I'll start with my current financial situation:
In the beginning of December 2016 I applied for and got a $1,500 line of credit from Discover, in order to begin building credit. I've so far been way ahead of time with all payments, so my credit history is perfectly clean as of now. However, since my credit history is still so short, I still have no FICO score. NerdWallet shows me having a VantageScore of 717, presumably from having a long history of paying insurance and phone bills on time.
As of now, my only work is part time (recent college graduate), where I take home about $12,000 a year. I've worked there for 4 and half years, though, and the employment is perfectly stable.
My monthly expenses are nominal, I would be able to afford a loan of the amount I'm looking for (with a long enough term).
I'm in need of a new car, as my current one just broke down a couple weeks ago. I would really prefer to get a slightly higher quality car from a dealer. For example, one car I was looking at was a 2012 at $6,575, for an idea of the price range.
So far I have applied at my bank (M&T) and on an online car loan aggregator, and been declined (or told no options were on the table for the latter).
So, my question is what options are there for me for an auto loan at this point? Would a dealer be able to help me? Is it pointless until I have a FICO score tabulated? I will have at least my tax return (~$1,000) as a down payment, if that helps.