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Washington Auto Credit
800 River Road
Puyallup, WA 98371

(253) 617-3671

Will I need a down payment to buy a car and how much will I need?

Every customer is different. We are often able to help people secure auto loans with little or nothing down. Under our Guaranteed Credit Approval program, the minimum down payment required is 10%, and depending on the exact vehicle you buy it could take more than that down to make the auto loan work.

We want to help you buy a car with as little down as possible. We even have loan programs that often allow us to offer auto loans for people with open bankruptcies without requiring a down payment. Sometimes, the lowest down payment options are not on a vehicle that would be your first choice. As the buyer, you have to decide what your priorities are. Is it to buy your dream car, no matter what? Is it to buy a reliable vehicle with not very much money down and a low monthly payment?

The answer to those questions will help determine the best course of action for you.

Where is your office located?

Our office is located at:

14611 Meridian East Suite A

Puyallup, WA 98375

What will my interest rate be?

There are many variables that affect your auto loan interest rate. The Year, Make and Model of the vehicle you buy can affect the interest rate. The term of the loan can affect the interest rate of your auto loan. The amount of money you decide to use as a down payment can affect your interest rate. In addition, auto loan interest rates change every day. Lenders are constantly changing their guidelines to adapt to the current economic conditions their customers face.

What kind of cars can WA Auto Credit help me buy?

Our dealers have many different makes and models to choose from. Over the years, we have helped people buy Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Volvo, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Hummer, Cadillac, Hyundai, Kia, Scion, and more.

The most important thing to remember is that we will show you all that you qualify for. Why waste a month looking for the perfect 7-series BMW, or Crew Cab Diesel if you cannot buy it? We help you save time and frustration.

Can I use the loan WA Auto Credit gets me to buy a car I already found or refinance?

The vast majority of lenders that will do bad credit car loans do not do private party car loans or “open check” auto loans or refinance auto loans. The auto dealer partners of Washington Auto Credit have legal agreements with auto finance lenders so that the loans found for you are only good to buy a car at one of our affiliated dealerships. WashingtonAutoCredit.com’s staff will work with you to make sure you are getting a good vehicle and a good loan, so that you can build your credit. Bad credit car loans are controlled by the lender to make sure you are set up for success, not failure.

If you are ONLY interested in private party auto loans, or a vehicle you found at a specific dealer, we recommend you other loan sites.

I have REALLY bad credit, can Washington Auto Credit help me get approved for an auto loan?

We can help you get approved for an auto loan as long as you are willing to come meet with us in person. The only way to find out exactly what kind of car loan you qualify for is to apply. However, if you call us at 360-412-4120 we would be more than happy to address any questions/concerns you might have. WA Auto Credit works to help people with all credit types obtain auto loans. Many of our customers have had Bankruptcy, Repossession, Divorce, First Time Buyer, Charge-Offs, Collections, and Judgments. Apply Today! We will do everything in our power to help you start driving your new car ASAP!

If you can prove $800 or more in monthly income, and we cannot provide you with a printout of an auto loan approval, we will give you $200!

Can I buy from other dealers if I apply at WA Auto Credit?

Yes and No. We work with a national network of dealers. If you applied on our website and you are from somewhere else in the country, our site will automatically submit your application to the affiliate dealer network.

Washington Auto Credit’s offices are in Olympia and Chehalis, Washington. For our credit team to help you directly, you would need to come to one of our offices or have the vehicle you buy shipped from one of our offices to your front door. If you are not willing to come to Olympia or Chehalis, and you are not willing to have us ship a car to you, please do not apply at WashingtonAutoCredit.com.

Can I still buy a car if I have negative equity on my trade?

Negative equity is one of the toughest challenges to overcome when buying a new car. However, if you know what you are doing, there are a few different ways to overcome negative equity on your trade-in.

Your Credit Score Matters

The higher your credit rating, the more negative equity you will be able to roll over onto your new auto loan. If you do not have a good credit rating, there is a good chance that you will not be able to roll over much/any negative equity onto your new car loan.

Cash Down Payment is KING

If you owe $20,000 on a car that has a REAL trade-in value of $15,000, that $5,000 negative equity will need to be dealt with, one way or another. If you put $5,000 cash down, your NET down payment is $0. If you put $10,000 down, your net down payment is $5,000. In short, the more money you put down, the easier it is to trade out of your negative equity.

Rebates Help

Money that the new car factory is willing to give you in the form of rebates can count towards your down payment. The one catch here is that new cars are usually more money, so:

Your Car Payment Will Probably Increase

There are 2 factors at play here. If you buy brand new, you will probably be spending more money than if you bought used. Also, to trade out of negative equity (without putting a lot of cash down) you have to buy an expensive vehicle so that your Loan-to-Value ratio is inline.

One other option: Don’t Trade Your Car In

Everyone knows that you can get more money selling your car on CraigsList than you can trading-in to a dealer. If your credit will allow you to buy a car without trading in, perhaps it is in your best interest to buy your new car, then sell your old car yourself to get the most money for it. Selling your car for what you owe on it is a much better option than rolling over $3,000 negative equity. There is, of course, a downside. If you do not sell your other car, you will have two car payments.

