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Auto Loan Options for Graduate Students?

Are you in law, medical, or business school, or enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program? Need a car? Most financing options are based on your income and credit history instead of any graduate student status. Here are a few of the options open to students doing their graduate or post-graduate work.

Automaker Programs and Incentives

Many automakers have special programs available to recent college graduates. You may qualify if you have recently completed your baccalaureate program. The keys to being approved for one of these loans are going to be your income and credit history. These programs are going to want to see that you have the ability to repay a loan, so you will need to have at least $1,250 gross income per month. This is typically less than the stipend you receive as a teaching assistant, so you really must have a job that pays this much per month, or else have a parent or other adult co-sign the loan agreement. While these programs were designed for a graduate with no credit history or a limited credit history, they will not accept a bad credit history. If you have had trouble with credit cards or some other line of credit, you will need to search elsewhere for the auto loan you need.

Traditional Banks and Credit Unions

Many lenders, large or small, have programs in place for college students. These programs were built with the expectation of a low income and a limited credit history. Still, you will have the best chance of being approved if you apply to a lender that you have a previous relationship with. Many times this may be the bank your parents use or where you have been banking throughout your college experience. If that institution denies your application, you can turn to a local credit union. Credit unions traditionally have looser lending guidelines and lower interest rates than large institutions. Having said that, you cannot have a bad credit history.

Bad Credit Auto Loans for Graduate Students

Unfortunately, many graduate students have made a mistake or two with their credit while in college. If you are one of those students, you still have a good chance of finding the auto loan that you need. You will need to shop online for a lender that meets your requirements. These lenders specialize in auto loans for people with credit problems and/or a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. When you apply via our secure application, we place you in the capable hands of a financing expert who can get you approved.

As you might expect from a company that deals with non-traditional loans, these lenders require a higher interest rate than you may find through a large lender. Also, you may be need to offer a cash only down payment of at least $1,000 and the repayment term will be shorter than with other loans. The good news is that these loans are all reported to the major credit reporting agencies, so your on-time payments will help repair your credit.