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There are many ways to fall victim to bad credit. You can create bad credit by not using your finances wisely. You can run up your debt to the point it’s not something you can afford to pay back. You can stop paying your bills, make consistent late payments, and you can even lose your job and income and find yourself unable to afford your debts. In 2008 when the economy crashed, these things and many more happened to many good people in Pennsylvania. Hardworking families who made enough money to live and still have some fun were put to the test when jobs were lost, businesses closed, factories went under and bills went unpaid. It wasn’t always easy for people to find work, which means many people fell further and further into debt. This lasted a few years, and many Pennsylvania residents still feel the effect of this almost a decade later.

If you’re someone who is suffering with bad credit because of this or anything else, you might not think you can afford a new car even if you desperately need one. No matter how long you’ve been working to improve your credit, every missed payment, late payment, and defaulted card or loan will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date you first missed a payment. It’s unfortunate, but these issues will correct themselves as time passes. Many of you might already be near the seven year mark where your credit will change and your score will go up significantly. It’s difficult to know that making on time payments for years at a time makes no difference when a few months or years of unfortunate finances sticks around so long.

If you have bad credit and need a car loan, consider applying with your local Pennsylvania credit union. They will consider how long you’ve been living with a positive credit history now that your finances are in order. If you’ve been living with good, on-time payments, making headway paying off your bills, and spending time working on your finances for a year or more, you’ll be considered for a loan. It’s not a traditional bad credit loan with high interest, but it’s going to be a higher rate than your traditional loans.

You can also work with dealerships and their internal lenders that sometimes work with low-income or bad credit buyers. The stipulation for this is you need to be on the high end of the bad credit spectrum. They often don’t work with those with the lowest credit, or those who have recent bad credit remarks on their report. If your score is very low, however, you’ll be resigned to working with a dealership where you buy a car and pay for the car there. It’s a very high-interest loan, it doesn’t report to the credit bureaus, and it’s a loan that doesn’t make buying a car very affordable.

Pennsylvania Car Dealership Regulations

No dealer is permitted to knowingly sell cars that are not functional, that do not work properly, or that are dangerous to consumers. This is why all dealers must have a licensed and certified mechanic on staff to assist with issues of this nature. Every car that comes into a dealer for sale is inspected by the mechanic. If there are recall issues, they’re fixed. If the car is not in working order and can be fixed, it is. If there are dangerous flaws within the vehicle, they are fixed. If not, the dealership becomes liable for the damages and injuries a car causes anyone who drives it. This is why it’s imperative you work with a dealership that has all its correct state licenses and certifications, and you should always be sure your salesperson is licensed within the state of Pennsylvania.

When working with a deal, the most important thing you can ask is to see the history of any vehicle you consider. Your job is to find out how many owners it’s had, how many accidents it’s been in, if it’s been in any floods, if the title has been rebuilt, or if the regularly scheduled maintenance has been provided. If a dealer refuses or attempts to charge you for this, walk away and report them. This is against the law.

Driving in Pennsylvania

Many residents of the state don’t drive. If you live in one of the larger cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, or Scranton, you might take advantage of public transportation and ignore the use of a private car. If you live in smaller cities, you probably haven’t the same access to public transportation, which requires you purchase a car of your own. With bad credit, that’s not always easy. When you do find a bad credit loan, however, you’ll want to take good care of your car and license by following the rules of the road in this state.

For one, you cannot sell a motorized vehicle on a Sunday in Pennsylvania. It’s against the law. If you’re driving at night, the law states you can only drive one mile before you’re legally obligated to stop your car and use a rocket signal before waiting approximately 10 minutes until all the livestock that may be on the road for the next mile are herded off the road. Perhaps you might stay home at night if you live here.

Driving in Pennsylvania often requires driving through rain, snow, and sleet when inclement weather appears. This means you should become well-versed in handling this type of weather, and you should always keep an emergency kit in your car in case anything happens in this type of weather. You might now have a car now but once you find a bad credit loan with which to buy one, you’ll be glad you familiarized yourself with these laws and that you created an emergency kit for the car.