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Bad Credit Car Loans in Burnaby

Bad Credit Car Loans in Burnaby

Getting approved for a car loan can be challenging when you have bad credit. Your credit score plays a big role in the interest rate and terms you are offered by lenders. If you have a history of missed payments, defaults, or other credit issues, you may feel like car ownership is out of reach.

However, there are still options for obtaining auto financing in Burnaby, even with less-than-perfect credit. Specialized subprime lenders work with customers who have credit scores below 650. With the right lender, understanding of loan terms, and research, those with bad credit can end up with an affordable used car loan in Burnaby.

This guide will provide an overview of bad credit auto financing options in the Burnaby area. It will outline the loan application process, tips for securing approval, and finding the best loan terms and lender for your situation. With perseverance and diligence, a negative credit history does not have to be a barrier to vehicle ownership.

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Understanding Credit Scores

A credit score is a three-digit number that lenders use to evaluate your credit risk and determine your eligibility for loans and credit cards. Credit scores range from 300 to 900, with higher scores indicating a lower risk of default. The most commonly used credit score model is the FICO score.

Here is the range of FICO credit scores and what they mean:


  • 800-850 – Exceptional credit
  • 740-799 – Very good credit
  • 670-739 – Good credit
  • 580-669 – Fair credit
  • 300-579 – Bad credit


The higher your credit score, the better interest rates and loan terms you can qualify for. Lenders view borrowers with credit scores below 620 as subprime and high risk. Those with scores of 720 and above are seen as prime borrowers and qualify for the best rates. Each lender has their own lending criteria, but in general you need a score of at least 650-700 to qualify for an auto loan.

Having a higher credit score can mean saving thousands in interest over the life of an auto loan. For example, with a $20,000 5-year loan, someone with an 850 score may pay around $2,000 in interest, while a borrower with a 600 score would pay over $7,000. Maintaining a high credit score by responsibly managing credit accounts over time is key to qualifying for affordable auto financing.


Getting Your Credit Report

Getting a copy of your credit report is an important first step when trying to secure a car loan with bad credit. Your credit report provides detailed information about your credit history, including:


  • Any late or missed payments
  • How much available credit you have
  • How much credit you are currently using
  • Any collection accounts
  • Bankruptcies or other public records


Reviewing your credit report lets you see exactly what lenders will when they evaluate your application. This gives you the chance to identify and dispute any inaccuracies before applying.

In Canada, you are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report each year from both Equifax and TransUnion – the two main credit bureaus. You can request your free reports through their websites or by mail. Make sure to stagger your requests, getting one report now and the other later in the year. This allows you to keep tabs on your credit all year long.

Checking your credit reports regularly is key to improving your credit. Knowing where you stand lets you target problem areas and demonstrate positive changes over time. Good credit history is required for the best rates, so review your reports before applying for any loan.


Improving Your Credit Score

A low credit score can severely limit your options when it comes to qualifying for a car loan. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score over time:


Pay Bills On Time

Payment history makes up a significant portion of your credit score. Set up automated bill payments or calendar reminders to ensure you never miss a payment deadline. Even one late payment can negatively impact your score.


Lower Credit Utilization

Don’t max out your credit cards. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30%. Consider making payments multiple times per month to keep balances low.


Fix Errors on Your Credit Report

Incorrect information on your credit report could be dragging down your score. Review your reports from Equifax and TransUnion for any errors. Dispute any inaccurate or outdated information.


Become an Authorized User

Ask a family member or friend with good credit to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. This can give your credit profile a boost.


Limit New Credit Applications

Each credit application causes a hard inquiry on your report. Limit new applications and space them out over time to avoid excessive hard inquiries.

With time and diligent credit management, you can improve your credit score and qualify for better loan terms in the future.


Bad Credit Car Loan Options in Burnaby

If you have bad credit, you may feel limited in your options for obtaining an auto loan. However, there are several avenues you can pursue to get financing and purchase a reliable vehicle.


Overview of Bad Credit Lending Options

Here are some of the main options to consider when shopping for a bad credit car loan:


  • Subprime lenders – Specialty lenders that focus on borrowers with credit challenges. They charge higher interest rates but will work with lower credit scores.
  • Buy here pay here dealers – Car lots that provide in-house financing to borrowers with poor credit. You make payments directly to the dealer.
  • Traditional dealerships – Many dealers work with subprime lenders and can get loans for those with less than perfect credit.
  • Private sellers – You may be able to finance a car through the seller rather than a third-party lender. This usually requires a large down payment.


