388 King George Rd, Brantford, ON, N3T 5L8
My Garage

Does Financing a Car Build Credit Score?

Does Financing a Car Build Credit Score?

Ever wondered if buying a car with a loan can actually help your credit score? The answer is yes, but with a big ol' BUT. Let's break down how financing a car affects your credit and how to make it your credit-building friend, not foe.

Get Pre-Approved in 2 Minutes or Less.
All credit scores accepted & no down payments required.

Apply Now

Understanding Credit Scores

Imagine your credit score as a report card for borrowing money. It tells lenders how likely you are to repay a loan on time.


A high score (typically above 670) means you're a reliable borrower and get better interest rates. Lower scores (below 670) can make borrowing expensive or even impossible.


Does Financing a Car Build Credit Score?

There are two main ways financing a car affects your credit score:


Payment History (BIGGEST Impact):

This makes up about 35% of your score. Making on-time payments for your car loan shows responsibility, boosting your score. However, even one missed payment can hurt it significantly.


Credit Mix (Moderate Impact):

This accounts for about 10% of your score. Having different types of credit, like a car loan (installment loan) and a credit card (revolving credit), shows you can handle various debts.


So, Financing ALWAYS Builds Credit, Right?


Not exactly. Here's the BUT:


  • Missed Payments: These are credit killers. Even one late payment can stay on your report for up to seven years, dragging your score down.


  • High Loan Amount: Large loans can increase your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you're using compared to your total limit. Ideally, this should be below 30%. A high ratio can hurt your score.


  • New Credit Inquiries: When you apply for a car loan, lenders check your credit report. Multiple inquiries in a short period can lower your score slightly.
    Making Financing Work for Your Credit


Now that you know the risks, here's how to turn financing a car into a credit-building tool:


  • Only Borrow What You Can Afford: A manageable loan payment ensures on-time payments, the key to building good credit.


  • Make Payments on Time, Every Time: Set up automatic payments to avoid missed payments. Consistency is key!


  • Consider a Shorter Loan Term: While the monthly payments will be higher, you'll build credit faster by paying it off sooner.


  • Maintain a Low Credit Utilization Ratio: If you have other credit cards, keep your balances low compared to their limits.


Alternatives to Building Credit with a Car Loan

Car loans aren't the only way to build credit. Consider these alternatives:


  • Secured Credit Cards: These require a cash deposit that becomes your credit limit. Use the card responsibly and pay it off in full each month.


  • Become an Authorized User: Ask someone with good credit to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. Their good payment history can benefit your score.
    The Takeaway


Financing a car can be a great way to build credit, but only if you manage it responsibly. Prioritize on-time payments, keep the loan amount reasonable, and consider your credit utilization ratio. Remember, building good credit takes time and discipline. By making smart choices, you can turn your car loan into a credit-boosting advantage.


Bonus Tip: Get a free credit report regularly. This allows you to monitor your score, identify any errors, and track your progress towards credit-building goals.


If you're ready for a car loan, we'd love to help with that! simply fill in the form below to get started.

Ontario Car Loan Pre-Approval Form


    Categories: Car Loan

    Tags: ,