When you need a bad credit auto loan, it's important that you go to the right lender. These lenders, called subprime lenders, only work through special finance dealers, so any documentation the lender requires from you needs to be in hand when you get to the dealership.

What Documents Should I Bring?

For subprime car loans, you need to bring documents that help show the dealer you are who you say you are, and that match the information provided on your application. After checking your paperwork, the dealership sends the documents to the lender to examine, ensuring you meet all qualifications.

These requirements may vary by lender, but you typically need to bring:

  • What Should I Bring to the Car Dealership?Proof of income – Computer-generated paycheck stubs showing year-to-date income of at least $1,500 to $2,000 a month before taxes. In order to be considered, your income must meet the requirements, be taxable, and come from a single source. You generally also need to have worked there for at least six months.
  • Proof of residence – A current utility bill in your name, at the address listed on the application.
  • Proof of a working phone – A current phone bill in your name, for a landline or contract cell phone from a national carrier. Prepaid phones usually don't count.
  • Proof of identity – A valid driver's license or state ID.
  • Personal references – Lenders typically ask for a list of five to eight personal references complete with names, addresses, and phone numbers. You typically won't need this right away, but there's no harm in being prepared.

Once you get to the dealer and sit down with the finance manager, your documents are sent to the lender. If the finance manager holds off on sending your paperwork, they won't know if there are any issues until late in the car buying process. This isn't good for anyone involved, which is why it's a good idea to have all your documents ready during your first visit.

Finding a Dealership for You

Since subprime lenders that work with bad credit car buyers only work through special finance dealerships, you can't go just anywhere to find a vehicle when you have credit troubles. Special finance dealers aren't always easy to spot – they look just like any other dealership – but not all dealers work with the lenders that can help.

Drivers Lane works with an extensive network of special finance dealerships from coast to coast. Because our network spans the nation, we can help you find the right dealer with the lending resources you need on the first try.

Save yourself the time and hassle of driving from car lot to car lot looking for someone that can help, and fill out our easy, fast, and free auto loan request form instead. Then, we can start the process of matching you with a dealership in your area right away.