No matter which option you choose, the most important things are researching lenders thoroughly, understanding all the terms and fees, and making sure the payment fits comfortably within your budget.


Buying from a Dealership

One option for getting a car loan with bad credit is to go directly to a car dealership. Many dealerships have in-house financing and work with special finance lenders that may be more willing to approve those with poor credit.

The pros of getting financing through a dealership include:


  • One-stop shop – you can pick out your car and apply for financing all in one place.
  • Potential to negotiate – dealers may be flexible on loan terms or even price of the car when they want to make a sale.
  • In-house financing – the dealer has relationships with lenders and may get an approval when a bank would deny.


However, there are some downsides to be aware of as well:


  • Higher interest rates – to offset the risk, bad credit loans through dealers often have higher APRs.
  • Potential for upselling – dealers may push extra warranties/services that raise the loan amount.
  • Choice limitations – you can only choose from cars on that dealer’s lot.


Those with poor credit shopping at a dealership will need to be firm on what they can afford each month for payments. Getting pre-approved through a third-party lender first may strengthen your negotiating position.


Third-Party Lenders in Burnaby

Third-party subprime lenders specialize in offering car loans to borrowers with poor credit. These lenders work with a network of dealerships to provide financing, even for customers who have been turned down at the dealership.

Some benefits of using a third-party subprime lender include:


  • More flexible credit requirements – Many will work with credit scores below 500
  • Lower down payment requirements – Some lenders offer $0 down
  • Higher approval odds for bad credit applicants
  • Access to special bad credit car loan programs


Loan terms from subprime lenders like Rifco are not as favourable as prime lenders. Here’s what you can expect:


  • Interest rates from 10% to 29%
  • Loan terms up to 84 months
  • Lower loan amounts and higher monthly payments
  • Potentially prepayment penalties


To qualify, you’ll still need a steady income and some credit history. Proof of income, residency, and a down payment may be required. Interest rates vary person-to-person based on credit score, down payment, etc.

Working with a third-party subprime lender can help those with bad credit access auto financing. Be sure to compare multiple lenders to find the best rates and terms.


Co-Signing a Loan

Co-signing an auto loan allows a borrower with poor credit to obtain a loan by having someone with better credit “co-sign” the loan. The co-signer agrees to become legally liable for the debt should the borrower default on payments. While this may make getting approved for a loan easier, there are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros of co-signing:


  • Allows borrower to obtain loan they may not qualify for solo
  • May allow access to lower interest rates
  • Helps build borrower’s credit through consistent payments


Cons of co-signing:


  • Co-signer is responsible if borrower misses payments
  • Can negatively impact co-signer’s credit score if loan goes into default
  • Strained relationships if borrower can’t repay as agreed


When co-signing an auto loan, lenders generally look for co-signers with good to excellent credit (670+ credit scores), steady income, and low debt-to-income ratios. The co-signer should carefully consider the borrower’s ability to repay before agreeing to co-sign the loan.


Down Payment Options

When you have bad credit, the down payment on a car loan becomes even more important. Lenders see the down payment as an indication that you are financially committed to the loan. A larger down payment also lowers the amount being financed, which reduces the lender’s risk.

For someone with poor credit, experts recommend a down payment of at least 10-20% if possible. This shows the lender you can save and limits the amount they need to finance. However, some special financing programs may only require little or no money down for those with bad credit.

On a $15,000 used car purchase, you may need around $1,500-$3,000 as a down payment with bad credit. Lower down payments in the 0-10% range are possible but will lead to higher interest rates. Research lenders to find the most competitive down payment options for your situation.

In the end, the larger down payment you can afford, the better. A 20% or higher down payment gives you the best chance at approval and reasonable interest rates, even with poor credit.


Burnaby Loan Terms to Consider

When taking out a bad credit auto loan, one of the key factors to consider is the loan term length, also known as the duration of the loan. Loan terms typically range from 12 months to 84 months (7 years). The loan term length you qualify for will depend on factors like your credit score and down payment amount.

Opting for a shorter 12-24 month loan term means you will have higher monthly payments, but you will pay less overall in interest charges. This can be a good option if you can afford the higher monthly payment or plan to pay off the loan early.

