Working out whether or not you’ll be eligible for a car loan can be tricky – especially as different lenders have different criteria.
Here, we’ll explain a little about car finance eligibility – and answer a few associated questions.
Am I eligible for a car loan?
As a minimum, you’ll have to be 18 or older to apply for car finance. This can be frustrating if you’ve passed your test at 17 and would like to buy a car using finance – but the law around who can borrow money is very strict.
Some finance companies put an upper limit on the finance applicants’ ages too. Sometimes, they will say that no one over the age of 79 can apply – but in other cases, they will want to make sure the finance is paid off before a certain age. For example; if you’re 77 and the finance company put an upper age limit of 80 in place, they might only offer you finance over a 3-year period.
What happens if I’ve got bad credit?
For finance companies, a car loan is often seen as being less risky than an ‘unsecured’ loan – and that can be a good thing if you feel your credit rating could use a little work.
The difference between secured and unsecured loans is fairly simple. With a secured loan, the finance company have something they can take back if you don’t pay – but with an unsecured loan, they don’t. As such, failing to keep up payments on a car loan will mean your car is recovered and sold to settle the debt – which significantly reduces the risk for the company that has loaned the money.
With this in mind, you’ll find that car finance providers are often much more flexible than personal loan providers. In fact, we work with some lenders who specialise in providing finance for people with a less than perfect credit history. You may find you pay a little more interest if you have a poor credit rating – but there’s still a very good chance you’ll get the finance you need.
What happens if I’m blacklisted?
We’re often asked if we can provide credit for people who think they might have been ‘blacklisted’ by a finance company or credit referencing agency.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as a credit blacklist. Lenders simply make decisions based on your credit history. If you have serious current arrears or County Court Judgements that are unresolved, then these things can be barriers to getting credit – but since no two peoples’ situation is exactly the same, it’s always worth seeing if we can find a specialist lender who can help.
Do I need to be employed to get car finance?
You don’t necessarily have to be working to get car finance. Rather than focusing on your job – some finance providers will just need to see that you have an income that will allow you to pay your finance repayment.
This is good news for people who are self-employed, sole-traders, pensioners, or in receipt of long-term disability benefit. Not all lenders are the same – but we’ll do our very best to match you to a finance provider who can work with your situation.
Am I eligible for car finance if I’m not British?
Your nationality doesn’t matter if you’re applying for car finance. Lenders will simply want to see that you have a credit history in the UK. For instance, if you live in the UK, you’re likely to have things like household bills, a mortgage or rent payment, and mobile phone bills that will all have contributed to your credit history.