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Is In-House Financing Right for You? Find Out Now

  • Auto Refinance
  • Nova Kainen
  • 8 minutes

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Do you need car financing and want to know your options? Getting a loan from a financial institution isn’t your only choice; a car dealership may also offer in-house financing, in which case they would be the ones to give you the loan. 

in-house financing

What is in-house financing, and how does it work?

In-house financing is where a car dealership provides financing without the help of lenders like banks or credit unions. You can get an auto loan through in-house financing by applying at the dealership. Auto loans in which the customer purchases the vehicle and obtains finance from the same business are referred to as “buy here, pay here” loans. You can buy the car and get a loan from the same place with “buy here, pay here” financing. 

This sort of financing carries a degree of peril. While on-site lenders may approve borrowers with poor credit, they may have higher interest rates and fees than traditional lending institutions like banks. The dealership may provide a loan for more than the car is worth before you’ve even driven off the lot. 

However, in-house financing isn’t your only option if you need to buy a car but have poor credit or no credit. You can get preapproved for an auto loan at some banks and credit unions and then use that money to buy the car that fits within your budget.  

Benefits and drawbacks of in-house financing

Before planning to choose in-house financing, it is good for you to know its benefits and drawbacks.  


Quick approval of loans 

Many financial institutions (banks and online lending platforms) advertise immediate loan approval. It may take several days after approval before you receive the loan cash. With an in-house dealer, customers can get approved for a loan and finalize their purchases in a single trip. 

Loan approval, even for bad credit 

Generally, banks do not encourage loan approvals for those having poor credit. Getting approved for a standard vehicle loan can be difficult if you have poor credit or no credit history. It’s also possible that they don’t have enough money for a car down payment. 

Realistic shopping 

When purchasing a car, having the option to perform in-house financing is certainly convenient. In addition, a customer’s financial information is typically taken care of first if financing is arranged through the dealership. This means that the salesman you work with will know your precise budget before showing you any vehicles. 

Can choose a better car 

You can drive away in a newer, more comfortable, and better-looking vehicle with in-house financing, even if your credit and resources only allow you to pay cash for a decent used automobile. Of course, your primary concern should be to ensure the vehicle is functional and free from any hazards for you and your passengers. However, it’s comforting to know that the car you bought is one you can be pleased with that will last for a while. 

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High-interest rates 

The interest rates that car dealerships that do in-house financing charge are often sky-high; in some cases, they might be 300% or more over the legal maximum. 

Higher down payment 

Borrowers with poor credit histories may be asked to pay a higher down payment or even have a device installed that renders the vehicle inoperable if payments are late if they opt for in-house financing. These loans also expose borrowers to a greater risk of repossession. 

Limited choices are available 

The use of dealer financing is restricted to the acquisition of vehicles offered for sale by the dealer. A better offer on the same vehicle might be found online, at a different dealership, or from a private seller. All of these options you would miss out on if you took this route. 

It might not increase credit score 

Some vehicle loan companies do not submit loan information to the major credit bureaus. In that case, making on-time loan payments through these companies will not increase your credit score.  

What change does in-house financing bring to your credit score?

Auto dealerships may understand customers’ financial situations more than banks. It makes it easier for those with poor credit to secure financing for a vehicle. Exactly how does in-house auto finance work? Are you trying to repair your credit? A good portion of the work in restoring your credit score will be completed by making on-time payments on your tailored auto loan. To further prolong your original warranty, you may also use in-house financing.  

Alternatives to in-house financing

The easier and faster loan approval, irrespective of poor credit, is the major reason for choosing in-house financing. But it will be useful for you to compare its benefits with other alternatives available in the market. 

Direct financing 

Direct financing is one option for securing a car loan. Under this situation, you would apply for a loan from a traditional lending institution, such as a bank, or an alternative provider, like an online lender.  

Direct financing allows you to borrow up to a predetermined maximum amount. If you discover a car that meets the lender’s requirements, you can utilize the loan to buy it from any dealer or even a private party. 

In some cases, credit unions may be more likely to deal with you on direct financing if the buyer has credit concerns. Another perk of direct financing is that the lender sets your borrowing cap according to how much they believe you can afford to pay back. When you go automobile shopping with a firm spending cap in mind, you’ll be able to resist the dealer’s pressure to spend more on unwanted extras. 

Dealer financing 

You can save the hassle of searching for a loan by having the dealership arrange everything for you with dealer financing. While you’ll still be doing all of your car shopping at the dealership, you’ll only have to fill out one loan application.  

There are several negatives to consider. The dealership will probably mark up the price and have a smaller range of vehicles for you to choose from. However, the good news is that several auto dealerships offer 0% APR loans for new car purchases to applicants with good credit. 

Do not rush to make a purchase 

Don’t rush into getting a car loan from the dealership if you can put off purchasing for a while. You could acquire a more favorable loan offer if you can enhance your credit, prepare for a larger down payment, locate a cosigner, or look around at several other lenders.

Getting a better loan means you save money and don’t have to worry as much about other financial troubles.

How can you ensure that you get the best deal through in-house financing?

Here are some major points you should bring into your consideration to ensure that you get the best deal: 

Compare the rate quotes 

Comparing in-house loans with fast online loan approvals is a good idea. View the available loan rates and bargain with the in-house dealer.  

Compare the car prices 

Compare the car price you plan to buy from the in-house dealership lot with that available in other lots. 

Recheck your loan terms 

Avoid focusing solely on the monthly payment when getting a dealership loan. To get a complete picture of your overall charges, you should check out the annual percentage rate (APR). Make sure you fully grasp all the related fees. Then, if the bargain doesn’t seem good, you should walk out of the dealership and give it some more thought. 

Have clarity about credit reporting 

If you aim to improve your credit, ensure that the dealership you choose performs regular credit reporting. 

How to find in-house financing dealerships

If you are in search of in-house dealerships, then here is the solution. Locating these dealerships is not difficult as several “buy here, pay here” dealerships are available. Finding a dealership that offers in-house financing is not difficult. Keep an eye out for advertisements that promise “buy here, pay here,” “no credit — no problem,” “no credit needed,” or “no credit check necessary.” You can also search online for “buy-here, pay-here” vehicle lots or “in-house finance” car lots. 

First, you should see if the dealership offers in-house financing that could work for you before making the trip there. It’s also good to ask people you trust to get recommendations from dealerships. 

Is in-house financing right for me?

If you’ve decided to take a car loan, it is always good to consider in-house financing as the last option. Suppose you’ve had no luck getting approved for a loan from a traditional financial institution, like a bank or credit union, and you need money immediately to put toward purchasing a car. In that case, you may want to look into in-house financing options.

Bottom line 

If you have poor credit and are planning to buy a car, you might think that your only choice is in-house financing. 

Remember that buying a car from a “buy-here, pay-here” dealership will cost you significantly more than financing a car through a standard lender. So it’s always good to begin your search with banks, credit unions, and other car dealerships. 

Finding a cosigner or postponing a car purchase until your credit has improved may be the right choice if you have problems obtaining conventional financing. However, purchasing a vehicle from a dealership that offers in-house financing should only be considered a last choice. Save up to $1850 a year while refinancing your auto loan

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