A car is a necessity that tens of millions of Americans can’t afford to do without. If you don’t live in a big city with easy access to reliable public transportation, a car is the only way you can get to work, the only way you can do the grocery shopping or drop the kids off at school.

If you’re broke, you have bad credit and you’re looking for work, it can feel like a bit of a Catch-22, because you can’t buy a car until you have money, you can’t get money until you work, and you can’t work until you have a car to drive you there. That’s where bad credit car loans come in.

These loans will help you to get the car you need to live the life you want, and from there you can begin the process of digging yourself out of the financial hole you have found yourself in. You will have the means to get to where you need to go and to steadily build your credit up over time.

Bad Credit Auto Loans

Bad Credit Auto Loans

What follows is a list of some bad credit car loans that have been handpicked by us. Our personal circumstances and our research may not reflect your own circumstances, your credit history or your needs, so make sure you do your own research before signing on the dotted line.

Car Loans for Bad Credit 1: Auto Credit Express

Auto credit express are a auto loans company that specialize in helping out buyers with poor credit and even no credit. In fact, they are known to offer auto loans to customers who have filed for bankruptcy in their past. They are, without a doubt, one of the most accessible auto loan companies for customers with bad credit, but there is one important stipulation involving salary and employment.

Your monthly salary needs to be at least $1,500 before tax. You will also be expected to have a steady job and income and most of their questioning and their terms revolve around your employment. But it is a short process and should only take a few minutes, so there are no extended forms or waiting times here.

You can also use this bad credit auto loan to purchase a car that has a high mileage, is old, or isn’t worth a great deal of money. As discussed below, many other auto loan lenders will simply not allow you to do this, often leaving you with no choice but to buy a new or nearly new car. You shouldn’t get finance for something that you wouldn’t buy if you had the cash to pay for it all at once. That’s what makes Auto Credit Express one of the stand-out options on this list and it’s why you should consider these first if you want to secure an auto loan with bad credit.

Car Loans for Bad Credit 2: Capital One

Car Loans with Bad Credit

Capital One are a financial corporation located in Virginia that offers a range of credit cards, car loans and other financial services. Their auto loans are not specifically tailored toward customers with bad credit, but they are very forgiving in this area providing you meet some of their strict (in comparison to many other bad credit car loan providers) criteria.

For instance, the car needs to be priced between $4,000 and $40,000. This falls well into the national “average” price range of $30,000 to $35,000, but it’s likely going to be out of the price range of students, minimum wage workers and people with high debts who are looking for a couple grand to buy themselves a cheap vehicle.

In fact, even if your “cheap vehicle” did fall within that price range, it might not be accepted because there are restrictions placed on the type of car you are allowed to purchase (many of the cheaper manufacturers are out, such as the Pakistan-based Daewoo and the Japanese-based Suzuki) and it also needs to have been made after 2007 with a mileage of no more than 120,000.

Car Loans for Bad Credit 3: RoadLoans

Auto Loans with Bad Credit

RoadLoans operate a little differently to Capital One. They are considerably more relaxed about the while operation and you should find the process much easier and more forgiving. They will process your application in a matter of minutes and as well as using them to finance a new vehicle, you can also use them to refinance an old agreement.

RoadLoans offer tools to make your purchase easier and your financing more manageable and as well as loans available from car dealerships, they also offers loans for private sales. In this case you will need to make sure the vehicle has undergone an inspection, is under 12 years old and has done fewer than 100,000 miles.

Other Options for Bad Credit Auto Loans

No Credit Car Loans

If none of the above options are to your liking then there are alternatives available. One such option is to use a site like Blue Sky Auto Finance. Rather than offering you a loan directly they will show your details to many different lenders and let them make you an offer. This creates some competition and means they will be fighting for your signature, but your credit score will dictate how impressive these offers are.

You can also try MyAutoLoan, which also works with a number of lenders, each of which operates on its own terms and with its own policies. They will all use different parameters to determine whether you are a good candidate or not, so while one lender may refuse to offer you any money at all, another could be willing to give you a very good deal.

There are always options, even when you have bad credit. It’s important to remember that. So don’t jump into anything just because you have bad credit and think that no other company will offer you anything. You’re still a potential customer, so you should still shop around and make them chase you when you can. The worst thing you can do when you have bad credit is to take every bad offer that comes along just because you don’t believe you can do better.

That will only make a bad situation worse and if you keep doing that then you’ll never escape the clutches of debt.