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Minimum credit score for Toyota financing?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by TomInOregon, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. TomInOregon

    TomInOregon Junior Member

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    Just wondering if anyone knows the minimum credit score to be approved for Toyota financing or how the different scores relate to percentages. I have good (not great) credit but recently purchased a house and a used car which will bring my score down. I am wanting to buy a Prius 2 with remote start and security system. I want to trade in a truck under cash for clunkers ($4500) as well as trade in my wife's car (I expect another $3500). If I have ~1/3 down, I would think it would help some with the financing. I'm trying to find out if I would be better off with Toyota or my Credit Union financing. Not wanting to run my credit report more than I have to.

    Thanks,
    Tom
  2. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    not quite sure a definitive # would be the tipping point for a decision. probably would be a combination of several things including income, expenses, time at the job, etc.

    ya know, running a credit report is only a red flag for credit reporting companies only because it implies of potential of added liability. after a few months, any detrimental effects are gone.
  3. eklabbers

    eklabbers New Member

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    I just went with OnPoint CU financing when I bought my Prius and that was really easy to do at the dealership itself. Not sure which dealer you are planning to purchase from. The percentage rate was the same.
  4. jay_man2

    jay_man2 jay_man_also

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    Inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, but the effect on your FICO score is small. And the scoring takes into account a cluster of inquiries that you'll likely have when buying the car (dealer, Toyota Motor Credit, banks, all around the same time).

    My credit is excellent, and I was expecting to go through Toyota Motor Credit, but the dealer alleges that they got me a better rate through a bank. Something like half a point better. It's the same bank where I have a safe deposit box, and with the auto loan and opening a free checking account with $100, they dropped the safe deposit box rental from $94 a year to $4 a year, and gave me a $10 credit into the checking account. Woopee! :p
  5. TomInOregon

    TomInOregon Junior Member

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    That's something I was never sure of...does the dealer run you through a number of places to get the best rate?
  6. jay_man2

    jay_man2 jay_man_also

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    Usually with me it's two places - Toyota Motor Credit and a bank. Once it was Toyota Motor Credit and two banks. And the one by the dealer of course.
  7. TomInOregon

    TomInOregon Junior Member

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    Would I be better off getting pre-approved through my credit union before I go in to make the purchase? Allows me flexibility in financing, but may make a 1-2 point difference in score.
  8. claridiva

    claridiva New Member

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    We did that, got an approval letter from our CU and took it in and asked whether they (Toyota) could beat the rate being offered by the CU. Fortunately, they were able to beat it by over 1/2 a point so we went with Toyota. It is always good to have something for them to beat; they want your money and the interest, and most often they will come in lower than the bank just to have that opportunity.

    Good luck!
  9. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Nobody likes to hear this, but you do yourself a huge favor by saving up until you can buy a car for cash. Borrowing money to buy a new car, even with a cash-for-clunkers credit, costs additional thousands right off the top.
  10. TomInOregon

    TomInOregon Junior Member

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    Paying cash for cars does nothing for improving your credit. Ask me how I know!
  11. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    you are probably right. i paid cash for my 3 Pri's. my credit score is just over 800 i think.

    i have poor income though. its funny, that they really dont consider my real value. i currently have stocks, 4 vehicles, 3 less than 3 years old. a couple CD's, 401K (that probably doesnt count although i can borrow against it, its not really available)

    but oh well... they approved me for a loan, but the interest rate wasnt what i wanted, so i skipped the loan thing
  12. stedye

    stedye New Member

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    I also had the same question on the exact score needed for Toyota Credit financing? The question remains unanswered???

    Where are the dealers and salesman that post on the forum.....They should know the answer to the question first presented.

