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Having a bad credit history can be frustrating while trying to get an auto loan in New Jersey. Even if you’ve been handling your credit responsibly lately, your credit score can still be held down from past mistakes. Fortunately, there are lenders who understand that your credit score is only one piece of information. They realize that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that negatively impact credit scores. Generally speaking, if you’re able to show you’ve changed your spending habits – or you’re willing to pay subprime interest rates as a show of good faith – you can find someone who’s willing to give you an auto loan.

Auto Buying and Dealership Requirements for NJ

The state of New Jersey has a number of important rules and regulations that auto dealerships must adhere to, to ensure that consumers are not taken advantage of. For example, the New Jersey Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase vehicles with serious defects that the dealer or manufacturer can’t repair. The law covers vehicles during their first two years or first 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. The law may apply to you if your vehicle has defect that remains after three repair attempts, or if your vehicle has been out of service for a total of 20 days.

Additionally, NJ has strict advertising rules for leasing vehicles. Any ad appearing in print or on TV must include the following disclaimers:

  • The ad must clearly state that a lease is what’s being offered
  • The name and address of the business must be included
  • Any payment that is required at the start of the lease must be explained
  • A toll-free number must be given for the public to call and request additional info
  • The payment info for the lease, including: number, amounts, payment due dates, and total amount charged

Of course, as with any state, it’s important for any auto dealer in NJ to have valid titles to their vehicles. Trading or selling vehicles without one is against the law, except in a few special circumstances.

Driving in NJ’s Top 5 Cities: What You Need to Know

1. Newark, NJ

The biggest city in New Jersey, Newark is very densely populated. Driving can be a hassle, and in fact many of the residents opt to use the city’s extensive public transportation system. However, having your own vehicle offers a level of independence that can’t be matched by even the best public transportation. If you have to commute for work, driving your own car may or may not be faster than the subway – it all depends on your proximity to the closest station, and where you work at. However, nothing beats the freedom of your own car for a weekend getaway, and there are plenty of lenders in the area who are willing to work with people who have bad credit.

2. Jersey City, NJ

While public transit is popular in Newark, it’s even more common in Jersey City. NJ’s second biggest city has a larger percentage of work commuters than any city in the country besides New York City. Still, if you’re willing to put up with the city’s traffic and shoddy roads, you’ll find that having a vehicle at your disposal is pretty nice. No more rude, pushy strangers, or awkward silences on the subway.

3. Paterson, NJ

Compared to the first two cities, Paterson is more of a conventional place to own a vehicle. Although it has public transportation as well, it’s not as extensive as the aforementioned locations. The city is served by Interstate 80, State 4, 19 and 20, U.S. Route 46, and the Garden State Parkway. Additionally, routes 3, 17, 21, and 208 also link to the city, making it a very convenient place to have access to a vehicle.

4. Elizabeth, NJ

Elizabeth has a quality train network, but it’s also a good place to own a vehicle. While the public transportation will move you efficiently to and from the city’s major checkpoints, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to explore and appreciate the city. Elizabeth was voted one of America’s 50 greenest cities by Popular Science Magazine, and the best way to capture that beauty while moving around is by car.

5. Edison, NJ

Similar to Elizabeth, Edison is another beautiful city that requires a vehicle to be fully appreciated. Finding an auto loan in either of these cities is possible with any credit background. Whether you’re buying or leasing, the key is understanding the terms of the loan. As long as you’re prepared financially and committed to making the loan payments on time, there will always be a lender out there willing to give you a loan.

The prospect of getting your own vehicle can be both exciting and frightening. There’s nothing like having the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. The scary part is when you look at your credit rating, and wonder if having that freedom will ever be a reality for you. Don’t let the challenge phase you – with a little legwork and persistence, getting an auto loan is possible for anyone. Once you’ve found a company that’s willing to work with your situation, you’re well on your way to getting the vehicle you want.