How do I know if I am Eligible for Car Finance?

Suppose you’ve had difficulty finding car finance, or perhaps now is the first time you will apply. In any case, you might be unsure if you are eligible for car finance. We appreciate you may have concerns about car loan eligibility, such as:

  • Passing a car finance eligibility check with a bad credit history can be less straightforward. However, we consistently find finance deals for those customers with a less-than-perfect credit history.
  • Paying a deposit can help improve your car loan eligibility. Still, they’re not always necessary, and we work with lenders who offer no-deposit car finance.
  • Negative equity car finance is when the amount you’re paying for your car is more than it’s worth – a challenge if you want to trade your vehicle for a different one.

Eligibility: It’s only a soft search away

Applying for a check to see if you are eligible only needs a soft search which will not affect your credit score.

There might be many reasons you doubt your car finance eligibility. Ranging from Bankruptcy, CCJs missed payments or simply not having a deposit. Our job is to look for a lender from our panel who could offer you a car loan deal.

How do I Check my Car Finance Eligibility?

Start with your income from employment, less your cost of living expenses, to see how much you can afford as a monthly budget to buy and run a car.

Head to our car finance eligibility calculator and input the amount you want to borrow and the years to repay the loan. You’ll also need to click the credit rating dropdown (Poor, Fair or Good).

Adjusting the number of years should get you to your affordable amount. If the monthly repayments still look too high, consider reducing the total amount you want to borrow or what deposit you might be able to pay.

You may be unsure how much you want to borrow until you speak to us; your income may be irregular due to self-employment, for example. That’s alright we can discuss that after your eligibility is confirmed. 

Next, it’s time to complete the application as best as possible and send it to see if you are eligible for car finance.

What happens when I Submit my Eligibility Application?

The car finance eligibility check will only take a few minutes. We’ll do a soft search (no impact), present your details to our panel of lenders, and let you know if you’re eligible for a car loan. Assuming you are!

Your Account Manager calls you to discuss options, answer your questions, and help you search for a car. You are under no obligation to proceed.

When you find a vehicle, you inform your Account Manager, and the lender does a hard search on your report. Assuming everything is fine, you’ll get the car loan, we’ll sort everything out, and you’ll collect your vehicle.

What is the difference between a Soft Credit Check and a Hard Credit Check when I apply for Car Finance?

Two checks will occur on your credit report when you apply for a car loan.

First check

The first is a soft search to decide your eligibility for car finance; this check has no impact on your credit score.

Second check

The second check is a detailed look at your profile, which is part of what the lender uses along with their criteria to determine to offer the finance. A hard search can be seen by lenders when you make further credit applications.

Please read on to understand how these searches influence your eligibility for car finance.

A Soft Search on your credit file determines your Eligibility for Car Finance

A soft credit search occurs when a lender checks to determine your finance and interest rates eligibility.

The search includes all the information you can see when looking up your credit rating. It contains a snapshot of your credit history, including personal details like your name, home address, date of birth and if you are on the Electrol Role.

Initially, you are applying for a quote!

When you submit your application, you are not applying for finance but instead asking for a quote. The soft search will decide your car finance eligibility. Unfortunately, if you are not eligible, your application is declined.

When you are deemed eligible, your loan requirements are put to a panel of lenders to find you the best quote. Whatever happens, only you can see the soft search on your credit report – lenders can’t see them. Soft searches remain on your file for up to twelve months, and it does not matter how many.

A Hard Search can influence whether you get approved for Car Finance!

If you are happy with the quote, the lender does a second, more detailed check on your credit report, known as the hard search. Along with their in-house lending criteria, the lender decides whether to authorise the finance or not. If you have a bad credit history, here’s a plus because your credit report is not necessarily the overriding factor at this point. It’s up to the lender.

Unlike a soft search where no one apart from you can see them on your credit file, that’s not the same with a hard inquiry. These search results remain on your report for twelve months, and lenders can see you’ve applied for credit.

It’s best to avoid too many hard searches over a short time. They can affect your eligibility for car finance or any other type of credit.

Checking your Eligibility for Car Finance takes just a few minutes

We make applying for car finance fast and easy. The finance application process involves reviewing your eligibility and searching a panel of car finance lenders to find the best option to suit your circumstances.

  •  At first, you only apply to check your eligibility and receive car finance quotes. Not for a finance deal, not yet! You’ll need to provide a few bits of information, some personal details and the amount you’d like to borrow.
  • We’ll pass your details to our panel of lenders to see if you are eligible for car finance and, if so, find quotes. The soft credit check does not harm your credit score.
  • Suppose you are eligible for car finance. Your Account Manager calls to chat through the quotes you receive. Choose to proceed with an offer, and a hard search will happen subject to your approval.