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If your credit score is below 680, it’s not good. It’s not the worst score according to most credit bureaus, but it’s only fair. If it’s below 650, it’s bad. If your score is below 600, your chance of securing any loans or any credit is low. If you live in Georgia and want to purchase a new vehicle, you might feel you have no options. It’s not uncommon for those who have bad credit to feel they can’t get a new car, but it’s not impossible. You do have options, but there are a few things you should know before you go out and begin applying for loans for a new car.

The first thing to learn as a Georgia resident is you do have several dealers in larger cities willing to work with you and your bad credit. Of course, your bad credit will get your further if the number is close to fair, but it’s not a guarantee. You’ll still pay higher interest rates and more fees, but you can still purchase a car. Get your credit report, read it, find the number, and then do your research. Find a local dealer near you that works with bad credit customers. These are dealers that have a myriad of lenders available so they can finance you with bad credit.

The next thing you should know is money talks. It’s true in Georgia, and it’s true everywhere else. You might not have cash to buy a car outright, but a large down payment makes more lenders more willing to work with you. If you can save up a large down payment, you can buy a car from virtually any dealer with any lender. Many bad credit lenders want at least 10% down. Others want as much as 30% down. If you can afford to put 50% down, you can find lenders to work with you that don’t typically work with bad credit. Atlanta is a great place to find a dealership willing to work with you and your bad credit.

Another option is your small town bank or credit union. If you have a long relationship with either, call and ask what they can do for you. Since this is a company that considers a customer rather than an account number, they often ignore your credit score in order to focus on your credit history. If you have on-time payments, the correct income, and a favorable report for a year or two despite your low score, they might work with you. These are lenders that understand life sometimes happens and consumers are caught between a rock and a hard place. They also understand negative reports stay on credit reports for up to 7 years. If you have a long history of paying on time and doing what you need to do as well as the income to afford a new car, many small banks and credit unions will grant you a loan by ignoring your score and working with you as a human.

Dealer Requirements in Georgia

Another consideration in Georgia is dealer requirements. You want to be sure you’re purchasing a car from a reputable dealer, and that they’re doing their own job correctly. Georgia law requires all dealerships obtain the correct licenses to run a business in this state. They must license each salesperson, they must follow the laws in place by the state and the national government, and they must do business with a very specific duty of care.

This means all dealers must have all vehicles that come onto the lot inspected by a mechanic with the proper licensing and experience. No car is permitted on a lot without the proper paperwork, the correct title information, and the correct inspections. This is to protect both the buyer and the seller. Lemon laws are in place for all vehicles that are used or damaged, and all cars must have the proper paperwork. If you ask a dealer to see the history of the vehicle’s ownership and maintenance, they are required to pull the appropriate report free of charge. It’s up to you to ask, but they cannot deny you this information. If you suspect a company is not selling cars legally, it’s a good idea to report them to the local DMV.

Driving in Georgia

Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Athens, and Sandy Springs are the largest cities in Georgia, and they’re all lovely. Driving in Atlanta is always congested, but the other large cities have nowhere near the same population as Atlanta. Due to the number of interstates and other roads in the area, it’s easy to stay up-to-date with the information on the roads whether it’s weather or accident related.

While driving in Georgia requires following all the laws of the road, there are a few interesting laws in effect in this state drivers want to be made aware of. One is that anyone who is a member of the state assembly is legally exempt from receiving a speeding ticket while the state assembly is in session no matter how fast they are driving over or under the speed limit. Furthermore, you will not find road signs or any other signs along the side of the road written in another language but English as it’s against state law. These are just a few of the laws Georgia drivers want to know when passing through the state.

Driving in Georgia can be a beautiful experience if you pay attention to the rules of the road, the laws, and the driving responsibilities you are required to understand. If you notice a foul smell in the air while driving along many of the interstates that cut through the state, it’s likely a paper mill. The state is famous for them, and the smell they emit is unpleasant and can last for a mile or so. Don’t let your bad credit stop you from driving in Georgia. You’re entitled to a new car, and you can find financing to help you find the car of your dreams if you look hard enough and save money.