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What Requirements Are There to Get an Auto Loan?

Finance Paperwork with Glasses

The car-buying process can be overwhelming, so we’re never surprised to hear this question from West Columbia buyers: “What do I need to qualify for a car loan?” After you decide that the time is right to purchase a pre-owned or new Mazda vehicle, your next steps should be setting a budget and qualifying for a car loan. In the guide below, we’ll break down the process of how to qualify for a car loan — so you can get started ASAP!


What Do I Need to Qualify for a Car Loan?

Knowing how to get a car loan means knowing what lenders want to see from a potential buyer. So… what do I need to qualify for a car loan? We can answer this question in a couple different ways. In the general sense, applying for a car loan is a pitch to your lender (whether a bank, credit union, or other financial institution) that you have the means to make your car payments on time. More specifically, we’re talking about the documentation you need to make your case to the lender. Bring the following documentation to the financing center at a Mazda dealership near Irmo:

  • Proof of Income — Provide proof of your income to assure the lender that you can make your auto payments for the duration of your loan term. In most cases, bank statements or pay stubs are sufficient, but you should provide contact info in case a lender wishes to query your employer.
  • Proof of Insurance — Most states require by law that you purchase auto insurance along with your vehicle. If your state is one of them, you can buy insurance through your dealership prior to or at the time of purchasing your vehicle.
  • Identification — Provide an ID and corroborating documents (such as a bill or recent bank statement) with an address that matches your ID.
  • Proof of Residence — A current utility bill is generally sufficient proof of address. 
  • For Trade-Ins — If you’re trading in your current vehicle, bring that vehicle’s title and registration as proof of ownership.

How to Qualify for a Car Loan With Bad or No Credit

We often hear from Blythewood drivers who ask if it’s impossible to get a car loan with bad or no credit. Actually, here’s the question you should be asking instead: “What do I need to qualify for a car loan if I have bad or no credit?” Getting approved for financing will be more difficult than normal, but there’s a lot you can do to assure potential lenders that you can handle your auto payments. Here’s how to get a car loan and boost your chances of approval:

  • Pay off older debts, especially anything that has gone to collections.
  • Calculate your monthly payments (including fuel and repairs) and set a budget with some wiggle room.
  • Save up for a larger down payment.
  • Be firm about your price range and don’t look at vehicles that will out you over your limit.
  • Explore all of your options — like in-house financing, leasing, and buying used.

Learn How to Get a Car Loan With Mazda of Columbia

Knowing how to qualify for a car loan the proper way can help you get the lowest possible interest rates. Still asking, “What do I need to qualify for a car loan in Lexington?” Reach out to our finance center for more tips on qualifying for a car loan in the Columbia area, or pre-qualify online to get started today!

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