Here’s a question we received recently:

I am looking to buy a new car and am a little scared about financing. I was turned down by Bank of America because they don’t accept anyone for financing with less than three years of credit. I am 26, my credit score is 745, and I have 5 credit cards (all without balances). I want to get financing, but do not want to do any guess work. Can you tell me who might consider financing me for a car?


I wouldn’t put too much stock in the opinion of any one bank. In my experience, there are really two kinds of lenders – banks that want to be in the business of auto loans and banks that don’t.

Most banks don’t want to be in the business of lending money on cars. It’s a difficult business for a bank to be in without a large dedicated auto lending staff. I’ve been amazed multiple times by the vast difference in lending between banks.

Take your situation. You have a 745 credit score, and assuming you’ve had the same job and residence for at least six months, you should have no trouble getting a loan — even being a first time buyer. In fact, you should even be able to get a decent interest rate. Yet Bank of America turns you down. ANY ONE of the captive auto lenders (GMAC, Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Motor Credit, etc.) would love to have your business. The same goes for the larger national auto lenders like Chase and Wells Fargo.

My advice would be to contact your local credit union. They will probably offer you the best finance terms of any lender. However, I would also suggest you keep an open mind towards dealer-provided financing. You definitely fall into the “A” credit category, and auto dealers (with their huge lending portfolios) can often beat the best deal you can find on the street. If you get pre-approved at a local credit union or two, you’ll have a good estimate of what you can expect in terms of interest rate.

My recommendation: You should apply to a local credit union and ignore the fact that Bank of America “doesn’t look at people with less than three years.” You have an excellent credit score, and assuming you’ve got good job and residence stability, you should have no trouble getting financing.

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