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Auto financing: Prequalification vs. preapproval Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial choices by offering interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing original and impartial content, by enabling you to conduct your own research and compare data at no cost and help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that are advertised on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products appear on the site, such as such things as the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not contain the universe of companies or financial offerings that could be accessible to you.

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3 minutes read. Published November 02, 2022

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Prequalification as well as preapproval can be two alternative methods to get an early review of your auto financing options. Prequalification isn’t as strict and requires only the most basic details about your financial status, and offers estimates of what rates and terms you may be eligible for. Preapproval requires you to provide more financial and personal information with a creditor, as it’s essentially an application that is only partial. The distinction between prequalification and preapproval A is a formal request from an lender and comes with terms, and is an estimate of what you could be able to get in terms of car loan terms you could be eligible for. Since prequalifications aren’t an official offer, it’s of no to use when trying to negotiate with the dealership. But whether you opt for preapproval or a car loan prequalification or preapproval neither are guaranteed offers — final approval will depend on the underwriting department of the lender not finding any surprise in your complete credit history , as well as other aspects, like employment and income verification. Benefits of preapproval and prequalification for auto loan Preapproval as well as prequalification both preapproval and prequalification permit you to have an accurate idea of how much money you could borrowand the amount you’ll have to pay for it. Preapproval benefits: With preapproval allows you to shop with confidence, knowing that you will most likely pay the exact or comparable interest rates. You could also utilize your preapproval as a point of with the dealer once you have entered the finance office, and put the dealership under pressure to beat the rate. Prequalification benefits an effective method to determine what kind of loan you could get particularly if you’re not prepared to begin shopping in earnest. Your credit score isn’t impacted as the lender will not conduct a thorough credit check. What should you be aware of with prequalification for auto loan prequalification and preapproval If you apply for a prequalification in the event of a preapproval for an auto loan you will receive an estimate of the loan amount and the rate you’ll be offered. This information to shop around for the best rate, but remember that prequalifying isn’t an official offer. Rates aren’t guaranteed and their value is contingent on how exact the information you provide is. Preapprovals also aren’t guaranteed. If your income, employment or credit drastically change between when you are preapproved and when you apply, you may be refused the loan. Remember this when shopping, and be careful about your spending — especially with credit cards. How do you get preapproved for a car loan If you decide that is the right choice for you, then you’ll be required to gather all the documents and submit an application for preapproval. It is advised to research several reputable lenders before making an application. Once you have been preapproved by a lender, you’ll have a clear idea of how much you can spend and will be in control when it’s time to negotiate. Preapproved auto loans generally last for between 30 and 60 days. If you’re preapproved and you are not sure, there are some steps you can follow. Examine your application for errors or increase the amount of the amount of your down payment, decrease your total debt, or even try a different lender. Before trying with a different lender be sure to talk about the reason of the rejection with the one you applied to. Information you need to provide to prequalify or be preapproved Preapproval and prequalification need some of the same details. Be prepared to provide: Personal information, such as your name, address and your phone number. Financial information, which includes your income and housing payment. Details about the loan, including how much you’d like to borrow. The preapproval process will likely require you to submit more information, including details about your Social Security number and birthdate so the lender can access your complete credit report. This is known as a hard credit pull, and will temporarily lower your credit score several points. The bottom line Prequalification and preapproval are two helpful tools when it comes to knowing how much you could pay for an auto loan. Preapproval could even allow you to get a better rate at the dealership if you’re contemplating financing with it. However, these offers can’t be guaranteed, so choose prudently when shopping. Find out more

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Written by

This article was written with the help of automation technology, and then checked for accuracy and editing by an editor on our editorial team.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances through providing clear, well-researched data that breaks complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

Review by Mark Kantrowtziz. Reviewed by Nationally acknowledged student financial aid expert

Mark Kantrowitz is an expert on student financial aid including the FAFSA and scholarships, 529 plans as well as tax benefits for education and student loans.

Nationally recognized student financial aid expert

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