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Does Getting Rejected For a Car Loan Affect Credit Score?

Does Getting Rejected For a Car Loan Affect Credit Score?

Canadians seeking a new car often rely on financing through a car loan. But what happens if your application gets rejected? Will it negatively impact your credit score, hindering future loan opportunities? The answer is both reassuring and slightly nuanced.

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No, Getting Rejected Doesn't Lower Your Score

The good news is that simply being denied a car loan does not directly affect your credit score in Canada. Your credit report, which lenders use to assess your creditworthiness, only reflects information like your credit card usage, loan history, and payment behaviour. It does not show whether your applications were approved or rejected.


how credit score is calculated


Hard Inquiries Can Temporarily Dip Your Score

While the car loan rejection itself doesn't affect your score, the process of applying for the loan might. When you submit a credit application, the lender performs a hard inquiry, which involves pulling your credit report to assess your credit history.


These hard inquiries can slightly lower your score, typically by a few points. However, this impact is temporary and usually disappears within 12 months. Click here to learn more about hard inquiries.



Understanding Hard Inquiries and Managing Their Impact

It's important to understand how hard inquiries can affect your score, especially when car shopping. Here are some key points:


  • Multiple inquiries within a short period can have a greater impact. While one or two inquiries might have minimal effect, applying to numerous lenders in a short timeframe (like a few weeks) can be seen as a sign of potential credit risk and lead to a more significant score dip.


  • Space out your applications. If you're shopping for the best rates, try to spread out your inquiries over a longer period, ideally 2-3 months between applications. This minimizes the cumulative impact on your score.


  • Consider a pre-approval. Some lenders (like us!) offer pre-approvals, which involve a soft inquiry that doesn't affect your credit score. This gives you an idea of your eligibility and potential loan terms without impacting your score.


Focus on Building and Maintaining Good Credit

While a car loan rejection and hard inquiries might have a temporary impact, the bigger picture lies in building and maintaining good credit habits. Here are some tips:


  • Pay your bills on time: This is the single most significant factor influencing your credit score. Consistent on-time payments demonstrate your reliability and improve your score over time.


  • Maintain a low credit utilization ratio: This ratio compares your credit card balance to your credit limit. Aiming for a utilization ratio below 30% shows responsible credit management and positively impacts your score.


  • Monitor your credit report regularly: Review your credit report for errors or inconsistencies and address them promptly to ensure its accuracy.


By following these practices, you can build and maintain a strong credit score, making you a more attractive borrower for future loans, including car loans, at potentially better rates.


Remember: Getting rejected for a car loan is not the end of the road. By understanding the impact on your credit score and focusing on building good credit habits, you can bounce back and secure financing for your dream car in the future.


If you're ready for a car loan in Southern Ontario, we'd love to help! simply fill in the form below to get started.

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    Categories: Car News