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Voyage Federal Credit Union
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How to Qualify for an Auto Loan

As a Voyage member, you hold the key to qualifying for an auto loan that’s right for you. We offer flexible payment options to fit your budget, same-day approval, and no application fees. Here are our tips for qualifying for an auto loan so we can get you in the driver’s seat and ready for life’s journey.

1. Check your credit score

Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in getting an auto loan. Despite some misconceptions about checking your credit score, you can check your credit score annually for free and it won’t hurt your score. 

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If your credit score is below 600 and you’re not in urgent need of a new car, consider waiting to buy a car until you can raise your score. Making payments on time, paying down debt, and keeping your credit card balance low can all help you boost your score.

2. Calculate your budget 

Figure out how much of a loan you can afford before you start looking at cars. Check out our auto loan calculator to find an estimate for your monthly loan payment. Remember, you’ll need an extra 10% for taxes and registration fees on your car. 

Simply enter the loan amount, interest rate, and term months to find your monthly payment. You can find a guide for interest rates on our website based on if you’re buying a used or new car and its year. Keep in mind that your rate may change depending on your credit score. 

You can also put down a down payment for the loan. This will make the amount you need to borrow with interest and your monthly payments smaller. The bigger the down payment you can make, the better because you’ll pay less interest over time. 

3. Get pre-approved for a loan

It’s helpful to get pre-approved for a loan before you go car shopping. This way, you can visit car dealerships as a “cash buyer” and will only have to negotiate your total price, not monthly payments. 

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To get pre-approved, start by filling out our online application. A Voyage loan officer will get back to you shortly and proceed with the loan approval process. This is when we’ll pull your entire credit report and evaluate how we can best meet your needs. 

We’ll get an idea of what kind of car you’re looking for and give you a close estimate of the loan amount we can give you. This may change slightly after you choose a car depending on the year, make, and model. Remember, we finance both used and new cars.

After you’ve been pre-approved, you can find the car of your dreams! We’ll handle it from there. For more tips on car shopping, read our blog on Auto Loans: Bargain Hunters Guide to Used Car Shopping.

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