    Thanks in advance for a reply from those who truly know the answer to this question.:)
  13. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    When I asked for leasing & financing quotes, they said they were based on a minimum credit score of 720 (mine is > 800 so no issues--I actually got a 0.0001 lease money factor reduction for outstanding credit).
  14. ronhowell

    ronhowell Active Member

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    That's because paying cash means that you're at the top of the scoring scale anyway! Dealers always check that at the start.
  15. reverai

    reverai New Member

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    I don't know what credit score a new car but for a used 2008 I needed at least 680 to get the best rate. Which in my case was 6.8% on about 15k..


    Now of one has a lower credit score, the interest goes up and if one can't qualify for Toyota Credit Financing most Toyota have a wide range of financing available to purchase a car.
    Steve
  16. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Lets not make this another discussion about loans vs paying cash. Thats not what the OP asked.

    I don't think there really is a "minimum" credit score. There are scoring points where they will do rate adjustments, but I bet just about anybody can get a Toyota Motor Credit loan of some kind.

    One thing most people don't realize, when you apply for big credit purchases like a car loan or mortgage, the credit bureaus report all the like-kind inquiries as one inquiry within 45 days to allow you to shop for the best rates and terms. So apply away, it won't hurt you.

    I would apply for the CU financing first so you have it in hand and it will increase your negotiating stregnth. They make money off the financing too.

    Apply in person, the CU will likely ask you for paystubs, tax returns, the dealer may or may not (probably won't). Look sharp and businesslike.
  17. Jabber

    Jabber Chicagoland Prius Guy

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    First off, as a previous finance manager for dealerships for the last 16 years (off and on), I'll dispell a few myths:

    1) Your score does get affected when your bureau is run, but it is graduated scale based on the number of inquiries and the time between them. If you have 10 inquiries in 10 days, your score will drop more than 10 in 60 days. Mortgages do not have this problem. Car dealerships have been trying for years to get the same exemption, but nothing yet. Be careful when buying a car. Once you sign that credit application, the dealer can legally send you to 10 banks if he wanted to. Doesn't happen often, but I have personally seen it. Shady dealers will do this to prevent you from buying somewhere else. The more inquiries, the lower the score. If you started off low, it may drop you far enough to be un-financable.

    2) Currently, there is no minimum score requirement. Many factors are involved such as new/used, money down, term, why is your score low? Is it because you have high credit card balances or because you have 2 repossessions? (not you personally OP!)

    Along the same lines, Toyota has 9 different tiers to their credit system. Toyota only uses your bureau score to determine rate once they establish credit worthiness seperately.

    3) Always check with your credit union first. It will keep the selling dealer honest about the rate.

    4) Again, to the OP. You can only use one "cash for clunkers" rebate per household. And you have to purchase a new vehicle. You mentioned a Gen 2, so I think you might be looking at a used one.
    6 people like this.
  18. fred garvin

    fred garvin New Member

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    i did my IV with cash because the return on CDs and at banks like ING and HSBC is low now and the interest is relatively higher. But that's not the point.

    My point is - when you pay cash, they still run your TRW (i know its experian, but i worked for TRW when they sold the credit business so i like calling it TRW). They run it as one way to see if they should hand over the $30K car in return for a signature and a personal check.

    I know this because my triplealert.com emailed me that they looked at me.
  19. Jabber

    Jabber Chicagoland Prius Guy

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    One other reason we run your bureau is because that is how we are able to get the OFAC report. That is a federal law now that we have to make sure you aren't on a terrorist watch list.
  20. TomInOregon

    TomInOregon Junior Member

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    I'm actually looking at a Gen 3 (2010) Prius II. It will be a new car and we are planning one "cash for clunker" (1988 Chevy Silverado 10-12 actual MPG vs. EPA 14 MPG) coupled with a traditional trade-in of a 2000 Nissan Altima. I should get $4500 for the truck combined with ~$3500 for the Altima (dealer prices locally are typically ~$5,000+). The Prius should come in ~$24,000 w/TTL. The numbers, of course, may all change. At the rate things are going, all of the "cash for clunkers" money may be gone by the time all of the rules are rolled out on July 24th. Hyundai's been taking trades for a while now and other individual dealers for other makes are starting to follow suit.
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