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Help me not mess up again.
Since April 2016 my CK scores have gone from around 476 to now being 637 TU/657 EQ today. I have two collections (Verizon $497 unpaid (settled this month) & dental $1,600 unpaid) I also have 4 accounts in good standing (Fingerhut installment - closed/ Fingerhut revolving $500 CL/ Walmart CC $500 CL/ Open Sky Secured Visa $200 CL - all opened in Oct 2016 & no lates with 25% utilization. I also have a tax lien that will fall off in June. As for income I only made $16,500 in 2016 because I didn't have a vehicle for a period early in the year. I am on track to make around $24k this year since i purchased a beater. 18 year union job. With a better vehicle I'll be around $27-30k

Here's where I'm messing up. In December I stupidly called a dealer about an SUV for $5,500. Told him on the phone about my income. When I went into the dealership he told me to fill out a pre-qualify form on a computer. He then told me to put in $18k income. Which I again stupidly did.

We agreed on $5k with $800 down. He goes off for about 20 minutes comes back and tells me he ran a bunch of applications (12 hard pulls on TU & 8 hard pulls on EQ). He's got me approved at 25% interest...if I can give him $18k proof of income. So after all of that I now have around 16 & 10 hard pulls and no car.

I'm going to try again in June/July when the tax lien falls off.

Can someone please give me some advice on what to expect or what i can do to improve my odds? I only want a loan between $3,500 - $6,000 if that matters. The Verizon bill will be paid off and the dental will still be in collections unfortunately. With $1k down am i still looking at 25% interest?

I've got to have a decent vehicle soon.

Thanks in advance

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Most scoring systems score mulitple auto inquiries as only one inquiry when done with a certain window of time, you will still see all the inquiries though. Not all scoring systems may do this. Most auto lenders use a version of FICO scores, so know what they are. Congratulations on the rebuilding that you have done so far, but you really need to do more rebuilding before going for an auto loan. Can you get another year out of the beater car? If you can, do that. Work on your credit first. If the dental bill is set to be on your reports for a while (not close to the 7 year fall off) I would consider paying it, but only if a "pay for delete agreement" can be obtained first, so do some reading on those. Could you somehow get the paid Verizon bill removed? Any incorrect info on the account? Would you have a chance of it getting removed by disputing it? Keep in mind though that disputing can backfire and cause short term damage to your credit if not removed. The main reason why I tell you to wait after you improve your credit is that the better your scores and credit profiles, the less chance that the lender will require income verification. When you get to the point of going for a vehicle loan, look for dealers that advertise to finance all credit situations, ask the finance person if they have lenders that don't typically request income verfication, but if you are set to make what you are saying, it may not be an issue anyway, but will depend on your "debt to income ratio".

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