5 Simple Tips for Car Buying with Bad Credit



Unless you live in a major metropolitan city with exceptional public transportation like New York City or Washington, D.C., you can’t really get by without having a car. Yet if you won’t have good credit, you may have a hard time buying the car that you need.

Shopping for used cars in Cincinnati, Ohio can help you save thousands of dollars on a quality vehicle, making it more affordable for you to buy a car even with bad credit. You can either save enough to buy the car outright, or you can better afford the high interest rates for which you are likely to be approved.

Even better is to avoid the high interest rates entirely. While you might think that your credit is too bad to be salvageable, you’ll be surprised at how much you can improve your credit in just a short time. 

Here are a few things you can do to get your credit in top shape and to improve your options when you are ready to buy a new car:

Plan Your Purchase Months in Advance

While it won’t take long to improve your credit, it also won’t happen overnight. To get the best financing options when you are ready to start shopping for used cars in Cincinnati, Ohio, you’ll need to start planning a few months in advance. If you wait until the last minute when you absolutely have to have a new car, you could find yourself with few options thanks to your bad credit. 

Start developing a strategy for improving your credit and saving money to put toward your purchase as soon as you know that a new car might be on the horizon. The more time you have, the better.

Research Cars that Fit Your Budget

The less money you have to pay for your new car, the better your options for being approved for financing, and the better your financing terms will be. Research the options for your new car as far in advanced as possible so you can get the best deal possible.

Shop multiple competitors, identify the vehicle models with the best value, and identify the best times to shop to take advantage of dealer incentives. By planning ahead, you can buy your vehicle at exactly the right moment to get the most savings. 

Pay Off Any Outstanding Car Loans

Trading in your current car can help you lower the price of the car you want to buy, even if your current car has some body damage or needs some engine repair. Even $500 off the purchase price is $500 less than you will have to pay. 

However, if you try to trade in your car before you’ve paid off the loan, you’ll actually end up adding value to your new loan. This so-called negative equity will make the value of your new loan more than the value of your new car. If you are in an accident or your car is damaged, you will end up owing more than your insurance will cover, causing potentially serious financial issues.

With a higher loan thanks to negative equity, you’ll also have a harder time being approved and will likely have higher interest rates. A lower loan value means better financing terms, no matter the state of your credit.

If you’re able to pay off your credit cards completely, you’ll have the best chance at great financing terms. However, if you can’t do that, even paying down your balances as little as 10 percent can help you knock down your car loan interest.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt as Much as Possible

Credit card debit can have the biggest negative impact on your credit score. This unsecured, revolving debt is seen as a risk, and it significantly increases your debt-to-income ratio. Paying off even a little bit of your credit card debt will help you improve your credit score and get approved for better car financing.

Take aim at your highest credit card balances first, no matter the interest rate. Credit bureaus don’t take interest rates into account when they calculate your score, but they do take balances into account. The higher your balances compared to your credit limits, the lower your credit score will be.

Visit a Buy Here Pay Here Dealer

Buy here pay here car dealers offer financing even to those who have the worst credit. Whether you have bad credit or no credit history, you can get the financing you need at a Buy Here Pay Here dealer.

Since these dealerships offer the financing themselves instead of working through a middle man, they don’t have as much overhead and don’t have to charge the same high rates as other subprime lenders. This means you can save money a ton of money on financing, and skip traditional bank lenders, while still getting access to the best used cars in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Of course, if you improve your credit, you can get even better rates from buy here pay here dealers, the same as you would with other dealerships and traditional lenders. 


McCluskey Automotive is one of the top Buy Here Hay Here dealers in Ohio, and we strive to offer our customers some of the best rates on financing in the state. We give buyers with poor credit history a chance to buy the vehicles they need by giving them affordable financing rates that they can fit into their budgets.

We also offer some of the best selection of used cars in Cincinnati, Ohio, so that customers can find just the right model at just the right price. We can work with almost any budget since we have such as wide range of vehicles from different models and different years. 

Visit McCluskey Automotive today to start your research into your next car or to take a test drive to narrow down your selection and make your next purchase. No matter where you are in the car buying process, we are ready to help you make it happen.