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If you are among the over 10 million people in Canada who rely on a car to get to work each day, you cannot afford to be without a well-running vehicle. However, if your car is at the end of its lifespan, you will probably need to go to websites and apply for a loan in order to buy a new vehicle. When you have less than stellar credit, you might have concerns about getting approved for a car loan.
Nevertheless, even with bad credit, there are ways to obtain a loan and manage your finances so you can make your payments on time.
Review Your Credit Report Before Apply For a Car Loan
Before you make any financial decision, you should always review your credit information. The two major credit bureaus in Canada maintain records of your past due and current payments to creditors as well as your debt level, bankruptcy fillings and any judgments against you.
The credit bureaus will provide you with a copy of your credit report free. If there is inaccurate negative information on your report, your credit score will be lower than what it should be and could affect how much money you can borrow for a car loan.
You can contact the credit bureau directly to dispute the inaccurate information. You can also contact your provincial consumer agency to file a complaint.
Save Up for Your Down Payment
If you can squeeze a few months of usage out of your old car and have time to plan purchasing a new vehicle, save some money for a down payment. While a lender that caters to those with bad credit may offer you a loan without a significant chunk of cash upfront, the more money you put down initially, the less you will have to borrow.
Even if your budget is already tight, brainstorm about ways to bring in a little extra cash to add to a down payment.
Choose an Affordable, Practical Vehicle
When you realize that a lender will provide you with a loan in spite of your bad credit, stay in your financial lane when you choose a car. If you need a reliable vehicle for a lengthy commute or spend a lot of time driving your kids around to school and other activities, prioritize your car buying decision on practical factors such as fuel economy and safety.
Estimate Your Car Payments
In order to determine how you can realistically afford each month in car payments, use a free online car loan calculator. When you meet with a lender and provide them with your financial details, they can give you an estimate on how much your interest rate will be and when you will start paying off the loan. Enter that information into the calculator to estimate car payments.
Get Financial Counseling and Live on a Budget
You should also set a budget in order to fit the new payment into your finances. If you feel you already have a mountain of bills but simply cannot go without buying a new car in the near future, consider getting advice from a credit counseling agency. Credit counselors will review your financial situation and provide advice on how to reduce your existing debt. You can find a reputable agency via the non-profit organization Credit Counselling Canada.
While the average length of a car loan is nearly six years, if you take the time to analyze your finances and stick to a budget after you acquire a new vehicle, you will not have a worry about making your payments on time and living beyond your means. Furthermore, you will have a reliable vehicle that enables you get to work so you can continue making a living and supporting a comfortable lifestyle.Share
18 September 2014