What Is The Minimum Credit Score You Need To Buy A Car

The minimum credit score to buy a car is 620, well, that’s what lenders would like to see. 

Officially there is no credit score minimum for buying a car. That’s the credit score minimum score lenders prefer, it gives you and them ‘more room to work with’. 

Auto lenders use credit scores to determine eligibility, interest rates, monthly payments, and terms.

Your benefits of having stellar credit is getting a car loan with reasonable interest rates (6% or less). 

How Do Lenders Use The Minimum Credit Score To Buy A Car?

They focus on your payment history, which makes up for 35% of your credit history. Your payment history gives auto lenders an idea of how you are with paying bills on time (or at all)

Then they pay close attention to your Credit Utilization Ratio. Credit Utilization is the amount of revolving credit you have versus how much you are using.

It’s basically your credit to debt ratio. Both factors indicate your ability to pay loans on time. 

Related: Can You Get A Car Loan with a 600 credit score

How Do Lenders Come Up With Rates?

Your FICO Score isn’t the only metric lenders use to decide your deal. That’s why the more well rounded your application the better your chances of getting a favorable interest rate. 

These are the 4 main points lenders consider:

  • FICO Score 
  • Loan Term
  • Vehicle 
  • Income  

Is There A Minimum Credit Score To Get A Car Loan?


Auto Lenders won’t push you away because you have a low credit score. But, they will issue you a high-interest rate using the information above.

Low APRs are given to borrowers with 700 credit scores or higher. The higher the credit score, the better the deal. 

A lender will still work with you have a 600 or less.

Basically, the lower your credit score the higher your APR and your new vehicle will cost more - over time. 

Related: Can You Get An Auto Loan With A 700 FICO Score?

Why Do New Car Loans and Used Car Loans Have Different Rates?

“Some lenders charge higher rates for used cars because you can’t take advantage of manufacturer deals and it’s difficult to determine the actual value. Used car buyers also default at a higher rate, causing some lenders to slap in a higher APR”. - Kelley Guinan

Is There a Minimum ​​​​Credit Score For A Car Lease?

Qualifying for a lease will be more difficult than applying for a loan when you have bad credit.

So, you can expect to pay a high down payment, high-interest fees, and high monthly payments. 

They also involve mileage limits. There’s nothing fun about that. 

The ideal lessee would have a 740+ score and get the best rate you can think of (basically, the percentages you see advertised on car commercials)

No matter your score, someone will lease you a car. The question is, can you afford the high-interest rate that comes with a low credit score?

Related: Credit Repair Services For Better Auto Loan Rates

2 Ways To Raise Your Credit Score To Get A Better Car Interest Rate? 

There are a few steps you can take to boost your credit score. First, ask how much do you want to raise your credit score? And follow the steps 

From there you can take a few essential steps to accomplish your goal:

  1. 7 Essential Steps To Boosting Your Credit Score 200 Points 
  2. 3 Focus Areas To Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points
  3. How To Raise Your FICO Score 50 Points Fast 
  4. Getting Another 10 Points On Your Credit Quickly 

Secondly, The Bare Necessities To DIY Credit Repair and Best Practices:

  • Make On-Time Payments 
  • Pay Off Credit Cards (down to 10-8%)
  • Avoid Applying to New Loans

Wrapping Up

Again, there is no set minimum credit score to buy a car (used, new or lease).

You are starting on the right track by trying to figure out what credit score is required, now you should see what interest rates typically are rewarded in your range.

These companies just want to use this data to minimize risk on their end, so whatever information or resources you can provide that eases their concern is awesome.

James Willaims

Hey There, James here. I am the co-founder and editor of this site. I have over 10 years experience in business and 5 in the credit repair world