What Credit Score Do Auto Dealers Check?

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There are different credit scoring models, but chances are any dealership with lending partners will review your FICO credit score.

FICO Score 8 vs. VantageScore

The FICO credit scoring model is the most common credit scoring model used by auto lenders and car dealerships, and is also the oldest and very first credit scoring model. It is estimated that 90% of auto lenders use the current FICO Score 8 model to make lending decisions. Given its history and proven model of generating credit scores based on credit reports, it is widely used and essential in most car loan decisions.

Another well-known credit scoring model is called VantageScore, and it’s similar to FICO in the way it views your credit reports, but not as widely used by dealerships. It is important to remember that the three credit bureaus may have different information on them. Depending on where you get your credit score and where the information comes from, you may see three different credit scores at any given time, depending on the information in your credit reports.

There are also three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Depending on the content of these individual reports, they could all generate a different score. VantageScore typically only uses TransUnion and Equifax. The FICO score can use TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian.

If you want to see the credit score that a car lender or car dealership is going to see, it is recommended that you specifically know your FICO credit score. And if you want to see what lenders see when they put together your credit reports, ask them and go through all three to find out where you stand.

Normally you are allowed to view your credit reports for free once every 12 months, but the pandemic has created the need for consumers to monitor their credit reports during the economic downturn, so now everyone has free weekly access. . You can visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to request yours for free.

Bad credit score and car loans

Your credit score is a benchmark to qualify for vehicle financing. Auto lenders use it to assess your creditworthiness – that is, your ability to successfully repay borrowed money on time.

If you know your FICO credit score and it’s below 660, you may need to look for a special financial dealership to increase your chances of qualifying for a car loan. Borrowers with credit scores within this range and below are generally considered bad credit borrowers. Most traditional auto lenders, such as banks and credit unions, often require a higher credit score to qualify.

Special finance dealers check your credit score, but they are registered with subprime lenders who are able to help you with many unique credit circumstances. If you have a bad credit history, no credit history, or have even filed for bankruptcy, a subprime lender may be the answer to your car loan problems.

Find a Special Financing Dealer

Skip the hassle of finding a dealer who can help you with credit issues and start with us at Auto Express Credit. We’ve been connecting bad credit borrowers and special finance dealers for over 20 years, and we want to help you too.

Start by filling out our free, no-obligation auto loan application form.


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