When you have bad or no credit or are a first-time buyer it may seem impossible to get a quality used vehicle in Denver.
Most people think that just because they have bad credit issues such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, previous repossessions, unpaid medical bills or missed payments they’re trapped, that they are stuck riding the bus or relying on friends or family until the end of time.
This isn’t true and there are options out there if you need help finding a used vehicle. Here’s a quick guide on how to navigate the market in Denver, even with bad or no credit.
Special Finance or Buy Here Pay Here Car Lots Near Me
Special finance is just another name for buy here pay here (BHPH). They are essentially the same, but different dealerships call them different things.
Usually, if you get a special loan like this in the Denver area, its through a larger dealership group such as Stevinson, McDonald, Emich, Phil Long or Drive Time. These are large dealerships with huge financial backing that have hundreds, if not thousands of cars and locations around the state of Colorado. Usually when you go to these places the process is a little different than if you go to an independent dealership.
When you visit this kind of dealer, you may not have any bad credit issues or if you do they’re very small and manageable. You can still get financing on a vehicle if you have a steady job, have been in the area for a few years and essentially manage your bills somewhat efficiently. In other words, you’re low risk.
When you go to these dealerships, they assume you have solid payment history until proven otherwise. First they will try to get you financed through a bank, and if that doesn’t work, they will get you a loan through a special finance lender.
What these places won’t do is take on your risk in-house, like buy and pay here car lots do. If the 2 options listed at the big dealerships don’t work, then you usually can’t be financed at a place like this. That’s the bad news.
The Good News: Denver Buy Here Pay Here
Buy here pay here is essentially special finance with a few key differences. If you’re considered high risk then you should start looking for a used vehicle at a BHPH focused lot. Most of them in Denver are independently owned and operated and do both buy here pay here and bank deals. They will screen you to see if you’re eligible for a bank deal. If you aren’t, then you are presented with their buy here pay here program.
When you get financing at a BHPH lot, you are financed through them and make your payments directly to them. Your note doesn’t get sent to a bank.
Some factors that are considered high risk are:
- Short time in the Denver area
- Short time on the job
- Getting paid cash with no check stubs
- Low down payment
- Missed payments
- Loan defaults
- Temporary employment
- Prior repossessions
If you have any of these issues, go to a bad credit buy here pay here car lot, because a traditional dealership most likely will deny you.
If you do your research you’ll be able to find a solid respectable buy here pay here dealer that takes care of their customers and their vehicles. Make sure that if you get a loan through a buy here pay here car lot, that they either report your credit to all 3 major bureaus or sell your note to a company that will. If they won’t or don’t, look for a different buy here pay here car lot. There are several in the Denver area.
If you finance a vehicle and pay it off, it will help build your financial scorecard. Not all Denver buy here pay here car lots care to help you do this, but the best ones will take the time to do so.
The better local buy here pay here car lots will also send their vehicles to a mechanic to fully service them.
There are also some places that will defer your payments for up to 60 days and give you 45 days to complete your down payment. The places that are flexible and understanding are the ones you should buy your vehicle from.
Having bad credit is tough and takes a long time to rebuild. It won’t happen overnight but these places will help you if you work with them. They will help finance you for a quality used auto anywhere from $500 to $199 down.
The program is based on stability, not credit score so even if your score is bad, they can help you. If you have a down payment and a job they usually will finance you.
Most buy here pay here car lots will have all types of different cars, trucks, and SUVs to choose from. Some of them will only buy and sell you inexpensive American made cars. Others will have most of the American made cars, plus many of the foreign made ones too (even luxury vehicles, like Mercedes, Porsche, and Cadillac), except perhaps for the really high-end ones (think Ferrari, Bentley, etc.).
Focus on these places as you will have access to all sorts of different vehicles, which will increase your chances of finding one that will meet your needs.
Now that you know what to look for you’ll be able to find a great ride for a great price. A buy here pay here car lot is like any other out there. If you do your research you’ll find some true gems that will treat you with respect.
Just like other lots though, you’ll also find dealers that are all about getting your money and leaving you twisting in the wind afterward. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid those.