5 Bad Credit Auto Loans For Older Cars (March 2024)

Auto Loans For Older Cars

Some auto loans for older cars can be obtained even with a less-than-perfect credit score. An auto loan is a form of a secured loan, which means your car serves as collateral for the loan. If you fail to make payments, the lender can repossess the vehicle and sell it to recoup its money.

While that may sound scary, it’s the reason auto loans are fairly easy to get approved for, no matter your credit score. And, if you can make a down payment and/or bring along a cosigner to vouch for you, you’ll be in an even better position for car loan approval.

Recommended Lenders | FAQs

The following services can help connect you with direct lenders across the country. These auto loan networks match your single loan request form to lenders near and far willing to work with you based on the criteria you submit.

If the network can find you one or more matches, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s website to complete the loan application. In most cases, you can go from loan request to loan funding within one day.

  • Network of dealer partners has closed $1 billion in bad credit auto loans
  • Specializes in bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy and repossession
  • In business since 1999
  • Easy, 30-second pre-qualification form
  • Bad credit applicants must have $1500/month income to qualify
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
3.99% - 29.99% 1999 3 minutes 9.5/10

Auto Credit Express is our top-rated auto lending network because of its lengthy experience helping applicants with bad credit get financing for new and used cars. You must be able to prove you have a pre-tax income of at least $1,500 a month and provide personal information, including your phone number(s) and residency information, to qualify.

  • Auto loans for purchase, refinance, and lease buyouts
  • Nationwide lender network
  • Get matched with up to 5 lenders that fit your financial profile
  • It only takes a few minutes and is free with no obligation
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1998 4 minutes 9.5/10

LendingTree found that the average age of used cars its customers sought to finance was seven years old, thanks to rising costs and shrinking availability. LendingTree can help you secure financing for an older vehicle by submitting its quick form with no hard credit pull.

MyAutoloan.com can help you get into the older car you’ve got your eye on after you fill out its short and secure offer form, which will match you with up to four offers in minutes. After you choose the offer you like best and complete the loan paperwork, you’ll receive an online certificate or check within 24 hours that can be used to buy the car you want or to refinance an existing loan.

  • Free, no-obligation application
  • Specializes in auto loans for bankruptcy, bad credit, first-time buyer, and subprime
  • Affordable payments and no application fees
  • Connects thousands of car buyers with auto financing daily
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1994 3 minutes 9.0/10

Car.Loan.Com is another experienced network that can help you obtain the auto financing you desire. All credit types are accepted, and it even provides loans for lease buyouts. This network allows you to apply, choose a car, and drive away all in the same day.

  • Prequalify in minutes without impacting your credit score
  • Refinancing loans save an average of $191 per month
  • 125% financing available for cash-out refis
  • PenFed Credit Union membership required but can be applied for at the same time as your loan
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
5.19% and up 1935 5 minutes 8.5/10

PenFed Credit Union can help you secure a loan for an older car. Because it’s a credit union, you may qualify for lower rates and fees than you would get from other lenders. You can get preapproved on its website in minutes so you’ll know what you qualify for before you buy.

Can You Get an Auto Loan For an Older Car?

Yes, it’s possible to get an auto loan for an older car, and you can do it through several sources. Whether you’re seeking a private party auto loan or your dream car is currently parked at a dealership, most banks, credit unions, dealerships, and online networks can help you get a loan.

Where it gets tricky depends on your definition of older. Some lenders, namely banks, won’t consider car loan applications for vehicles older than 10 years, even if you have excellent credit.

Most bank financing requires the vehicle to be newer than 10 years, have less than 100,000 miles on the engine, and the amount financed must be at least $5,000, according to CarsDirect.

However, alternative lenders, including the lending networks we’ve reviewed above and some credit unions, may be able to help you obtain financing for an older-model vehicle.

Can You Finance a Car Over 10 Years Old?

Yes, but as discussed above, your options for financing wane the older the vehicle — and the lower your credit score.

A credit union may be able to help, but the determining factors may come down to the Kelley Blue Book value of the car, the amount of financing you need, and your credit score. Another option is a buy-here-pay-here (BHPH) lot, where you can generally find a lot of older cars at lower prices.

A BHPH dealership offers in-house financing that is greatly dependent on your income and ability to repay the car loan. The networks we’ve recommended all work with local dealerships that may be able to offer you the loan — and car — you’re after.

Can You Get a Loan on a 20-Year-Old Car?

A car that is 20 years old is generally considered to be a classic car, and you’ll need to seek special classic car financing. A classic car loan can be hard to come by and is only offered by a few select lenders.

