5 Steps to Use a Cosigner For Buying a Car with Bad Credit

Two sets of hands folded across from one another on a table

Discovering that you are unable to secure an automotive loan on your own due to bad credit, can be a tough pill to swallow. A reliable car is a necessity in the life of nearly every American adult, and finding out that you can’t obtain this essential tool can be devastating. Rather than sulk in self-pity, consider what it will take to get behind the wheel of your own reliable set of wheels. Buying a car with bad credit may present obstacles along the way, but overcoming each stumbling block to restore your credit woes is well worth the tedious journey you will take to get there. One of the most humbling experiences in a person’s life is coming to terms with their past financial mistakes, and asking for help to correct them.

Considering a Cosigner

For individuals with bad credit, finding an auto loan with decent interest rates is near impossible. Getting turned down from one dealership to the next can be an exhausting way to spend your Saturday afternoon, and might serve as a sign that you are ready to explore other options for buying a car with bad credit. Finding a reliable cosigner to help you through your current credit valley, can be a great way to get the car you need to change your financial course for good.

Follow the next several steps, and you will be buying a car with bad credit and the help of a cosigner, in no time.

  1. Find a Qualified Cosigner: The first step to finding a person to cosign your loan and help you buy a car with bad credit is to make a list of close friends and relatives you believe would be willing to help. A cosigner must have an excellent past credit history and good credit score, and will need to possess a secure job and long-term residence in order to qualify. Cross out people on your list who either aren’t qualified to cosign, or who are unlikely to sympathize with your situation.
  2. Have a Conversation: Once you have narrowed down the list of potential candidates to a small handful, invite each one out for a cup of coffee to discuss your need. A cosigner on an auto loan will be taking on an enormous amount of responsibility, and will end up responsible for your monthly payments in the event that you are unable to. Because of the high risk involved in cosigning a car loan for a person with bad credit, it is imperative that you are up front and completely honest about your past mistakes and current situation. Outline a solid plan for the future, and be prepared to answer tough questions regarding your ability to make on-time payments, and why this time around is different. Having a level-head and humble disposition will serve you well in this circumstance, while blowing up and becoming easily offended will have the opposite effect. Few people enjoy admitting their need for help, but approaching it in a humble manner will resonate with your potential cosigner.
  3. Visit a Dealership: This step can be taken alone, but will serve you better if your cosigner is present as well. Take the time to visit a few local dealerships, and ask questions regarding their cosigning procedures and interest rates. While you are still technically buying a car with bad credit, a cosigner will increase your chances of getting a better rate and lower monthly payments. Find a dealership that both you and your cosigner are comfortable doing business with because, in the end, it is as much their decision as it is yours.
  4. Set a Budget Amount and Stick to It: Again, this is a step that can be completed without your cosigner’s help, but involving him or her in the process will demonstrate that you are taking things seriously. Disclose your monthly income with your trusted cosigner, and explain your plan for making consistent, on-time monthly payments. Have a number in mind when you first sit down, but be open to considering other loan amounts that they recommend. Once you take all aspects into consideration, set a budget that is realistic, and fair to both parties. When you are buying a car with bad credit and a cosigner, it is especially important that you stick to the agreed-upon number, no matter what.
  5. Buy Your Car: Have the person who has agreed to cosign your automotive loan gather necessary paperwork before meeting you at the dealership the two of you chose. Employment and residence verification will be required by the dealership of your cosigner, as well as a credit check that can be completed with or without a physical social security card. Test drive the vehicles you are most interested in, keeping your budget in mind throughout the process. Once you decide on the vehicle you want to buy, negotiate a fair price with the salesman and your cosigner together. Be up front with the salesman regarding your intent to use a cosigner for buying a car with bad credit, and ensure that you have taken the proper steps to finalize the deal. Once everything is in order and your cosigner signs the final paperwork, you will be the proud owner of a new-to-you car.

Don’t Screw It Up

When buying a car with the help of a cosigner, there is much more than your own skin on the line. When your close friend or family member made the decision to trust in your ability to make on-time payments, they agreed to be on the hook in the event you were not able to make good on your intentions. If you make late payments, miss payments, or neglect to pay altogether, your credit score will continue its downward spiral, and your cosigner’s credit will also be ruined.

The majority of individuals buying a car with bad credit are unable to find a cosigner willing to help them out. If a person gives you this rare opportunity to get a car with bad credit, don’t screw it up. Prove that you are a person of your word, and that you make good on your promises. The end result will benefit your entire future, and will open the door to unending opportunities for all of your future ambitions.

If you are buying a car with bad credit, be sure to come down to McCluskey Automotive. Whether or not you have a cosigner available to help, we will get you driving home in the car you need, to change your future trajectory toward success