September 25, 2023
4 mins

Car Loan Credit Score Requirements in Canada

A young couple sign documents in an office setting
Summary.This article explores the credit score requirements for car loans in Canada, provides insights into bad credit car loans, and offers tips for improving your credit before applying for a car loan....

In Canada, understanding how much credit score you require for a car loan is crucial. By having this knowledge, you will be able to navigate the car loan application process confidently. You will need this confidence, mainly if you apply for a bad credit car loan. Before applying, check your credit score, review your credit history, and improve if necessary.


How much credit score is required for a car loan?

Credit scores in Canada range from 300 to 900. Higher credit scores indicate better creditworthiness. A good credit score is typically around 650 or higher. However, it is essential to note that car dealerships and auto finance companies may have different credit requirements.

It is always a good idea to check with your specific lenders.

Bad credit car loans

If you have a bad credit score or less-than-perfect credit, don't worry. You can still apply for a car loan. However, you may face higher interest rates or less favourable loan terms. Some auto dealerships and car financing companies specialize in bad credit car loans.

Researching your options and finding a lender that caters to your needs is essential.

Monthly payments and interest rates

Your credit score plays a significant role in determining your car loan's interest rate and monthly payments. Higher credit scores typically result in lower interest rates, which means lower monthly payments.

Conversely, if you have a bad credit score, you may face higher interest rates, which translates into larger monthly payments.


Improving your credit

Taking steps to improve your score before applying for a loan and buying a car is a good idea. Some ways to improve your credit score include:

  • Paying bills on time: Make sure to pay all your bills promptly. Your payment history affects your credit rating.
  • Reduce credit card balances: High credit card balances can negatively impact your credit score. So try to pay down your balances as much as possible.
  • Check your credit report: Mistakes in your credit report can hurt your credit score. It is important to review your information regularly and dispute any errors.

Pre-approvals and shopping for a car loan

Before buying a new or used vehicle, get pre-approved for a car loan. Pre-approvals show what you can afford and give an idea of the interest rate you will pay. Having a pre-approval can also give you more negotiating power when car shopping.

Navigating the car loan process with bad credit

An illustration of a man and woman sitting on a car

If you have a bad credit score, there are still ways to secure a car loan in Canada. Here are some tips for confidently following the process.

Shop around

Do not settle for the first loan offer you receive. Compare different lenders and car dealerships to find the best deal.

Consider a co-signer

If you know someone with good credit, they might be willing to assist you by co-signing your loan. A co-signer can help you secure better loan terms.

Make a larger down payment

Making a larger upfront payment can decrease the chances of having a low credit score. Additionally, it may also result in a lower interest rate.


Can I get a car with a 600 credit score?

A 600 credit score and a reasonable debt-to-income (DTI) ratio should be enough for you to buy a car. However, every lender is different. At a minimum, you must provide proof of income, residence, and other documents the bank or lender may require.

Check with your preferred lender regarding what they need before starting the application process. This will save you time.

Be sure your loan meets your needs

Understanding car loan credit requirements in Canada is vital for anyone looking to buy a new vehicle. You can get a car loan that suits your needs, even a loan with bad credit. However, you should always be working towards improving your credit. You should also fully consider the additional ongoing costs of owning a vehicle.

Creditpicks offers you free TransUnion® credit report access for one year. Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter. By doing so, you will receive a code to access your score. Additionally, you will also receive an e-book containing useful financial information.

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