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If you’ve got bad credit and need a car there’s no need to worry! There are plenty of opportunities for bad credit auto loans in the state of Illinois. Below we’ll discuss the steps needed to make sure you get a good loan. Then we’ll get into making sure your dealer makes the cut, as well as driving conditions you can expect in the main cities in the state.

A bad credit auto loan is considered one that would be “Subprime” – or one where the buyer’s credit might not meet certain lender-specific standards. Cars are a necessity to many people, and therefore some buyers will have to take out a loan, regardless of previous credit or the possible interest rates. It’s important to remember that different lenders will have different ideas of “good” and “bad” credit, so make sure you shop around before you make a commitment either way. Below, we’ll discuss the process to get yourself into financing that works for you.

Firstly, make sure that you check your credit yourself, and know the particulars of your credit history and score. Any history is better than none, so even if you’ve had previous loans or bad reports, it’s still a good first step towards any sort of purchase. Make sure that you don’t start your search in the subprime category. Aim higher than you might be able to actually achieve. Your lender can always let you know if you need to move down a category. Make sure you can shop around, and consider all of your options before deciding on one particular lender. Try your bank or credit union first, and then move to car financiers, like Capital One. Make sure not to go by yourself, it helps to have an extra pair of eyes and ears on your loan. Also, make sure you look at the terms of the loan, don’t just stop at the monthly payment amount. Watch for extra goods and services you might not need, and make sure to check the length of the loan. Car loans should typically last no more than 4 years, so if the loan stretches beyond that, there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you should be in interest. Lastly, make sure that all terms are final and everything is finished before you leave with the car. All credible lenders will have all of the paperwork done before you leave their lot.

The State of Illinois has some requirements that pertain specifically to auto dealers. The major one is that the dealer cannot have violated any portion of the Illinois state vehicle code listed below:

  •  Anti-Theft laws and regulations
  •  Certification and title laws and regulations
  •  Offenses against registration and certificates laws and regulations
  •  Dealers, Transporters, Wreckers and Rebuilders laws and regulations
  •  Section 21―2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or Criminal Trespass to Vehicles laws and regulations
  •  Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act laws and regulations

The dealer must also be in compliance with the registration and tax codes. Dealers must have the appropriate paperwork for every car on their lot, as well as additional certification for any car that’s been rebuilt. Illinois automotive dealers are permitted three violations in one calendar year of the following acts:

  •  Consumer Finance Act
  •  Consumer Installment Loan Act
  •  Retail Installment Sales Act
  •  Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Act
  •  Interest Act
  •  Illinois Wage Assignment Act
  •  Part 8 of Article XII (Code of Civil Procedure)
  •  Consumer Fraud Act

Make sure that your dealer is in full compliance and is licensed with the state.

Once you have the car, it’s important to know the driving conditions you’ll be using it under. Below is a summary of the five largest cities in the state, as well as the expected driving conditions for each.

  1. Chicago – with a population of 2.7 million, Chicago is a busy city, and road conditions are often crowded. Chicago also experiences quite a bit of severe weather in the winter months, and that can make driving a bit more perilous for the inexperienced.
  1. Proviso Township – Proviso is one of the townships on the outskirts of Chicago. It’s one of the 29 townships that make up Cook county. With a population of 151,704 Proviso is one of the largest suburbs in the state. While it will still experience the severe weather the rest of the state is subject to, it won’t have the same struggle with the overpopulation gridlock.
  1. Rockford – With a population of 150,251, Rockford is the largest city in the state independent of the Chicago metropolitan area. The city spans over 60 square miles, and residents should expect some busy streets and occasional traffic.
  1. Joliet – Joliet is roughly 40 miles southwest of the city of Chicago, and it has a population of 147,433. Joliet is an independent city, and population-wise is about the same as Proviso and Rockford. While it’s farther south than the main metropolis of Chicago, it will still experience some inclement weather and the resulting traffic jams.
  1. Naperville – With a population of 144,864 Naperville is the fifth largest city in the state of Illinois. Naperville is a suburb of Chicago and spans around 35 square miles. Naperville will experience some of Chicago’s traffic jams, but the majority of the traffic will be absorbed by the city streets.

No matter how bad your credit is, there’s always a way to get yourself into a car and on the road, so don’t give up! Make sure you shop around, check your dealer meets all state requirements, and don’t sell yourself short on your credit rating. Have a friend go shopping with you, and stay firm until you find a loan with terms and payments that work for you!