Car Loans – Credit Check Guide

If you’re in need of a car loan, it’s important to make sure your credit situation is in check.

A car loan is just as the name suggests, a loan you take out to help you fund your car purchase. If you want to purchase a car but don’t have the full amount of funds required, a car loan can help you out. Your current credit situation plays a major role in what type of car loan you will be able to be approved for. Your credit rating gets examined by financial lenders when applying for a car loan and a bad credit situation may impact your ability to access a car loan.

How do car loans work?

A car loan works just like any other loan except they are designed specially for those purchasing a car. The financial lender will lend you a certain amount of money to purchase your car. You, as the borrower then agrees to pay back the funds plus interest. Terms and conditions of your car loan are set out prior to signing up to your car loan.

For example, if you’re buying a second hand car, there could be an age limit for the vehicle. There are a few different options on how you want to structure your car loan. You can select a secured or unsecured car loan. You can also set out how much you need to borrow, your loan terms and length of your loan, and how frequent your repayments will be. Your car loan will also come with an interest rate which will stipulate how much interest you will need to pay on your car loan.

Car loan comparison

Rates last updated October 20th, 2018
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Application Fee Product Description Monthly Repayment
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 5.29% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $100,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available. - New Car Loan
5.44% (fixed)
3 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.44% p.a.
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.
IMB New Car Loan
5.89% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.89% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
Latitude Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new or used car up with loans from $5,000 and benefit from flexible repayments.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll recive a fixed rate of 5.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
St.George Secured Personal Loan - Fixed Rate
From 8.49% (fixed)
1 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
Westpac Car Loan
From 8.49% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a.
Finance a new or used car and benefit from convenient features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
RACV New Car Loans
From 5.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $15,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.89% (fixed)
1 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.89% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
Community First Credit Union New Car Loan - Variable
From 5.34% (variable)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a variable rate of 5.34% p.a..
Finance a brand new car, demonstrator vehicle, boat, caravan or motorbike and benefit from a competitive variable rate. Loans from $10,000

Compare up to 4 providers

How does your credit affect your ability to access car loans?

Your credit rating will directly affect your ability to access most loans and car loans are no different. It is the normal process for banks and lenders to check your credit file during the application process before they approve you for a car loan. If you have a bad credit file or any negative marks on your file, this will make you a risky borrower and will significantly limit your options for accessing credit. Lenders like to know they are lending money to someone who has the capacity to repay back their loan so if there are any marks on your file that indicate you may not be able to, this will limit your access to a car loan.

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Car loan options with bad credit

If you do have bad credit, there are still some car loan options available to you to assist you in purchasing a car.

  • Payday loans. Payday loans allow you to borrow a small amount of money over a short period of time. You can usually borrow between $100-$2,000 and borrow the money between 16 days to 1 year. Bad credit isn’t typically an issue with these types of loans. However, they do have a higher interest rate.
  • Bad credit lenders. Some lenders deal specifically in lending money to those with bad credit to help them purchase a car. Bad credit lenders take the risk associated with your bad credit as they specialise in this area. However, rates and fees tend to be higher again.
  • Wait until bad marks are removed from your credit rating.Your credit rating doesn’t remain on your record forever. If you can wait to purchase a car, consider waiting until the bad marks are removed from your credit rating so you have more options available to you.
  • Credit repair. Credit repair can assist you in finding any errors on your credit file, eliminating these and widening your options available for a car loan.

About bad credit car loans

Improving your chances of being approved for a personal loan

If you do have a bad credit rating, there are some ways you can improve the chances of being approved for a car loan.

Car Loan Success
  • Regularly check your credit file. Regularly checking your credit file for any errors or mistakes can eliminate or repair any bad marks from your file that shouldn’t be there and improve your chances for approval.
  • Pay bills on time. Late payments of bills show up on your credit file. By ensuring you always pay your bills on time, you won’t have any more late payment marks on your credit rating and will approve your chances of being approved.
  • Consolidate debt. Consolidating your debt into one debt can assist you improving your credit rating. This will make it easier to repay off your debt and you may also get a lower interest rate. Controlling your debt will ultimately allow you to improve your chances in being approved for a car loan.
  • Control of your credit cards and spending. Controlling your credit cards and spending responsibly when using credit is one of the easiest ways to improve your chances of being approved. Make sure you don’t spend beyond your means, always make your repayments on time and stay in control of your credit.
  • Don’t apply for loans too often. Applying for loans too often and getting rejected affects your credit rating. By applying less, or only applying for loans you know you will be approved for, this will improve your credit rating and your chances of approval.

Types of car loans

  • Secured car loan. A secured car loan requires you to use the vehicle you buy as security for your loan. If you fail to make your car loan repayments, the lender has the right to repossess your car. They can then sell the car to regain some of the funds they lost by lending you money.
  • Unsecured car loan. An unsecured loan is when you don’t use your purchased vehicle as security. The lender can’t repossess your car and that makes you a risky borrower. For this reason, the rates tend to be higher.
  • Chattel mortgage. Chattel mortgages are used for those who are self-employed and who purchase a car for business use. They work like personal loans, however, they are solely for business. The car your purchase is still used as security and you are still required to make regular monthly repayments. However, you get the choice of making a final repayment that is larger than your regular repayments.
  • Dealer finance. Dealer finance is when you obtain finance to purchase your vehicle directly from the dealer rather than from a financial lender. Dealers can offer you competitive rates but there are certain conditions and you may only be able to obtain finance for certain types of cars such as new cars.
  • Unsecured personal loan. An unsecured personal loan is when a lender gives you finance and you don’t need to use an asset of yours as security. You can use your personal loan to purchase a car, however, they aren’t designed specifically for the purchase of a car. These types of loans also tend to have higher interest rates because of the associated risk. You will be required to make regular monthly repayments.

If you're looking for a car loan and you have bad credit, you may want consider the alternative options on this page. To help your application, you may want to start repairing your credit so you look more favourable to lenders. Some benefits include receiving the standard interest rate, rather than a higher one, and a higher loan amount.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    EmmaJanuary 7, 2018

    Hi when applying for a car loan what is considered to be a good credit score please

    • finder Customer Care
      AshJanuary 9, 2018Staff

      Hello Ejm,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You may check this page for the specific score range of what is considered a good credit score. Kindly take note that most Lenders will also check your Credit Report to ensure that you do not have many active credit accounts. It is important that you keep your Credit Report updated as your Credit Score will also improve along side with it.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything that we may assist you with.


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