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When the nation’s economy crashed in 2008, many people living in Vermont felt the pressure. Many businesses closed. Many employees were laid off the jobs they held for many years. It wasn’t easy to find a new job, finances were ruined, and many people went into debt. What people often assume is they need to make late payments, miss payments entirely, or default on loans to see their credit score drop. This is simply not the case. Many Vermont residents find their credit scores drop to a bad number simply by having too much credit utilized. Credit companies prefer to see you have less than 30% of your available credit utilized. If you cancel old accounts, you lower your available credit limit and your score. If you lose your job and take on a lower paying job in the meantime, your debt-to-income ratio changes. This all affects your overall credit score.

If your credit score is no longer good, you can find it’s challenging to find a new loan for a vehicle. It’s not easy to get financing when your credit is bad, but it’s also not impossible. You can do it if you put forth the effort. There are options available to you if you take the time to find them. If you can find a car dealership that has an in-house lender willing to work with you, take advantage of it. Many car dealerships in Vermont do this, but they might require you make a rather sizable down payment. If you have a down payment, this might be the best thing you can do with that money. You can help your credit when you make these payments on time and practice good financial skills.

If you have a relationship with a small bank or credit union, call them and ask if they’d be willing to lend to you. You can explain to them that your credit is bad because of circumstances a few years ago, but it’s been good for years since. These are lenders that pride themselves on the close relationship they have with their customers, and they’re willing to work with those who have a good credit history in the past few years regardless what their number is because of mistakes they made years ago. These are loans that will still have higher rates, but they’ll be lower than they are with other bad credit loan lenders.

The last thing you want to do in Vermont is assume your only option is a buy here, pay here lot. These are lots that aren’t as highly regulated by the law, so they can take more advantage of their buyers. These interest rates are higher than any you’ll encounter anywhere else. They’re also dangerous. They don’t report to credit bureaus. They don’t help your credit, and they’re often unaffordable. You don’t want to go this route if you can avoid it at all costs.

Dealer Regulations in Vermont

Every car dealership in Vermont must abide by specific state laws. This includes applying for all the correct and necessary licenses to run a business, and it also requires they get their salespeople licensed and certified to sell cars. It’s not always affordable to do this, which is why so many of the smaller dealers might try to avoid it. This is not legal, and you don’t want to work with a dealer that’s not working within the confines of the law in Vermont.

It’s also important to find a dealer with an in-house mechanic. This is a good bet cars are correctly inspected before they’re put on the lot. The last thing you want is to purchase a car that’s not been correctly inspected and end up with something that breaks down all the time. If you don’t see a mechanic on duty, you can assume the dealer isn’t doing what they need to do to ensure all the vehicles they list for sale are as safe as they might be otherwise.

Finally, never forget to ask for a Carfax history report. National laws regulate all dealers are responsible for providing these to all drivers looking to buy a car in every state. If a Vermont dealership says they can’t do that or they will charge you for it, walk away. It’s illegal to charge for it, and they are legally obligated to provide one to you if you ask.

Driving in Vermont

Winters are cold, and that means you might find it a bit of a challenge to drive if you’re not accustomed to the snow. You might also find it challenging to drive in the biggest cities if you don’t care much for traffic and delays. Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Rutland City, and Colchester are the biggest cities in the state, but they’re not huge. Burlington is the largest, and only 42,000 people call it home.

You already know the same laws apply here as everywhere else in the country, but there are a few laws in Vermont you might not know exist. For example, if you undress in your car and drive around Vermont, it’s illegal. If you get into the car at home without any clothes on, it’s not illegal. You will notice there are no billboards in the state, and it’s because they’ve been illegal since the late 1960s. It’s also worth noting women who want a set of false teeth legally need written permission from their husbands to obtain them, but that has nothing to do with driving.

If you need a car in Vermont, your bad credit won’t stop you from getting one. It might mean the process takes longer, but you can still get a car. It might be exactly what you want, it might be a bit of a compromise, but it’s a car and you can buy it with a bad credit loan. You can also work on improving your credit with one so next time you have more luck buying a new car.