to guess, and you can talk now about requirements and plan accordingly.
    – BrianH
    Jan 18, 2017 at 17:31

Ben already covered most of this in his answer, but I want to emphasize the most important part of getting a loan with limited credit history. Go into a credit union or community bank and talk to the loan officer there in person. Ask for recommendations on how much they would lend based on your income to get the best interest rate that they can offer. Sometimes shortening the length of the loan will get you a lower rate, sometimes it won't. (In any case, make sure you can pay it off quickly no matter the term that you sign with.)

Each bank may have different policies. Talk to at least two of them even if the first one offers you terms that you like. Talking to a loan officer is valuable life experience, and if you discuss your goals directly with them, then they will be able to give you feedback about whether they think a small loan is worth their time.

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