It's easy to get a used car with a bad credit auto loan -- but what about a new car? Though used cars can be more affordable, there are advantages to new cars as well: they are often under warranty, they're generally more reliable, and they have advanced safety and technology features.
Go Directly through an Auto Financing Company
For the most part, dealerships are not going to allow a bad credit auto loan for a new car -- unless you have a co-signer. When you have a co-signer, they essentially guarantee the loan with their own credit and their own income, so you may be able to get a loan, but there are some practical downsides. Auto financing companies, on the other hand, will often approve your loan up to a specific amount... and often they'll request the car be within five or ten years old.
Look for Stock Models or "Show" Models
Because you'll usually be getting financing with a limit (commonly around $15,000 to $20,000), you will have a budget to work with. But you can get new cars at a discounted price two ways. One, you can get the most affordable option -- the stock option that doesn't have any customization or additional trim levels. Though you might be missing some fancy features, the appearance of the car and its safety features will usually be unaltered. "Show" models are also a great option. Show models are cars that have been used on the lot and often have a few hundred (or even a few thousand) miles on them. Nevertheless, they're practically new.
Wait to Purchase at the Right Time
There is definitively one "better" time to buy a new car, especially with a bad credit auto loan: when the new models have come in. The new models don't arrive at the end of the year; instead, they arrive mid-year to late fall. When the new models arrive, the old models are quickly sold off even if they are brand new. Lenders may be more willing to lend and dealerships may be more willing to negotiate the price down on the vehicle.
Whether you're trying to protect your family or obtain the dream car that you've always wanted, getting a new car with a bad credit auto loan is more than possible -- even without a co-signer. You can begin by looking into options at your local financing center.