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Make, model, mileage, year, your personal needs and wants all make buying a car a challenge before you even consider financing. Vehicles aren’t a cheap purchase, and you’re tied to yours for several years at a time. It needs to be functional, safe, and it needs to be a vehicle you love so you’re not tired of it inside of a month. When you add financing a vehicle into the mix, it’s even more challenging. Do you use the lender’s a dealer works with, call your credit union, or seek outside financing elsewhere? What if you have bad credit? Surely no one will allow you to purchase a car with bad credit, but there are some options available to you when your credit score isn’t perfect but your finances allow you to purchase a new car in Minnesota.

Minnesota residents have options for bad credit loans when shopping for a new vehicle. It all begins with your credit score. Each of the three major credit bureaus uses a slightly different method of calculating your credit score. What’s bad for one consumer might be decent for another. If your score is below 600, it’s bad. If it’s above 600, it might be poor but not bad. It might be just below 680, which is where subprime rates begin to appear in your financing approvals. Before you can decide what’s available to you, you need to understand just how bad your credit score is. If it’s under 600, chances are slim you’ll be approved for a bad credit loan anywhere other than a buy here, pay here lot. If your score is above 600, you could qualify for a bad credit loan that’s a bit more traditional than other loans but with a much higher interest rate.

Know your score before you begin the hunt for a car loan. Now that you know your score, you can decide where you want to go. You can choose to work with a car dealership that promises even bad credit is worth their time. You can also talk to your credit union. Credit unions have personal relationships with their customers, and they’re often willing to look past the score and more closely at your payment history. If your bad credit is a result of specific circumstances several years ago yet you’ve managed to keep your payment history clean since. Negative items on your credit report haunt you for up to 7 years, which is why many lenders choose to look at your recent credit history more so than your actual score.

Another option you have for finding a car loan with bad credit is a large down payment. Many lenders open up their willingness to work with those who have bad credit if they’re able to prove they can pay a significant portion of the vehicle upfront. If you have a large down payment, let your lenders know so you can see what you qualify to borrow. It’s not always easy to find a loan for bad credit in Minnesota, but it’s also not impossible.

Buying and Dealership Requirements in Minnesota

If you’re nervous about purchasing a vehicle in Minnesota that’s not brand-new, you’re not alone. Many consumers with bad credit are forced to purchase used vehicles with higher miles, many of which come from lots that aren’t big-name car dealers. The good news for consumers with poor credit is dealerships in Minnesota are required to provide you with a specific standard of care. The Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services is a government-regulated program that handles the rules and regulations of all car dealerships in the state. The state requires all dealers are upfront, honest, and ethical about vehicles on their lots.

State law requires all dealerships are required to label all flood damaged vehicles as flood damaged. However, these laws do not apply to vehicles that fall into categories such as motorcycles and commercial vehicles. The law also asks that all dealers in the state have each vehicle they bring onto their lot looked over by a reputable mechanic. They must also provide the history of all vehicles to any buyer who requests this information prior to the sale of the vehicle. This helps protect all parties involved in the sale of a vehicle before it’s finalized.

Driving In Minnesota’s Biggest Cities

Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Bloomington, and Duluth are the five largest and most populated cities in Minnesota, but driving conditions aren’t nearly as bad as they are in many other large cities across the country. Driving in each of these cities does mean facing more traffic than other cities, but there are ways to ensure your commute is faster and more efficient. If you’re looking to buy a car in any of these cities despite your bad credit, you’re going to want to learn how to make driving in each city more productive.

The first bit of advice for driving in any of these cities is to use the “511” service. This is a service you can use via your cell phone. Enter the number, press send, and listen to real time traffic information. You’ll find information regarding the current traffic conditions, weather, and even if there is an accident or any road construction along your desired route. This service allows you to learn this information in these larger cities long before you hit the road and end up stuck in traffic.

Driving in Minnesota, whether you’re driving through the big cities or the smaller communities, is a lovely commute. With so much natural beauty, it’s easy to become distracted with the sights, but it’s also easy to find out how to make the most of your commute. Don’t let your bad credit stop you from purchasing the type of car you’ve always wanted, needed, or dreamed of driving. You have options no matter your credit score and by saving enough for a large down payment, you can guarantee a lender will work with you to get you driving.