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Car finance made easy

We make getting car finance simple so you can be on the road in no time with over 17 lenders and 70 products compared.

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I would like to borrow
£1,500
To pay back over
3.5 years

Representative Example: Borrowing £5,500 over 48 months with a representative APR of 19.8%, the amount payable would be £163 a month, with a total cost of credit of £2,283 and a total amount payable of £7,783.

Can you get car finance with a default?

If you’re looking to buy a vehicle with support from a lender, you might be worried about your financial history. You may have experienced some problems keeping up with payments in the past or been unable to keep up with a loan you took out. If you’re wondering ‘can you get car finance with a default’, the brief answer is yes, but there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of a successful application.

While it’ll be tougher than obtaining finance if you possessed a good to excellent credit score, securing finance with a default isn’t impossible. There are many lenders who’ll still consider you for a car finance agreement if you’ve got missed or overdue payments showing on your record.

Many of us will miss a payment occasionally or experiences cash flow problems throughout our life but still require finance to buy a car. Some lenders will be sympathetic to your situation but they’ll need a full understanding of it.

Notice of correction

In a short statement of no more than 200 words, you can write down how you missed your payments and why, and add it to your online credit file.

This statement, referred to as a ‘Notice of Correction’, offers car buyers with defaults on record the unique opportunity to explain their situation to lenders in their own words. If the finance company understands your circumstances, it might just swing an application in your favour.

Contact the lender

If you’ve missed or defaulted on a payment in some way, you are advised to always contact the lender with which the debt is registered. This vital communication can have a positive impact on all your future attempts to secure credit.

When at all possible, settle the outstanding debt in full, but if not, make an agreement with the lender to pay it back. No matter how small the amounts may be, arrange a payment plan of monthly instalments with the lender and start your repayments.

Finance companies you apply to will see you’re making good on your debts either in full or in increments, and be more likely to see you as a potential candidate worth lending to.

Checking your credit score

If you have concerns about your credit history and what it might look like, there are ways of checking it online. There are organisations online that specialise in this service, such as Experian and Clearscore, which allow you to see exactly where your credit score rates from poor to excellent

These services are ideal when you’re applying for credit to get an estimation of your chances being accepted for finance and seeing what you look like to lenders. When you’re rebuilding your credit history, you can clearly see when it’s improving and know when and when not to make applications for car finance.

Improving your credit rating

In order to have the best chance of being accepted for finance, especially when you’ve got a default on your credit file, you should always try to bolster credit history. Having a good credit score is not just the difference between being accepted or declined, it can have a serious impact on the interest rates you’re charged. The better your score, the better the deal you are likely to secure when it comes to car finance.

Negating the negative impact of defaults

At Car.co.uk, we are experts in the auto industry, especially when it comes to car finance. If you have concerns about your credit score or a default on your file, you can contact us for advice and support.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

There is no specific minimum credit score needed to finance a car. While your credit score is one factor – lenders will consider a number of different pieces of information; including affordability and the type of vehicle you’re buying.

If you make numerous applications for car finance, repeated credit checks can impact your score negatively. Your approach to paying back the loan will decide longer-term credit score effects – but if you pay on time, it could well go up.

The best way to get car finance with a poor credit rating is to take steps to rebuild your credit history, such as ensuring you’re on the electoral register, making payments on time and using ‘rebuilder’ credit cards.

It is not possible to get car finance in the 12 months after being declared bankrupt or until your bankruptcy is discharged through the courts. Getting finance without declaring that your bankrupt is against the law – and could lead to an extension of your bankruptcy.

If you’re refused car finance, find out why. You may need to correct inaccuracies in your credit report or take steps to improve your credit score. You might also want to consider using a guarantor.

Both Equifax and Experian are credit referencing agencies. They use slightly different scales to present your credit rating – but both can provide lenders with some of the information they need to decide whether they’re willing to provide you with car finance.

In order to get car finance with a CCJ, you will need to change the status of your judgement on the record or have it removed.

In the short term, applying for a car loan can lower your credit score. However, over time if you make your repayments ontime, it can help you to build your score.

It may be possible to get car finance if you have an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) currently in place. To do so, you’ll need to seek the permission of the Insolvency Practitioner dealing with your case.

If you apply for car finance shortly before applying for a mortgage, this can affect your mortgage price. However, if you have a mortgage in place already, it will have no impact.