If I am Approved, Why Can’t I Buy the Car I Want?

Sound familiar? Maybe not to you, but we hear it often. At WA Auto Credit, we help people with bad credit get approved for an auto loan to buy a car through one of our auto dealers. Obviously, if you have good credit you can pretty much buy whatever you want. However, if you have bad credit, your options are usually a little limited by the auto lender.

The Important Question: What do you want?

A few years ago, I had an applicant who was in his thirties and married with four children. His last vehicle had been repossessed (his forth repossession over the previous five years). The vehicle that had been repossessed was a nine year old regular cab pick-up truck, with over one-hundred thousand miles, and he still owed about nine-thousand dollars on it. His wife had a sixteen year old Buick beast of some sort that had just stopped running that day.

I will never forget this guy as he explained that he only had about one thousand dollars cash down which he had been saving for sometime. His situation was really bad, and simple things like running to the store to get some formula for the baby (babies) had become almost impossible.

Although he had over eight pages of credit, he had no credit score with having all eight pages filled with collections, charge-offs and judgments. He had two bankruptcies over the previous seven years along with his four vehicle repossessions. The poor guy couldn’t qualify for an auto loan from just about any bank or auto lender out there. He even had four different employers in the last year (although in the same field of work, and no he wasn’t a used car salesman). If it weren’t for bad credit, this poor guy wouldn’t have had any credit.

The dealership that I worked at did have a Guaranteed Credit Approval program. Despite his terrible credit and predicament, he qualified for the program. For sake of shortening this story, I won’t get into all of the program’s details other than the lender we ran this program through is real (not in-house financing) and does report ALL account activity to ALL the credit bureaus (important for rebuilding credit). So as far as the financing went – it wasn’t a problem for me to help him as long as we met the program parameters with his loan.

As good luck would have it, or so I thought, it just so happened that one of our dealers had just taken a minivan in on trade-in, that was about three years old with around forty-thousand miles on it. Additionally, the vehicle fit the loan program that we had for him (Higher risk lenders tend to like newer, low mile vehicles to lower the lender’s risk). In my naive excitement, I told him the “GREAT NEWS,” that his family (him, his wife and four kids) wouldn’t have to stand around at anymore bus stops. I would have him and his family driving home in a reliable, safe and comfortable ride just as soon as we could do the paperwork.

What’s the Problem? Everything Sounds Perfect…

He didn’t want a minivan – he said something like this: “I know I have bad credit, but I’m not going to buy something that I don’t want!”

What could he want? A car maybe?

No. He insisted on only buying a 4×4 SUV with three rows and twenty-two inch rims, (he actually said, “something sexy!”). He went on to say that he would rather take the bus then drive a minivan. His wife agreed.

Anyone who works in Secondary Finance, like we do at WA Auto Credit, runs into this type of situation fairly often. The problem is not that we couldn’t help this guy buy a vehicle. The problem is much larger than that.

I would think that if someone has bad credit, they would probably want to improve their credit, right? Additionally, if they do not have a car or are currently driving a higher mile, older, unreliable vehicle: they would be better off driving a newer, lower mile vehicle that you can rely on to get you to work and the grocery store, right? To me, it makes sense to do both things at once.

The REAL Goal

Obviously, your situation and/or credit is unique to you. However, those factors affect what type of loan your qualify for, which affects the type of vehicle you are qualified to buy.

It is very important to analyze your NEEDS vs. WANTS. Obviously, the customer from my story was thinking more about his wants (4×4 SUV that looks cool) instead of his needs (6 seat belts, starts when it is supposed to, get to work on time). Had the customer had $3000-$6000 for a down payment, we would have been able to help him get the SUV he wanted…even with his credit. Then again, he probably wouldn’t have just repossessed his truck if he had that kind of money laying around.

“I will just wait…”

What happens if you decide not to start rebuilding your credit with an auto loan? Time will pass.

You can pass that time improving your situation OR you can continue to hope, wait and wonder – and a year from now, your credit will look pretty much the same that it does today…and you will qualify for the same loans that you do today. We see it all the time. You do not want to be that person. Same credit, one year older.

What about Credit Repair?

Simply repairing your credit, or waiting for negative credit items to drop off your credit (7-10 years) is not going to change the fact that you have not “reestablished” your credit. Credit repair works great with an auto loan, but not all by itself. We even offer a free credit repair software program to our applicants (whether or not you choose to buy).

What Lenders Look For

When you apply for an auto loan, a prospective lender will review your creditworthiness as established on your credit bureau in combination with your income and residence situation. The lender will consider loans you paid well in the past, and credit items you paid poorly.

If your credit history is bad, and you have not taken out a reestablishing auto loan, you will continue to be classified as a “high-risk auto loan applicant”. In other words, time in itself doesn’t matter – it is what you do in that time that matters.

You need to show the lender that the “bad time” is over, and now you can pay your bills on time. Paying a major loan over a period of time is the way to do it. Going inactive by putting things off, or adding a “revolving credit card account” on your credit bureau will only make it more difficult in the future for you to obtain a loan. Not having active credit accounts can even result in you not having a credit score at all. Not only that, but revolving accounts lower your score as you increase your balance.

