A big factor in determining what credit score you need depends on the type of car you want to buy. If you want a brand new car, lenders will want to see that you have good to excellent credit. But if you fall in the fair to poor range, you’ll most likely need to consider buying a used or certified pre-owned vehicle. Buying a used car is more cost-friendly overall, and, in the future when your credit improves, you can choose to refinance or purchase a newer car.
If you have bad credit or little to no credit, many lenders may require you to have a cosigner, but there are ways to finance a car without a cosigner. There are subprime lenders who specialize in helping bad credit car buyers get the financing they need. Each subprime lender will offer different loan programs and rates, and consider factors outside of your credit score. So, even if you have a credit score of 500, the good news is you may still be able to finance a car if you work with a subprime lender.