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Hi Patty, I was told that a few late payments 5 years ago was going to raise my interest rate approval from a tier 2 to a tier 3. (What happened to tier 1 is anyones guess) How can i be sure the dealer is telling me the truth? Do you have credit repair specialist affiliated with your site? Thank Fab

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) You need to pull your own credit report from an online site such as FreeCreditReport.com or from the Equifax site. You may have to pay a few dollars to get the credit score, but it will save you a lot of money going forward. Your credit score has to be above 750 at most banks to qualify for Tier 1 credit, if it above 660 you might qualify for Tier 2, Tier 3 is usually from 620, under that score makes you a credit risk and results in very high interest rates. If you see anything on your credit report that you feel is incorrect you can notify the three major credit bureaus to get the errors corrected. (Equifax, TransUnion,Experian are the three major) Secondly, check your own personal banking institutions to see what type of rate they can give you before signing anything at the dealership. That way you will know if the interest rate you are being offered is a legitimate rate for your personal score. Keep in mind that the dealership finance office is a profit center for the store and they are expected to make money on the financing and products they present and sell. If your score is low you need to work through the report to correct errors, fix any outstanding issues and making the score better. Every institution has their own ratings and the above scores are just meant to be a guidelines. Ask to see what the credit requirements are and how you fit into them. If you don*t like them, don*t sign any contracts. 60 to 72 months is a very long time to be locked into a payment that is too high and it is very hard to lower your payments during the contract period. You don*t really need a credit counseling service, you can get all the info you need from the credit reporting services and correct them yourself without paying someone else to do it for you. It takes a little time, but it can be time very well spent.

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