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Best strategy for used-car loan with 660's-670's score?
I was discharged from a chapter 7 BK in late 2014, and I currently have credit scores ranging from 660 to 670 on the major credit report agencies after working for the past year or more to rebuild my credit from scores in the 570's. I got a secured Platinum MC from Capital One first, then an Amazon Store Card from Synchrony, and have been approved this past weekend for an unsecured Platinum MC from C1 with a $3K line, working hard to keep credit utilization decent on the two older cards to date and also keeping payments up on my student loan. Also, I've been working for the last year and a half for the Federal Government and in that time have had my salary go up from $43K to $50K (give or take a few hundred dollars!), having just been promoted from GS-7 to GS-8. So overall I'd say my financial picture is looking pretty good these days, all things considered.

My current objective is to get a good loan on a reliable, low-mileage used car (latest model year possible) to replace my 16-year-old clunker. I'm looking at the Nissan Versa Note (which I've driven a couple of times as rentals the last year or so and liked quite a lot - in fact, my mother liked the Versa Note so much that she was actually seriously considering buying it for a while though she eventually settled on a different model/make!), the Hyundai Accent, and the Honda Civic (both of which I've owned in the past). I'm planning to offer a $1,000 down payment with a total price range somewhere between $10K - $13K depending on mileage, Carfax history, make and model, and the like. Capital One has prequalified me for a car loan up to $37k though I don't plan to use nearly so much; I'm planning to go down to my credit union in the next couple of weeks when I take in a large deposit that I'm planning to make and ask them what they can offer me.

Do I need to think of any other things to work on/try or am I basically on the right track here? What sort of rates/payment durations could I get in my situation?

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The credit scores that you say you have, are they scores from here or actual FICO scores? Most auto lenders will use a version of FICO scores, so definitely see what they are if you haven't yet. Websites like myfico and Experian sell fico scores. I prefer myfico as it give you different versions of scores. The thing about Capital One auto financing is that you are limited to certain dealerships as you cannot use their financing at any dealership. From what I've found in the past, many of the dealerships where you can use Capital One financing are overpriced. Checking with your credit union is a good idea, but credit unions can have pretty strict standards, so don't get your hopes up. Your best plan of action would be to spend a lot of time researching dealerships and seeing where you can get the best deal. Sometimes it is worth travelling a few hours or even more to get a deal. See how things go with the credit union and if you get denied or they tell you that your credit isn't good, look for dealerships that advertise to finance all credit situations and read the reviews on them and go from there. I would not open any more credit cards or loans until you get the auto loan as you don't want to ding your score prior to going for an auto loan.

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