While the requirements to get preapproved for a car loan will vary from lender to lender, there are a few basic requirements you need to consider.
Proof of identity: Generally, you’ll need to provide proof of identity. Most of the time, a driver’s license will suffice. In a few cases, a lender may ask to see your Social Security card or if applicable, a green card or a U.S. visa.
Minimum credit score: Know that you’ll usually need to have at least a fair credit score (580+) to qualify for a car loan, and typically a very good credit score (740-799) to obtain the advertised interest rate the lender is offering. Keep in mind that the promotional interest rates you see on lender’s websites are generally reserved for people with excellent credit.
You can check your credit report for free each year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. You could also check your credit score with My LendingTree to see where you stand before you try to get a preapproved car loan.
Income requirements: There also may be income requirements. Car loan applications will ask you to state your gross monthly income or salary. If you have other sources of income, such as retirement income, disability, alimony or child support, you will need to disclose that information as well in your application. You may be asked to provide proof of income, like a pay stub, bank statements or a copy of your tax returns, if you’re self-employed.
Be sure to ask your lender about income requirements ahead of time if you’re worried about this requirement because it’s important that you demonstrate you have the ability to pay back the loan in a timely manner. Typically, lenders will look closely at income if your credit isn’t great. You can read this article for more on how to find a bad credit car loan.