Frequently Asked Questions About Financing a Car


When is the best time to apply for a loan?

It's always best to secure your car loan before you go to the dealership to buy. After you've found the car you want and figured out which credit and vehicle protection products are right for you, you'll have a good sense of how much you need to borrow. That's when you should apply for a loan. The Learn section of our website has a lot of information to help you throughout the process.

How long does it take to get financing?

Most of the time, we can show you up to three loan options within seconds after you hit submit on our website. After you select one loan and apply, the time it takes depends on the lender. Some can give you an answer in minutes, but others take a little longer. We'll keep you updated through email or text, whichever you prefer.

Once you accept your offer, you can take it to the dealership as soon as you’re ready.

Can I arrange a loan for a used car? What about a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle?

Yes! We're happy to help you arrange a loan to buy a used car, including a certified pre-owned one.

Do you finance leases?

No, we only help find lenders for loans to purchase a vehicle or to refinance your existing auto loan.

Do you finance motorcycles, boats, or RVs?

Currently, we only help secure loans for cars or trucks.

Do I have to make a down payment?

Whether you need to make a down payment, and how much you should put down, varies by lender. Making a down payment is helpful because it shows lenders you're serious about paying back your car loan. If you can afford to put money down, it also means that you are borrowing less, which means you’ll pay less in interest over the term of your loan.

Does it hurt my credit to apply for a loan? Do you do a hard pull of my credit?

We don’t do a hard pull when we pre-qualify you, so your credit score will not be affected. If you choose to apply for one of the loan offers we present to you, the lender you select will need to do a hard pull of your credit. This can reduce your credit score slightly. Most hard pulls conducted around the same time for the same reason will be treated by the credit bureaus as one pull. That means you can shop around for the best car loan for you without worrying about dragging down your credit score.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow? Is there a minimum?

The amount you can borrow depends on your credit, the vehicle you’re buying, and your lender. Most of the time, our lender partners offer loans between $7,500 and $100,000.

Will I have to accept a loan if I'm approved?

No, you don't need to accept any loan that's offered. The choice is always yours.

Can I apply with a co-borrower? Do we have to live at the same address?

Yes, you can apply with a co-borrower! When you click on Apply, we’ll ask you a few questions, including whether you want to apply with a co-borrower. And, yes, lenders like to see that your co-borrower lives at the same address so that they'll know where to find you both and they can be sure that important notices can be read by both of you.

Should I or do I need to apply with a co-borrower?

We’re not credit counselors, so we can’t tell you whether it makes sense for you. In general, applying with a co-borrower may help increase the amount you’re able to borrow and increase your chances of being approved. Lenders consider the ratio of the debts you owe to the income you make in order to determine how much they’re willing to lend to you. If you divide your debts by two incomes instead of one, you may be able to qualify for a better rate, or with more lenders, than if those same debts were divided by just your income.

It’s important that your co-borrower be involved in pre-qualifying and applying for the loan with you. Once you agree to the loan, your co-borrower will be equally responsible with you for paying it off.

When does it make sense to reapply for a car loan? Can I re-apply if I’ve been denied?

A good time to reapply is when your credit profile improves, like when you get a pay raise or pay down your debts. Also, if you have more cash on hand, you may want to reapply and put it toward a down payment. If you were previously denied credit when you applied by yourself, applying with a co-borrower might also help.

Can I get a loan if I'm self-employed?

Your employment is just one factor our lending partners use to determine loan eligibility, so we encourage you to apply with Outside Financial if you're self-employed.

How old do I need to be to get financing?

Each of our lender partners has a different minimum, but it’s usually 18 years old.

What do I need in order to apply for a loan?

To start the process, you just need to tell us a little about yourself and the vehicle you’re thinking about buying. If you know the VIN of the vehicle, it will help us to make sure we can get you the right loan package, but don’t worry if you haven’t selected the exact vehicle yet. You can always update your vehicle information later in the process.

Everything else we ask you should be stuff you know, like your name and address, or information you can get from your wallet, like your driver’s license number.

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