One provider of classic car financing is LightStream, a division of Truist Bank.

LightStream screenshot of the classic car financing page
LightStream offers classic car financing for vehicles older than 20 years old.

LightStream offers classic car loans that start at $5,000 and go all the way up to $100,000. You’ll need an excellent credit score to obtain the largest loan amount. Loan terms range from 24 to 84 months, and you’ll receive a lower interest rate if you sign up for autopay.

An alternative option is to get a personal loan, which can be used for any purpose. The con to this, however, is that you may end up paying a higher interest rate for your loan than what you’d typically get from an auto loan.

Is There a Maximum Age Limit For Car Financing?

There isn’t a specific age limit regarding which vehicles can be financed, however, when a vehicle is older than 10 years, your financing options begin to diminish.

If the vehicle you’re looking to finance is older than 10 years, consider using a credit union or a local car dealer that can provide in-house financing.

Navy Federal, for example, is a nationwide credit union that may be able to offer you a great auto loan rate for an older car if you’re eligible for membership. You can check on its website for preapproval before you decide to submit a loan application. Credit unions generally have more relaxed approval criteria than banks do and work hard to approve applicants.

If you’re not a member of a credit union, the lending networks above can help connect you with a direct lender that can provide financing options, even if you have poor credit.

Can I Get a Car Loan Through My Bank?

If the car is less than 10 years old, your vehicle may qualify for financing through a bank. If the car you wish to finance is older than 10 years, you may need to seek an alternate source of financing, such as a credit union, BHPH lot, or another local car dealer.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though. Each financial institution makes its own lending decisions, and it’ll come down to the details of the car — including its value, mileage, and CARFAX report, among other things — and your personal credit history and income.

Banks are in business to make money. A loan request may be denied for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  • the vehicle’s value is less than the asking price.
  • the Carfax report shows a history of accidents.
  • you have a history of late payments/defaults/bankruptcy.
  • the amount you’re seeking doesn’t meet the bank’s loan requirements.

But if you have an established relationship with a bank, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask whether it can provide you with a vehicle loan.  And if they turn you down, the sources recommended in this article can likely help you.

Is It Better to Get a Loan From a Bank or a Dealership?

Whether you’re buying a new car or a pre-owned vehicle, the dealership is usually working with a third-party bank to fund your loan, otherwise known as indirect financing. The dealership may even have partnerships with credit unions to help find you the lowest auto loan rate possible.

Dealerships usually have several finance partners that fund their auto loans because they want to approve auto loans for customers of all credit profiles. Bank A may not approve one customer, but Bank B might. For another customer, Bank A may provide a lower interest rate than Bank B, so the customer can choose the best loan term and feel good about getting a fair deal.

However, some dealerships do perform their own financing, namely the local BHPH variety. These dealerships cater to customers with poor credit, and approval is greatly dependent on the borrower’s income.

In-house dealership financing may also subject you to a loan term with a high annual percentage rate, though the highest rates are generally reserved for people with the lowest credit scores.

BHPH Auto Terms

BHPH dealerships also usually require you to make a monthly or biweekly automatic payment from your bank account or credit card to ensure you never miss a  loan payment.

What Credit Score Do I Need for a Car Loan?

There isn’t a specific bottom-line credit score for auto loan approval. Each financial institution that funds car loans sets its own approval criteria. Some banks may not accept a credit score below 600, whereas some BHPH lots may not even look at your credit score.

The good news is that auto loans are generally easier to get than other types of loans for a couple of reasons.

One reason is that the vehicle is collateral in the loan agreement. If you continue to miss your monthly payment, the lender can repossess the vehicle and sell it to recoup its money. That means there’s less inherent risk in an auto loan than other types of unsecured loans.

Another reason is that lenders understand a vehicle is a basic need for most people. Unless you live in New York City or some other place with public transportation and resources abound, you likely need a vehicle to get to and from work, school, and everywhere else you need to go.

This means most lenders will do their best to find you a loan option that fits your credit profile so you can get on with your life.

Research Auto Loans For Older Cars Online

You don’t need a good credit score to obtain financing for the car you want, even if it’s an older model. Auto loans — whether it’s a classic car loan, a private party auto loan, or in-house financing — can be obtained by most consumers who can prove they have enough income to make the monthly payment.

While the interest rate and loan term you qualify for will depend on your credit history, the lenders you deal with want to help you get into the classic car of your dreams. The networks we recommend will help narrow your search for the perfect auto loans for older cars in minutes, and you can begin weighing your options (and possibly even drive away) today.

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