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The Documents You Need for a Used Car Loan

Are you looking to get approved for a used car loan? If so, don’t just rush to a car dealership to select your dream car. You have to show up well prepared to get the best-rated lender with the ideal interest rate.

If you have no idea where to begin when applying for a car loan, read on below. This article covers all the documentation you will require to get a used car loan. These documents include:

1. Proof of Income

Most lenders will request potential borrowers to show proof of income. This is a document that shows you are actively earning an income, and you will be in a position to make your car’s monthly payments after the loan is approved. If you are employed, the best way to do this is by bringing a one-month-old pay stub that shows proof of income for the past year.

For self-employed individuals, you will require your past bank statements and proof of tax returns. Typically, most lenders request self-employed people to bring tax returns for the past two years. However, some lenders may request up to five years of tax history, and you will require bank statements for the past three months.

2. Proof of Residence

The lender must verify where you live during an auto loan application. There are several documents that can help you prove that you live at the provided address. These include:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • Utility bills
  • Posted mail with your name and address on it
  • Voter registration card
  • Insurance card
  • Mortgage statement and lease agreement
  • Property tax receipt
  • Insurance bill or policy 
  • Bank or credit card statements

Proof of address is an essential requirement seeking car financing. It helps the lender to know that your monthly bills will reach you at the provided address. You should also bring your driver’s license if you want to drive away with the car afterward.

3. Proof of Insurance

According to state laws, every car on the road must have valid auto insurance. Therefore, lenders often want to know whether you have insurance coverage before approving a car loan. Bring your insurance policy documentation if you’ve already purchased one.

If you haven’t purchased insurance coverage yet, you can call an insurance agent to help you start the process. If you’re financing your car loan and buying insurance through the dealership, you may not have the freedom of looking around for the best insurance policy rates from different agents.

4. Proof of Identification

To get a lender to give you a loan, you must prove that you are who you claim to be. You can do this by providing a copy of your ID with your signature and photo on it. You can also bring your bank statements for the last two months and an up-to-date utility bill with your name and the same address as your ID.

Other approved forms of identification include:

  • Social security card
  • State Issued ID
  • Your state-issued passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Military identification card
  • Medicare ID
  • Stock certificated
  • Title to your home

An ID allows the lender or the bank to match your name to your face. Ensure the documents you bring have the same names, photos, and physical addresses. Even other government-issued cards like military ID and Medicare cards, can be used as a form of identification.

5. Financial and Credit History

Lenders are always concerned about potential borrowers’ past and current financial positions. This includes the debt-to-income ratio, which represents the percentage of your monthly gross income used to pay the debt. A lender will also look at your credit score and credit history.

Lenders use your credit score to estimate your probability of repaying the debt. Most people’s scores range from 300-850. The higher the score, the more likely you will be approved for loans at competitive rates.

If you have an excellent credit score, you are more likely to get the best loan rates. Some lenders also approve loans for people with lower credit histories. However, people with significantly lower credit scores and bad credit history don’t always get the best loan terms.

Poor credit history attracts higher interest rates. Thus, it’s advisable to decide whether you should improve your credit score first before proceeding with the car loan. Your credit score plays an essential role in determining your loan terms.

Most lenders assume that people with bad credit are less likely to repay their loans. That’s because if you are facing financial challenges, you are more likely to prioritize other bills instead of the car’s monthly payment.

However, you may not need to bring any documents; lenders can access your financial information using the basic information you provided. However, they will still need your consent. Always remember that the lender will analyze your past and current debt history before approving an auto loan.

6. The Car’s Information

When applying for used car financing, you must gather all the information about the car you’re looking to purchase. Your lender will need information about the vehicle’s make, model, year of manufacture, purchase price, mileage, liens, and original title.

There is a used car rule that binds your car dealer. This rule dictates that the dealer must give you all the information about the used car you’re buying on a comprehensive buyer’s guide. You can use the guide when applying for an auto loan.

The guide also includes information about your responsibilities and rights as a car buyer. However, ensure you go through the document and review everything before signing anything.  

7. The Trade-in Documents

If you are trading in a car, you will require registration and title documents. You should also gather other papers that help the lender estimate the car’s worth. The vehicle’s worth will affect how much financing you get, thus ensure that you gather all these documents to streamline the loan.

Where to Apply for a Car Loan

Thanks to the widespread use of the internet, most people spend hundreds of hours online searching for the right car before going to different car dealerships. The same effort and energy you put in when looking for a vehicle should also translate to looking for a car loan. Some people often go with the first financing option on the table without shopping around for better loan terms.

Getting financing through the dealership may be convenient. However, if the dealership only has one financing option, you may miss out on other better offers. You may also get a higher interest rate than someone who will go directly to a bank or a lender.

Some car dealerships work with more than one lender to offer you the best financing option based on your credit history and personal needs. You can also approach credit unions, banks, and online lenders to help you finance your used car purchase.

Do you have a good relationship with your bank? If you do, then you may get a better auto loan rate with a pre-approved lender of your choice. For most people, this may be a better alternative than going directly to the dealership.

How to Submit the Paperwork Needed for a Car Loan Approval

Some dealerships offer clients an option to complete the loan application process online by providing all the necessary information and uploading the documents to their site. However, you may need to physically send in the papers or bring them with you when visiting the dealership in some cases.

Different lenders require different types of documents and information. The typical documents required include ID, valid driver’s license, pay stubs, and proof of residence.

At the final stage of the purchasing process, you may also be required to send in the vehicle registration, purchase agreement, and title to your lender. Proof of insurance is also needed if you’re planning to drive away with the vehicle from the dealership.

Are You Ready to Get Your Car Loan Financing?

Are you feeling more prepared to apply for your car loan financing? While there is a lot of paperwork and document collection that goes with buying a car, some borrowers often struggle to find the right lender. If you are experiencing any challenges getting your auto loan approved, we’re here to help you out.

At Autos 4 Less, we have been serving the community in Puyallup, WA, with affordable car financing since 1981, helping people make their car ownership dreams a reality. We offer our clients high-quality and low-priced used cars with the best financing options.

Are you looking for a car? Check out our online inventory for different car models and find one that suits your personal preference and financial needs.