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quickcarguy

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Have bad credit but need a car fast..any advice?
Hello all wanted some advice on what the community here thought would be the most prudent way to proceed here given my circumstance.

Due to a combination of immaturity in my early 20s (I'm approaching 25 now) and a financial hardship last year, my credit score is less than ideal(FICO is 586). My car was repossessed a couple of years ago and I had been using my mother's car to get to work and around town. A new job has my finances on the upswing now and I'm poised to rebuild my credit. I've worked dilligently with my creditors (Capital One has been great, very flexible and understsanding!) to get caught up and current on my credit cards and getting the balances down. The thing is, I'd been living at home with my mother too and was helping her out while she was out of work. She has thankfully finally been able to find a job that she is excited about but she's going to have to move out of the state to take it. That leaves me needing to find a new place to live, but also a form of transportation. I've found a room from a family friend that I'll be able to rent until I regain my financial footing and am able to get my own place. The pressing matter here now is that I need a car and fast..like by the end of the month.

The situation is very undesirable and I know the best thing to do would be to wait until I can a)improve my credit to get my potenial apr down and b)save as much money as possible to be able to have a high down payment or maybe even buy a used car outright. Those are two options I can't wait on because I live in Atlanta which is not a really big mass transit city. Based off of where I'll be living, and where and even when I work, public transportation won't be an option..and a service like Uber or Lyft would easily run me $50-60 a day. As you can see I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place here.

So I need a car and I need one fast. I only have $500 to put down. So far I've been "pre-qualified" for up to $19,000 by Capital One and pre approved by a local Nissan dealership as well as DriveTime(which I view as an absolute last resort due to their significant markup on inventory). I really want to get this right. I don't want to put myself in a situation that's unsustainable...been there done that. My new job would allow me to comfortably budget a car note between $200-275 a month but I would love to stay significantly under even that. I've resigned myself to the fact that if I want something reliable in my price range it's not going to be my "dream car". At this point I just need something that will get me around. I just have a few questions on some of your opinions here on a few of the angles I'm working on.

Based off of my credit score and the research I've done, I can expect an apr between 10-15%, and this is what Capital one has suggested as well but it varies with them depending on the car. What I really want is to get an older,cheaper car..as old as anybody will be willing to finance and stretch out the loan as long as possible in order to keep my monthly payment low and then aggressively pay it off in order to minimize the interest I'll end up paying.
However, another option that's tempting is to buy a cheap brand new car and spread the loan out over 72 months to keep my monthly payment down( I know i know 72 months on a loan and I'll get slaughtered on the interest but hear me out!) I want my monthly payment to be as low as possible! I make $32k a year right now working at a warehouse but in the near future I intend to go back to school to finish my degree. I have to think about then,when money will be tight and I may not be able to work full-time and the lower payments that a 72 month loan would bring would come in handy even if i end up paying more for interest. If I go the new car route I'll get a lower apr even with it being extended to 72 months and I'll even be covered under a warranty for a significant amount of time should any major mechanical issues pop up. My thinking is also, if I get a 72 month loan it's not like I can't pay extra every month while I can afford it in order to get from underwater as soon as possible.

So thank you for reading this far! What do you all think? Are there any other angles to consider that I've overlooked? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Well first, I think it would be really hard for you to get financing for anything expensive, so that may rule out "new". If your job is new, this is going to create problems for attaining any loan, lenders want to see some work history at your current job, even if you have preapprovals, that will likely come crashing down when it comes to income and employment verification. Honestly, I think your priorties are in the wrong place, I think you should be more focused on a place to live. Renting a room can get old very quick and hard feelings also happen very quick when living with a friend. Could you find a place to live that is close to the new job? That is what I would be looking at. Sorry I cannot tell you what you want to hear, I must give you the best advice instead.

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