Will a Car Payment Affect My Credit Score?


If you are planning to buy a car, you need to understand how an auto loan could affect your credit score. Many people take car loans without thinking about how it affects their credit score. Here is information about auto loans, car payments, and their effects on credit score.

How Does An Auto Loan Affect Your Credit Score?

Auto loans can affect your credit score in a few ways. It may increase or decrease your credit score, or it might not impact your score very much. When you apply for a car loan, lenders initiate a hard inquiry on your credit report that shaves off some points from the score. However, multiple credit inquiries are considered as one, and this won’t hurt your score in the long run.

Does Your Credit Score Drop When A Car Loan Is Approved?

Yes, your credit score will drop a bit after the car loan is approved. This is because a car loan is a debt that increases your credit utilization. It is difficult for the lender to know whether you plan to make all your payments as agreed, so this is why the score drops a bit. It will improve again after you make your first car payment, and the ones in the future as well.

How Much Does Your Credit Score Improve After A Car Payment?

One of the most important factors in your payments is time. You need to make car payments on time every month to improve your credit score. It is hard to tell how much credit score improves after car payment. Your car loan isn’t the only thing that determines your score. Other factors that affect your credit score include cumulative creditworthiness from other loans you might have, payment history, debt to income ratio, and several other factors. To see improvement in your credit score, you need to make all payments of loan installments and bills on time, not just car payments. When you make car payments and other loan repayments on time, your debt to income ratio will drop and your credit score will increase.

If you have a high credit score in the 800s when you take a loan, the credit score will only move up 50 points or so if you make timely payments. If you have a lower credit score, you might have to wait to see any improvements.

Can Your Credit Score Improve By Paying Your Loan Off Early?

There is no harm in paying off the car loan early, and it might improve your credit score a little. The ratio of credit utilization will go down, and that looks good on a credit score. However, if you do not have other loans, the credit score could drop again, because there’s no credit utilization.

Car payments can really help to improve your credit score. When taking an auto loan, make sure you do not miss a single car payment, as it could lower your credit score up to 100 points.