Buying a Car : Evaluate your credit

So you’ve figured out what you can afford. Now you just have to convince the lenders. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do or say – especially since your credit score is going to do all the talking.

We’ve covered credit reports and credit scores at length over here, so we won’t go into too much detail right now. Just know that lenders will decide how big a loan you qualify for based on one thing: that credit score.

It’s nothing personal. In fact, in some ways, this is a good thing – lenders don’t care how you look, where you’re from, what race or religion you are, or where you fall on the Sox v. Yanks continuum. All they care about is whether you’re good for the money. And the only criteria they use to determine this is the numbers on your credit score. Which is why you should take care of your credit...yesterday.

So do yourself a favor: If you’re not already doing what you need to do to take care of that credit history, start today. And either way, get yourself a copy of your own credit score and your own credit report. At least that way, you’ll know what the lenders know about you, and you’ll know what to expect. The good news is, you’re at the right place. Start here.

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