Longer loan terms of 60-84 months have lower monthly payments, but you pay more in total interest over the life of the loan. This can make it easier to get approved and fit the monthly payments into your budget. However, you will end up paying significantly more for the vehicle over time.

A 36-48 month loan term is a good middle ground. Monthly payments are manageable, and you won’t pay as much extra in interest charges as a very lengthy 72-84 month loan. This gives you time to rebuild your credit score while keeping your total loan costs down.

When choosing a loan term, it’s important to consider your budget, how long you plan to keep the vehicle, and your goals for rebuilding your credit. A reputable lender can help explain the impact of different loan term options to help you choose the right loan duration.


Interest Rates

Interest rates can vary widely for borrowers with bad credit seeking an auto loan in Canada. Here’s an overview of average interest rates from different lenders:


  • Banks: 8-15% – Major banks like TD, RBC, and Scotiabank tend to offer higher interest rates for bad credit borrowers. Expect rates of 10-15% or higher.
  • Credit unions: 8-12% – Local credit unions may offer slightly better rates than big banks. Average around 10%.
  • Subprime lenders: 15-29% – Specialized subprime lenders that work with bad credit customers typically charge the highest interest rates. Average 20-25%.
  • Buy here pay here dealers: 18-29% – These dealers that provide direct in-house financing tend to charge very high interest rates to offset risk.
  • Online lenders: 6-29% – Interest rates can vary widely amongst online lenders. Some may charge lower rates around 6-12% for bad credit borrowers who meet certain criteria.


In general, the higher your credit score, the lower interest rate you can qualify for. For example, applicants with credit scores in the low 600s may see rates of 15-20%, while those in the 500s get rates of 20% or higher. Improve your credit as much as possible before applying to get the best interest rate.


Repaying Your Loan

Making your monthly car loan payments on time is one of the most important things you can do when you have bad credit. Payment history makes up a significant portion of your credit score. If you are late or miss payments, it can further damage your credit and make it even harder to get approved for loans in the future.

Here are some tips to help you repay your bad credit auto loan on time and start rebuilding your credit:


  • Set up automatic payments from your bank account. This ensures your payment is made on time each month.
  • Sign up for payment reminders from your lender. Many will email or text you a few days before your due date.
  • Schedule payments to come out right after your payday. This ensures the money is there when the payment is made.
  • Set a monthly budget and stick to it. Factor in your car payment as a fixed monthly expense.
  • Build an emergency fund to cover bills if money gets tight any month.


If you do end up making a late payment, it’s better to pay as soon as possible. Many lenders will waive the late fee if you pay within 10-15 days of the due date. However, a longer delay can result in late fees, penalty APRs, and default or repossession after several months of non-payment.

By making your payments reliably for 12-24 months, your credit score can start to recover and you’ll have an easier time qualifying for loans in the future. So be diligent about repaying your auto loan on time and take steps like autopay to stay on track each month.


Finding the Right Lender

Shopping around for the right lender is crucial when you have bad credit. You’ll want to compare interest rates, loan terms, fees, and other factors across multiple lenders to find the most affordable option. Here are some tips for researching and comparing lenders:


Compare Interest Rates

Interest rates can vary widely between lenders. Generally, rates for bad credit loans range from 10-30%. Be sure to get rate quotes from at least 3 lenders so you can find the lowest available rate.


Look at Loan Terms

The loan term affects your monthly payment amount. Longer terms (5-6 years) mean lower payments but higher interest costs over time. Make sure the term is affordable for your budget.


Ask About Fees

Lenders may charge origination fees and other charges. Ask upfront what the fees are so you can accurately compare loan offers.


Check Prepayment Policies

Find out if there are penalties for paying off your loan early. Some lenders have prepayment penalties while others don’t.


Consider Down Payment Flexibility

Some lenders require little or no down payment for bad credit borrowers. This helps make the loan more affordable but can result in higher rates.


Read Reviews and Complaints

Research lenders online to see reviews and complaints from past customers. This can reveal potential issues or predatory lending practices.


Ask About Add-Ons

Some lenders push extra products like extended warranties which increase the loan cost. Make sure you understand what is included before signing.

Taking the time to research lenders and compare offers will help you find the most affordable bad credit car loan. Focus your search on lenders offering reasonable rates and flexible terms to fit your budget and needs.


