Frequently Asked Questions
Getting started to buying or leasing a vehicle
What we try to do is take as much information as we can over the phone, so that way we can get you pre-qualified before you even come here. You’ll know if you need a down payment, what some of the different terms the loan will be, and what documents you’ll need to bring with you. That way when you actually come to the dealership you’ll be prepared and we’ll both be on the same page.
Once you are pre-qualified and you make an appointment, you’ll come in, we’ll find what type of vehicle you’re looking for and then we’ll have you test drive some vehicles and see what you like. Depending on if you are in a bankruptcy that’s open or discharged, that changes things slightly.
If you are in an open Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy, we can help you. The main thing is we have to get approval from your trustee. We have all the forms that are needed to send to the trustee, so we’ll do some paperwork, and send it to the them for approval. Once the trustee approves it we’ll have you pick up your vehicle and you’ll pay the bank every month just like any other loan. It’s totally separate from your bankruptcy, and you do rebuild your credit.
You can pre-qualify for a vehicle in a Chapter 13, but it would be a good idea to give your lawyer a call to inform them you are interested in purchasing a vehicle so everything is secure on their end.
- Open Chapter 7 bankruptcy
We do work with people who are in an open Chapter 7 and can definitely help. We have several different banks, each one has their own criteria on what they’re looking for.
- What is a good credit score?
Credit scores can range from 400 to 850, but credit score isn’t as big of a problem. The banks that we work with are going to look at how you did in the years before your bankruptcy, instead of just where you’re at right now. A lot of the banks we work with are not score based; they look at other things like previous car loans, mortgages, credit cards, stability.
- Tips for buying/leasing a vehicle during bankruptcy
Do not try to keep your vehicle through bankruptcy if you owe a lot more than the vehicle is worth. You’re not getting credit for future payments, it always going to show that it was included in bankruptcy, it won’t show you are currently paying that auto loan.
Keep in mind when purchasing or leasing a vehicle during bankruptcy this won’t be a dream car, this is going to be a good, reliable vehicle that gets you where you need to go and rebuilds your credit. You’ll be paying a little bit higher interest rate than you are used to, it’s very important to try and keep that interest in the way that it affects your payment to a minimum. We try to tell people to be pretty reasonable in what type of vehicle they’re looking for, so that way they don’t end up with too high of a payment.
- Are my payments and interest going to be higher?
Payment completely depends on the type of vehicle you get. If you get something that’s newer with less miles then we can do a little bit longer loan, which will lower your payments. Interest rate can vary between 7-24%. It’s going to completely depend on how you did the years before your bankruptcy and where you’re at now.
- How much money should I put as a down payment?
Some of the lenders that we work with will ask for down payments, some will not. The main thing is the more down payment you have placed, the more enticing your loan looks. We do recommend that everyone save up a little bit of money to put down, it looks favorable to the lender and shows you’re contributing to the vehicle and have an investment in it.
- What if it’s impossible for me to make a down payment?
We will do as much as we can to help you. That’s another reason why we like to do so much over the phone, so that way before you make the trip out to our dealership you know exactly what we need to do to get you where you need to be.
- Should I spread my payments out over a period of time, or pay all at once?
After filing a bankruptcy the most important part about building your credit is going to be having consistent payments over a period of time. We recommend keeping your loan at least a year to show consistency, your income is appropriate to your monthly payment, and that you’re making your monthly payments on time every month. That’s all part of rebuilding your score.