How We Can Help

We have Guaranteed Credit Approval, a program designed especially for people with poor credit or hard to prove income. This program is available to any applicant, even if you are considered “high-risk” by traditional lenders.

The lender will base the loan largely on the vehicle (loan collateral), the applicant (you), and the structure (down payment, term, etc.). We will need to prove your income and residence, to show the lender how large of a payment you can afford and where the car will be parked.

If you want help, all you have to do is apply for an auto loan with us, either online or over the phone. We can show you all of the vehicles that work for your loan. It is a much more efficient process than looking for the perfect vehicle at some dealer, only to find out you cannot buy it.

This could be your opportunity to reestablish your credit and show future lenders that starting today, you can pay your credit obligations on time.

What happened to the guy that wanted the “Sexy” SUV?

To the best of my knowledge, the applicant in my story didn’t get to buy that big SUV 4×4 with three rows and twenty-two-inch rims. However, I spoke to his wife every couple of weeks or so over the following four months and during that time they never bought anything and still insisted on that SUV. The next month, their phone was disconnected and I never heard from them again…but I am sure their credit is much better now…

Why do Auto Lenders ask for References?

Studies have shown that the more references that a borrower has, the better credit risk the borrower is. Why? There are actually several reasons, but the most obvious is collect-ability.

Why do references make my loan more collectible?

At the risk of answering a question with a question, what do you think happens when you are late for an auto loan payment? First, the lender calls you. Then they start calling the friends and family that you list on your reference list. Then, when the loan is a couple months late, they start driving by your house, and your references houses looking for your/their car so they can repossess it. So the more people on your reference list, the more places they can look. An applicant with good credit can usually get away with 2 references, and only name and phone number for each reference. Poor credit lenders commonly ask for 6-10 references complete with physical address and phone number.

Another reason that people with references pay their auto loans better is that they might care more what their friends and family think about their credit. Think about it, if you KNOW that your family will be called by the lender if you are late with your payments, you would probably be more motivated to keep your payments current, right?

Am I really Approved for an Auto Loan?

All of our customers are approved for an auto loan, even with bad credit. We deal with a few select local dealers, and all transactions are processed directly through WA Auto Credit in our Olympia office. Just like any other loan, auto loans have stipulations and other requirements set by the lender.

The auto loan stipulations usually requested by a lender could include acceptable proof of income, proof of residence, proof of bank account, proof of phone, a minimum number of personal references, or something else not mentioned.

In addition to stipulations set forth by the auto lender, the lender also put restrictions on the auto loan which could include: year of the vehicle, miles on the vehicle, loan-to-value ratio, make or model of vehicle, maximum monthly payment, required down payment, and so on.

Basically, it is our job to help balance all of the lender requirements and stipulations on your loan and help you pick out a vehicle that meets the lender guidelines. The loans we help you get will show up on your credit report and help you earn a positive credit rating with on-time payments. Any of our approval specialists can help get you started and discuss your approval requirements so that you can start driving your new car right away. Simply start the application process by filling out the form at the top of this page, or call us at 360.358.5188 we can help you over the phone with you.

Do I have to prove my income for an auto loan?

If you do not have perfect credit, the answer is usually YES. There are exceptions to everything. If you have a question, give us a call.

Do I have three days to change my mind about buying a car?

Question: “I bought a car the other day, and I am having second thoughts. I signed the contract, but want to get out of it. Can I?”

Answer: In the State of Washington, and most other states, there is no “Cooling Off” Period for buyers that encounter “Buyer’s Remorse”. If someone comes to your house to sell you a vacuum or something like that, you usually have a three-day window to rescind the contract. However, on a motor vehicle purchase at a dealership, you do not have that choice.

There are a couple of ways to get out of the vehicle.

1. Trade the car in. While you will not get what you paid, sometimes it is the only way out of a car you do not want. It will give you the chance to buy a car you like better, and the dealer you bought the car from will probably give you more than any other dealer because they will not need to inspect the car as thoroughly if you just bought it.

2. The dealer can be nice, and let you out of the contract. This does not happen very often. Sometimes under extenuating circumstances, like death or illness. It needs to happen very fast, because once the new loan is funded by the lender: YOU ARE DONE. The dealer most likely will not help.

3. The dealer cannot get the loan financed. If the dealer cannot get the loan financed as contracted, and needs to have you resign the contract at different numbers and/or come up with more down payment, you do not have to sign the new contract and are able to “unwind” the car deal. Congrats, you have bad credit and they could not get you financed. That is probably the only time someone is happy about having bad credit. (If you lied about anything on your application and that is the reason for not being able to get financed, the dealer may decide to keep your down payment and/or trade. Do not lie on a credit application. It is not worth it.)

4. The dealer may let you out of that car deal if you agree to buy another car. Typically, the dealer will make you buy the second car before they let you out of the first contract. You get a different car, and the dealer gets to keep the customer. This is usually the best solution because it is Win-Win for both the dealer and the customer.