Can You Get a Car Loan Without a Job?
Sign Up to get great deals for cars!
Subscribe to our blog that will make you look like an expert dealer.
You've spent hours perusing various makes and models and finally decided on the one that's right for you. It has the performance and utility you need, gets good gas mileage, and fits your budget.
The only problem is you don't have a job.
It would seem like an obvious requirement to have a job when buying a car because it allows you to make a large down payment and pay your monthly loan installments. Additionally, the income from a job helps pay for fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
But can you get a car without a job? Believe it or not, the answer is yes.
Though not as simple as buying a vehicle while you have a job, you can still get behind the wheel of a new-to-you car if you meet specific requirements.
Let's look at the details of obtaining an auto loan when you don't have a job.
Auto financing basics
Car loans help drivers pay for their vehicles over time, dividing a significant amount of money into manageable payments.
The total cost of an auto loan, both month to month and over time, depends on different factors like the down payment, interest rate, APR, and term length.
A down payment lowers the loan amount while decreasing your payments each month.
The annual percentage rate, or APR, consists of the interest rate and any lender charges added to the principal amount you borrow.
Auto loan terms typically last 24-84 months. Longer terms can lessen your monthly payments and assist you in buying something that may have been more than you'd budgeted.
Buying a used car offers several advantages over purchasing a new one. You have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars while still driving away in a nearly new vehicle. Where can you go for a quality vehicle that stands the test of time? Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected cars, trucks, and SUVs located across the country that are ready to go.
If you need to sell your current vehicle before buying your next one, Shift is there for you. There's no need to worry about going through the time-consuming tasks of taking pictures, obtaining an appraisal, and answering the phone. All you have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on Shift's easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days.
You'll get a fair offer, better than at the dealership, driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. With Shift there is no need to spend the extra time waxing and washing the car. A little dirt will not affect the quote, and we fully detail the cars ourselves anyway before listing them for sale.
Do you need a job to buy a car?
Having a job isn't always required when applying for an auto loan. However, if you find yourself in that situation, you'll need to pay attention to specific details to secure car financing.
Before going any further in the loan application process, you'll need to have proof of income that's adequate to make your monthly loan payments. Even if you’re self-employed or your source of income doesn't provide you with a W-2, a sufficient amount – ideally backed up by bank statements – can suffice. But even if some cash flow allows you to obtain a car loan, some scenarios are never acceptable, like certain types of income or unemployment.
Possible income sources include social security, pension, proceeds from a trust, rental properties, or investment dividends. Occasionally, forms of income like an independent contractor agreement or future employment offer also work.
When you don't have a job but have a good credit report, your income may not hold as much weight. With a good credit score, you can try obtaining pre-approval before pursuing the vehicle you want. Pre-approval can show you what terms to expect on an auto loan.
But if you’re a borrower with bad credit, you'll usually work with a subprime lender, where both your employment and income play an equivalent role in receiving approval.
A subprime lender is a lender open to dealing with low credit borrowers. Though subprime lenders help people work around issues with money and credit, a typical requirement is having at least $1,500-$2,000 in monthly income from a single origin.
Another way to get a car loan without a job is to bring a cosigner. A cosigner like a family member or trusted friend, who has a steady income and a good credit history, can vouch for your trustworthiness and dependability. If your cosigner has an excellent credit rating, it could help you secure a lower interest rate. But remember that if you miss any payments, it'll lower both you and your cosigner's credit scores.
An old-fashioned way to obtain a car loan without a job is to save your pennies for a large down payment. Making a sizable down payment lessens the loan amount, increasing your appeal to the lender and chance of approval.
In times of financial strain, looking at used cars instead of new ones lessens the impact on your bank account and boosts the likelihood of you getting behind the wheel of something new-to-you. With today's vehicles featuring excellent build quality, buying used saves you money on a car that's ready for mile after mile of reliable driving.
While financing helps you buy the car you want, securing a new loan can be a hassle. Not only do you want a good deal, but also work with someone you can trust. Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing. Applying for financing with Shift is simple and easy, with no cost or obligation. Financing with Shift is so convenient that nine out of 10 buyers choose us when they need a loan. There's no need to worry if you have low credit because Shift welcomes cosigners. And Shift reassures you with their seven days, no-questions-asked refund policy. In case you aren't fully satisfied with your purchase, you're able to return it with no questions asked.
Can you finance a car without a job in summary
While it may involve overcoming several hurdles, obtaining vehicle financing while not having a job is possible.
Demonstrating that you have a sufficient income source to make your monthly car payment shows your financial resources and increases your likelihood of securing loan approval. Or, if you have a family member or good friend willing to cosign, it provides the reassurance you'll follow through on repayment.
Looking at used cars instead of new vehicles lessens your loan amount, increasing your chances at approval while still allowing you to drive away in a quality vehicle. Though a used car may have thousands of miles on the odometer, today's quality vehicles stand the test of time and run strong mile after mile.
2021 Honda Civic LX (from $24,950)
2014 Hyundai Tucson GLS (from $13,200)
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author or Shift Technologies, Inc. Shift does not endorse or evaluate the accuracy of any claims made or data provided by third party sources referenced herein.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only and may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our effort to advance auto education. We believe this constitutes "fair use" of any such copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material in this [article/blog/website] is distributed without profit and only to those who have demonstrated an interest in receiving the included information for research or educational purposes.
All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
April 15, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.