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The Midwest is a love place to live, especially if you love the wide-open spaces and the slower pace of life. It’s not known for its big cities and urban dwellings, but Nebraska is known for being a wonderful place to farm, to live, and to raise a family. The cost of living in Nebraska is lower than many other states, but that doesn’t mean the debt-to-income ratio in the state is low. Many Nebraska residents live with ample debt, which has affected their credit scores and their ability to purchase a new vehicle. If you are a Nebraska resident who needs a new car, it’s time to learn what you can do in terms of financing with bad credit and fewer options.

Look outside traditional banks. You have a low credit score, so you’ll need to find alternative financing. One good place to start is a credit union. It might work better for you if you have an existing relationship with a credit union. If you don’t, it might be a successful venture. Credit unions are banks, but they’re banks that consider their customers more than just a number on an account. They are smaller and get to know their customers by name. They look past the score you have on your credit report to see if your most recent payment history is positive. All negative items sit unhappily on your credit score for seven years. If you stopped paying your credit cards 6 years ago, you have another year before those negative accounts fall off your report.

Now is the time to find someone who is willing to look past that. If you had a bad go of it a while back but bounced back and have been working hard on your finances ever since, it shows in your report. It might not show as much in your credit score, but it does show on your report. Your credit union might see a bad score but three years of on-time payments, more than minimum payments, and no missed payments and want to work with you.

The other option you have is to find a car dealer with a lender that works with bad credit in Nebraska. They’re all over the place, buy you’ll want to call first. Speak to a lender rep and find out what you can qualify for with your score. They’ll discuss the basics with you, because you don’t want to fill out an application that’s not going to be approved and risk lowering your score because of it. Finally, you can try a buy here, pay here type dealership. Beware of these, however. The rates here are much higher than a traditional bad credit loan. They’re dangerous, they don’t report to the credit bureaus, and they don’t bode well for you financially. They do offer financing to consumers with bad credit and a large down payment, which means having a down payment makes it a bit easier for you to purchase a vehicle.

Dealership Requirements in Nebraska

There are laws in place to protect anyone looking to buy a car in Nebraska whether your credit is good or bad. These laws protect the buyer and the seller, and they are designed to keep the roads as safe as possible. All cars that enter a dealership for sale must be checked out by a certified mechanic. This is to ensure they are safe for drivers, that they have no recalls, and that they aren’t water damaged for duds. This is to protect all involved, as they are large financial issues for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are working with a car dealership that doesn’t show licenses and certifications, ask to see them. The law in Nebraska requires all dealers obtain the proper certification and the proper licenses, and all people who work as a salesperson in any dealership must also acquire the correct certification and licenses. They should be displayed proudly in a dealer, but you can ask to see them if they aren’t. If you cannot get anyone to show you, walk away quickly.

Driving in Nebraska

When you are a bad-credit buyer in Nebraska, you aren’t so worried about driving conditions, but they might be of interest to you when you drive in the bigger cities. It’s imperative to know what you’re driving in before you buy a car. You don’t want to buy something with low gas mileage if you commute far or sit in traffic often. Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, and Fremont are the biggest cities in the state, but that doesn’t mean traffic is bad in any of them. There are fewer than a half million people in Omaha, which is the biggest city. The fifth largest is Fremont, but there are only a little over 26,000 residents in the city.

One driving law you must be aware of if you live in Nebraska is the mountain driving law. If you are driving on a mountain in Nebraska, the law requires you drive with caution on the right to protect you from dangerous roads. The only problem with this law is there isn’t a mountain anywhere in Nebraska. It’s all flat land. There are many different laws in effect in Nebraska, and they might be something you want to learn if you’re in the market to buy a new car while you’re here.