The Car Buying Guide for Extreme Savers

Which Credit Scores Qualify for the Best Auto Loan Rates?

Everyone knows you need a good credit score to qualify for the lowest auto financing or lease rates, but what exactly constitutes a good credit score?

Many people don't realize lenders change their requirements on a regular basis - a lot depends on the economy and local market conditions.

Before the financial melt-down in 2008, many people with credit scores above 650 were qualifying for the best rates.

These days, it's harder to get financing. To qualify for the best auto loan rates, you generally have to have a credit score of 720 or above.

Here's a breakdown of credit scores and the rates they qualify for as of May 2011.

Credit Score Interest Rate
720 - 850 4.7%
690 - 719 6.2%
660 - 689 8.1%
620 - 659 11.7%
590 - 619 17.6%
500 - 589 18.6%

Right now, in order to qualify for the best financing deals such as 0% for 60 months, you need to have a credit score of at least 720.

To see what your credit score is, go to

My Recommendation for New Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest prices available on new cars in your area. Both tools provide upfront prices from local dealers, and the deals are usually really good. It should be the first step you take when negotiating car prices. You should follow that up with my checklist to make sure you get the best possible deal.
- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About the Author: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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