Should I Repair My Credit Before Buying a Car?

If you’re considering buying a car with bad credit, the temptation may be to try repairing your credit before you buy. Depending on your personal situation this may make sense, but it certainly isn’t the only way to go. Here are a few things to consider before you try buying a car with bad credit. McGrath Nissan in Elgin is ready to help you secure the credit you need to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle.

Can You Fix It Yourself?

The truth about credit scores is that they’re complex, and not every aspect is within your control. For instance, if you have a short credit history because you’re young, you can’t raise the percentage of your score that’s determined by the length of your credit history. On the other hand, if there are inaccuracies or old collections on your credit report that you can get rid of, it is definitely worth making the call to see what can be done to help you out. You can also pay down your credit cards a little bit to lower your obligations and improve your chance of getting approved.

How Long Will It Take To Improve?

Even if you pay off a credit card or a debt collection today, it won’t disappear from your credit report immediately. It could take 30-90 days for the agencies to receive updated information from your creditors. If you don’t have that much time to wait, you may be better off saving your cash and putting it toward a down payment on a car instead.

How Big of a Difference Will It Make?

Different elements of your credit score are more important than others. For instance, your history of late payments is more important than the actual number of accounts you have open. There are also some common thresholds used for determining whether your credit is bad, fair, good and excellent. If fixing one piece of your credit history won’t bump you up to the next grade, it may not pay off in the end. Again, it might be better to use your cash for a down payment instead of dumping it into a fix that will only earn you a couple points on your score.

If you live near Carpentersville, West Dundee, or St. Charles and are seriously torn between buying a car with bad credit and trying to fix your credit, take some time to consider your timeline and how much cash you currently have at your disposal. Then consult a credit specialist at McGrath Nissan to determine which fixes will really pay off with a lender, and which ones will leave you empty handed.