Financing cars older than 10 years can be complicated, but yes, options are available.
Thankfully, specialized lenders have begun to understand that modern cars’ have more reliability and longevity than they used to.
I created this guide to list the best banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders to consider if you’re looking to finance an older car over 10 years old.
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Table of Contents
Why is Financing Old Cars Difficult?
Getting approved for loans on older vehicles faces obstacles like:
- Lower loan amounts since cars depreciate slower after 10 years
- Higher 8-16% interest rates accounting for perceived added lending risks
- Maximum 3-year lengths limiting payment affordability
- Minimum credit requirements in the 650 score range
These tight standards limit traditional financing offers. Still, lenders focused on used cars make lending to near-prime and subprime borrowers possible.
Vehicle Age Thresholds for Loan Eligibility
Contingent on mileage and service records, maximum vehicle age limits trend:
- Up to 12 years old at leading used banks
- 15 years old at buy here, pay here dealerships
- 25+ years for classic car loans
Well-maintained old cars with lower miles bring better values and loan amounts.
Credit Score Needs for High Mileage Cars
Required minimum credit scores rise for aged models reflecting risk, for example:
|Minimum Credit Score
|Up to 15 years
Credit history length also impacts interest rates offered by lenders specializing in bad credit auto financing.
Top National Banks Financing Old Vehicles
PenFed Credit Union
Offers loans on cars up to 12 years old with interest often under 6% for excellent credit based on age.
Alliant Credit Union
Pre-approves loans on vehicles up to 10 years old directly online with longer terms like 5 years.
Bank of America
The bank usually limits auto lending to under 10 years, but may make rare exceptions. Excellent credit needed for lowest 5.99% APR.
Sets its maximum threshold around 8-10 years if credit and income areas are strong enough. Standard loan 3 years.
LightStream offers unsecured personal loans at competitive fixed rates to finance vehicles up to 20 years old. No maximum mileage restrictions.
Borrowing from a local credit union where you already have an account remains an option too since they aim to serve account holders with flexible terms.
Specialty Lenders Financing Used Cars
Many private online networks and subprime lenders focus specifically on loans for higher mileage cars:
- AutoCreditExpress – Up to 12 year old vehicles
- Car.Loan.com – 10 years old with flexible credit
- Complete Auto Loans – 12 year maximum age cap
- CarsDirect – Broad lender network including older cars
- Auto Credit Bank – High mileage loans on cars 8 years old
- Buy here, pay here dealers – In-house financing up to 15 years
These used car and bad credit specialists widen financing availability for near-prime customers overlooked by prime lenders.
Marketplaces like LendingTree efficiently match applicants to connected niche lenders after one form submission, comparing personalized loan offers.
Typical Old Car Loan Terms to Expect
Compared to new cars, older vehicle loans carry higher costs and restrictions like:
- 8-16% APR for applicants with good credit
- Over 16% for buyers with subprime scores
Length of Term
- Maximum 3 year repayment terms
- Possibility of 4-5 year terms with excellent history
- $4,000 to $15,000 based on vehicle age and value
- Enough to purchase affordable transportation
Down Payment Needs
- Minimum 10% down payment required
- 20% or higher down payments may improve chances
Getting pre-approved first strengthens your negotiating position when shopping and comparing offers.
6 Tips to Improve Old Car Loan Approval Odds
Buyers with lower credit can often still qualify for aged auto financing by:
- Shopping at local credit unions already a member of
- Making larger 20% or more down payments
- Adding a cosigner to share loan payback burden
- Documenting steady income covering payments
- Considering longer 4-5 year terms for affordability
- Purchasing optional warranties limiting repair costs
Taking these proactive steps secures the best shots at loan approval.
What If You Can’t Get Approved for an Old Car Loan?
If unable to obtain traditional auto financing, alternate purchase options like:
- Paying cash upfront if possible
- Seeking direct seller financing from private parties
- Improving credit score over time before reapplying
- Saving a bigger down payment amount
- Buying a newer used car with lower mileage
The Bottom Line
While financing vehicles over 10 years old faces more hurdles, persistent borrowers can access specialized loan programs from niche lenders. Targeted research into flexible credit unions, subprime networks, and buy here pay here dealerships can secure approvals for older transportation.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful details possible from referenced third-party source materials, but individual results and eligibility may vary. The content does not constitute formal financial or legal advice. Please consult with an appropriate licensed financial advisor, attorney, or car financing expert to discuss your specific situation, loan qualifications, and personalized lending options.