For many, buying a car is a rite of passage. It’s a major step into adulthood. And getting handed the keys to your first set of wheels is a thrilling moment.
But, unless you’re paying in cash, you’ll have to apply for an auto loan. As a matter of fact, most first-time buyers need financing to lease or buy a car. Yet, for people without years of credit history showing timely payments on loans and credit cards, securing financing can be very challenging.
Car buyers with little or no credit history
After watching ad after ad for ways to improve your credit score, you know that having a good number helps you qualify for an auto loan. Although there’s no universal requirement, auto lenders typically require borrowers have a credit score of 500 or higher. But it’s much higher: five-year car loan borrowers have an average credit score of 697, according to Experian.
Don’t have very much credit history established? You’re not alone. NerdWallet reports that one in 10 Americans are less than a year into building their credit for the first time, and 13 percent say they have no credit history at all.
These people fall into two categories. The first group, “credit invisibles,” are consumers who have no credit history. “Unscorables” are consumers who have insufficient credit histories to generate a credit score.
Many lenders hesitate to offer car loans to credit invisibles and unscorables, because these folks haven’t yet established a reputation of paying loans back on time.
To secure a loan, car buyers with little or no credit history frequently turn to a cosigner to get approved for a loan.
What’s a cosigner?
A cosigner is someone who goes on the loan application of a “primary borrower” to help the person qualify for a loan. In this case, you—as the primary car owner—are the primary borrower.
Having a cosigner can strengthen your loan application, because your cosigner’s income and credit history is used to secure a loan.
Cosigners get vetted the exact same way that primary borrowers do—lenders evaluate their salary, credit history, assets, and debts to assess how responsible they are when they borrow money.
Lenders usually require first-time car buyers to secure a parent or close family member to cosign their loan. It happens a lot. CreditCards.com reports that auto loans account for a whopping 51 percent of all cosignings. In fact, many first-time buyers can’t get cosigners at all.
Let’s say your dad steps up to cosign. That’s great, so long as you make your payments. Now what if your work dries up, or you can’t put in as many hours, or you get laid off and can’t make your payments on time? Your dad will need to make your loan payments, or you lose your car or truck. And his credit score can drop if he can’t make the payments.
Sounds terrible, but does this really happen? Sadly, yes: a CreditCards.com survey discovered that 38 percent of cosigners—dads, mom, sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles—report they've had to pay some or all of the loan or credit card bill because the primary borrower didn't make payments. And even more sadly, relationships can turn sour: one out of four of people said the cosigning experience hurt the relationship with the person they cosigned for.
Can you buy a car without a cosigner? Yes, with the Suretys PlusOne policy
If your parents or a close family member can’t (or won’t) cosign an auto loan for you, there’s a solution. You can eliminate the need for a cosigner with a Suretys PlusOne policy.
Our revolutionary PlusOne policy can help you get quickly approved for a car loan. We let you know how much you can comfortably spend each month on that car or truck you want. Maybe best of all, there’s no need to ask or involve family. You can buy or lease a car on your own, independently—and keep your relationships intact. No cosigner required.
When you’ve got the deal you want, it takes mere minutes to purchase a PlusOne policy for up to the amount approved. You can apply on your mobile device or laptop wherever and whenever you like. It’s that easy. And you get a decision in about 10 minutes.
Suretys also helps with shopping, not just buying
Besides eliminating your need for a cosigner, Suretys can help you shop and buy a vehicle like a pro. Pre-approval by Suretys tells you the number you can comfortably afford. This number gives you a big advantage when shopping. There’s more to say about this. But that’s for another post.
To learn more about how Suretys and our PlusOne policy can help you get the car or truck you want, just contact us here.