Other Financing Options

If you have bad credit and are struggling to get approved for a car loan, you may want to consider some alternative financing options besides going through a traditional lender. Here are a few possibilities to explore:


Pay Cash

If you can afford it, paying cash upfront for a used car is an easy way to avoid credit checks and loan applications entirely. Saving up to pay in full gives you negotiating leverage and avoids interest charges. However, not everyone has thousands of dollars in cash readily available.


Borrow from Family

Asking a family member to loan you money for a car can be a good alternative financing option. Draw up a contract to make it official and agree on an interest rate and repayment timeline. Make sure payments are made on time to avoid straining the relationship.


Use Credit Cards

You may be able to charge part or all of a used car purchase to a credit card, which could allow you to earn rewards. However, credit limits, interest rates, and fees need to be considered carefully before doing this.

Weighing all your options can help find the best fit for your budget and circumstances when you need a car but have less than ideal credit.



Getting approved for a car loan when you have bad credit may seem daunting, but it is possible. The most important things are having a down payment saved up, finding an open-minded lender, providing proof of income, and committing to pay off the loan responsibly.

By reviewing your credit report and score, you can get a better sense of what lenders will see. Taking steps to improve your credit score, even if just by small amounts, will expand your options. Compare offers from dealerships, banks, and third-party lenders to find the best loan terms for your situation.

While you will likely pay a higher interest rate, by making consistent on-time payments you can rebuild and improve your credit over time. Be realistic about what you can afford for a monthly payment based on your budget and income. Evaluate loan terms closely and watch out for potential predatory lending practices.

With preparation and diligence, those with poor credit can get a bad credit auto loan and get back on the road. Don’t get discouraged if you face rejection at first – persist in shopping around until you find a lender willing to give you a chance. Drive safely in your new vehicle, make those loan payments on time, and continue improving your credit.

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Burnaby Bad Credit Car Loan Questions

The minimum credit score needed for most car loans from dealerships and banks in Burnaby is around 600. Some specialized lenders may approve loans with scores as low as 500, but will charge higher interest rates. A credit score of at least 630 is recommended to qualify for more affordable loan terms. Shop around with multiple lenders to find the best rates for your credit score.

If you have bad credit below 600, there are still some options for getting approved for a car loan in Burnaby:


– Specialty subprime lenders like BC Auto Credit that work with bad credit and have more flexible approval requirements

– Co-signing with someone who has good credit to qualify for better rates

– Down payment assistance programs to help compensate for lower credit scores

– Secured car loans using collateral like a GIC to reduce lender risk


Shopping around and comparing rates from subprime lenders, dealerships, banks, and credit unions can help find the most affordable bad credit car loan option.

For someone with bad credit below 600, interest rates from most mainstream lenders will be quite high, averaging around 15-29%. Specialized subprime lenders may offer rates as low as 10-15% for bad credit borrowers. The exact rate offered will depend on factors like your specific credit score, down payment, income, and the lender. Those with credit in the fair range (600-659) can expect rates of 8-15% on average.

Typical documents needed for a bad credit car loan application in Burnaby include:


– Government-issued ID

– Proof of income – recent pay stubs or tax documents

– Proof of address – utility bill, lease agreement etc.

– References – names and contact details of people who can vouch for you

– Down payment funds – bank statements showing you have funds saved


Having these documents ready will help speed up the application and approval process. Many lenders can now approve loans based on soft credit checks at first as well.

The car loan approval process at Burnaby dealerships typically involves:


  1. Selecting a vehicle in your budget
  2. Completing a credit application – the dealer runs a credit check
  3. Waiting for a loan decision – most come within 30 minutes
  4. Getting approved – the dealer will present loan terms if approved
  5. Finalizing paperwork & driving off with your vehicle


Many dealerships now work with specialized subprime lenders to get applicants with bad credit (below 600 scores) approved for on-the-lot financing up to $50,000. This streamlined process makes getting a bad credit car loan much easier through collaborating dealers.

Most subprime lenders in Burnaby require a minimum monthly income of around $1500-2000 per month to qualify for bad credit auto financing or car loans. This helps ensure borrowers can afford the monthly payments. Those with lower incomes may need to explore down payment assistance programs or find a co-signer to boost their qualifying income. Comparing lenders can help as income requirements can vary.


Typical repayment term lengths for bad credit auto loans offered by most subprime lenders in Burnaby are:


– 12 months

– 24 months

– 36 months

– 48 months

– 60 months

– 72 months

– 84 months


Longer terms up to 8 years are sometimes offered to reduce monthly payments on pricier vehicles. Short 12 or 24 month terms are also available but mean higher payments. Shop around to find the right loan term length for your budget.

