What credit score is needed to buy a car?

The credit score needed to buy a car can vary based on several factors, including the lender’s requirements, the type of loan, and the interest rates offered. However, here’s a general guideline:

  1. Prime Credit: To qualify for the best interest rates and terms (often referred to as “prime” rates), a credit score of around 660 to 720 or higher is typically required. With this range, borrowers are more likely to secure lower interest rates.
  2. Subprime Credit: If your credit score falls below the prime range (around 580 to 660), you may still qualify for a loan, but you might face higher interest rates. Lenders might consider this range as “subprime.”
  3. Deep Subprime Credit: A credit score below 580 is considered “deep subprime.” While it’s still possible to get a loan with this credit score, it’s generally more challenging, and you might encounter significantly higher interest rates or require a cosigner to secure a loan.

Remember, credit scores are just one factor lenders consider. They also review your income, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and other financial aspects when determining loan eligibility and interest rates.

Additionally, improving your credit score before applying for an auto loan can help you qualify for better terms and rates. Paying bills on time, reducing existing debts, and correcting any errors on your credit report can positively impact your credit score over time.