PNC looks at factors such as credit score, income and employment as well as the type and age of the financed vehicle. Although it does not provide exact details of its borrowers’ requirements, here are some general guidelines.
Your credit score and history help lenders decide whether to approve you for a loan and on what terms. For example, you might be denied or charged a higher interest rate if you have bad credit or no credit score.
Generally, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score to buy a car, usually 660 or higher. If your score is lower than that, you may still qualify, but at a higher interest rate. You can also always consider getting a co-signer to ensure you qualify or to get a lower rate.
Debt to income ratio
Lenders will also look at your debt to income ratio (DTI). This measures how much of your monthly income is spent on debt, in other words, whether you can handle additional car loan payments.
To calculate your DTI, add up all your monthly debt payments, then divide it by your gross monthly income (what you earn before taxes are taken). Typically, auto lenders look for a DTI ratio of 50% or less.
Employment and residence
Lenders will also take into account your employment and length of stay at your current residence. They want to make sure you have a stable job and are settled where you live.
Putting money aside to buy a car shows the dealer how serious you are. Depending on the amount, your down payment could reduce the overall loan amount, reduce your interest rate and even influence the term of the loan you qualify for.