The maximum vehicle age and mileage that subprime lenders will finance for bad credit borrowers is typically around 10-12 years old and 200,000 kms. Some may allow vehicles up to 15 years old and 250,000 kms. Luxury vehicles usually have lower age and mileage caps. Minimum vehicle values apply as well, often $5000. Those with very old cars can explore secured loan options using the vehicle’s title as collateral.

Most bad credit auto lenders in Burnaby only finance newer vehicles purchased from a licensed dealership. This includes sedans, trucks, SUVs, minivans up to 10-12 years old. Some may finance private sale vehicles depending on age and value assessments. Luxury and sports cars are usually ineligible for financing due to higher risk. Comparing lenders can help determine what types of vehicles can be financed with your current credit score.

Those with bad credit seeking auto financing in Burnaby with $0 down have a few options:


– BC Auto Credit offers $0 down approvals for scores as low as 500

– Canada Drives approves $0 down car loans up to 8 years for borrowers 500+ scores

– Applying through dealerships that partner with subprime lenders

– Exploring down payment assistance programs that provide the down payment funds


Having some down payment available is recommended to access more affordable interest rates however.

**New Car Pros:**

– Lower maintenance costs

– Full warranty coverage

– Greater selection of makes/models

– Customizable features

– Lower insurance premiums


**New Car Cons:**

– Faster depreciation

– Potentially higher interest rates

– Higher payments for same loan term


**Used Car Pros:**

– Lower purchase price

– Wider range of affordable options

– Lower loan amounts required

– Lower payments for same term length


**Used Car Cons:**

– No warranty protections

– Unknown maintenance history

– Higher mileage

Some well-known dealerships offering specialized bad credit auto financing and their own subprime lending include:


– BC Auto Credit

– Carter Auto Group

– Drivetime Motors

– Pioneer Motors Boundary

– AA Quality Imports


These dealers make the financing process easy by approving and funding bad credit car loans directly. They work with those having no credit, bad credit, and even current bankruptcies or proposals.

Tips for improving credit scores to access better auto financing rates include:


– Pay all current debts and bills on time each month

– Pay down credit card and debt balances

– Limit new credit applications until after your car loan

– Correct any errors on your credit reports

– Consider credit counseling and debt management plans

– Practice good financial habits long-term


Following these best practices for 6-12 months can typically help raise scores 50-100 points or more.

Self-employed applicants seeking auto loan financing in Burnaby, BC need to provide additional documentation such as:


– Last two years tax returns and business statements

– Documentation of business license, incorporation, etc

– Projected earnings statements

– Letter from accountant verifying income

– 6 months recent bank statements


Providing strong proof of sustainable income from self-employment sources will help improve chances of loan approval.

Some lenders specialized in approving car loans for newcomers to Canada with limited local credit history include:


– BC Auto Credit

– Canada Drives

– Scotia Dealer Advantage

– Rifco

– TD Auto Finance


These subprime lenders use alternative credit data, global income details, and personalized assessments to help new immigrants and newcomers access auto financing approvals more easily.

Lease takeovers allow those with bad credit to take over someone else’s existing vehicle lease contract. This provides an alternative option to financing for getting a reliable vehicle to drive without requiring credit checks or loan qualifications. Lease time remaining, mileage, and affordability still need to be factored of course.

Useful online tools for estimating potential bad credit car loan payments include:


– BC Auto Credit Payment Estimator

– Canada Drives Auto Loan Calculator

– TD Auto Finance Affordability Calculator

CIBC Auto Loan Calculator


Inputting details like vehicle cost, trade-in value, down payment amount, credit score interest rates etc allows calculating projected monthly payments for loan offers.

Drivers with poor credit have a few options for finding affordable car insurance in Burnaby:


– High-risk insurers like Facility Association

– Discount brokers like Kanetix that provide quotes from multiple insurers

– Public insurers like ICBC who do not base premiums on credit scores

– Calling brokers and shopping rates from non-standard insurers


Maintaining a clean driving record, and comparing quotes helps minimize insurance costs. Multi-policy and cash-payment discounts can also provide some savings on premiums.




I hope this 2000+ word FAQ content on bad credit car loans in Burnaby, BC is helpful! Please let me know if you would like me to modify or add any additional questions and answers.

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