All About Credit When Buying a Car

by Stephen M. Hague

How important is credit when financing a vehicle purchase?  It's everything!
When shopping for a car, if you're planning to finance it's also important to shop for the best rate.  

Before you start shopping though, you need to know what shape your credit is in.  The first thing you should do now
and at least every couple of years, is obtain your credit report for free.
You are entitled to obtain an annual free report under Federal Law. To obtain the report go to
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12
months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
You can also call one of them at: Equifax: 800 525-6285, Experian: 888 397-3742, or TransUnion: 800 680-7289

The sites are secure meaning that there is very little chance that your personal information will be compromised.  
You will have to share you social security number in order for the report to be generated.
There is also a FAQ (frequently asked questions) tab on the site that will answer most questions you may have.
For another $14.95, you can sign up with one of the 3 sites individually and receive your credit score also.

Read the Report Carefully for Errors
Some of the information that appears on the report may be outdated or inaccurate.  If you see an obvious error,
contact one of the three reporting companies at their web addresses:
Equifax -
Experian -
TransUnion -
You will be able to electronically dispute any negative findings on your report and/or you can speak with a
representative from one of the companies.  Use the toll free numbers above to do this.

You may also need to contact the bank, store, or other institution listed on the report if there is an error.  Sometimes
simple oversights such as a small fee remaining on a long cancelled credit card can appear.  While this may have
little to no impact, you should try to have it removed to prevent future problems.

My follow-up article will cover the credit score, what affects it, and some Do's and Dont's regarding credit.
Need help buying or leasing your next vehicle?  Contact me now at or 401.965.3822
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