5 Things to Do before Applying for a Car Loan in Canada

Applying for a car loan in Canada can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. But before you jump into the process, it’s essential to understand what you need to do beforehand to increase your chances of getting approved.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do before applying for a car loan in Canada:

1. Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a significant factor in determining your eligibility for a car loan in Canada. Lenders use this number to assess your creditworthiness and the likelihood of you repaying the loan. That said, a higher credit score will likely yield lower interest rates and better terms on your car loan.

Before applying for a car loan, obtain a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy. If you find any errors or discrepancies, report them to the credit bureau to have them corrected. This can help improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for a car loan with favourable terms.

2. Determine Your Budget

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how much you can afford before applying for a car loan. Create a budget that accounts for all your monthly expenses and determine how much you can allocate towards a car loan payment. And be realistic and consider the cost of insurance, maintenance, and other car-related expenses.

As a general rule, your car loan payment should not exceed 15% of your monthly income. This will ensure that you have enough money to cover other essential expenses and prevent financial strain.

3. Research Loan Options

Before applying for a car loan, it’s essential to research different loan options and compare interest rates and terms. Several factors can influence the terms and rates available to you, including your credit score, down payment, and loan term.

On that note, consider visiting your bank or credit union to discuss your options, as they may offer better rates for existing customers. Additionally, explore online lenders and dealerships to compare rates and terms. By comparing different loan options, you can find the best deal for your situation.

4. Gather Necessary Documents

When applying for a car loan, lenders will require specific documents to verify your identity, income, and other financial information. Be prepared to provide the following documents when applying for a car loan:

  • Proof of identity: A valid driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of income: Recent pay stubs or income tax returns
  • Proof of residence: A utility bill or lease agreement
  • Employment information: Employer name, address, and phone number 
  • Financial information: Bank account and asset information

Having these documents prepared and organized will streamline the application process and increase your chances of approval.

5. Save for a Down Payment

A larger down payment can significantly improve your chances of getting approved for a car loan, as it reduces the amount you need to borrow. Additionally, a larger down payment can result in lower interest rates and more favourable terms.

With that in mind, aim to save at least 20% of the car’s purchase price for a down payment. This will demonstrate to lenders that you are financially responsible and can afford the loan.


Applying for a car loan in Canada can be a smooth and successful process if you adequately prepare beforehand. By checking your credit score, determining your budget, researching loan options, gathering necessary documents, and saving for a down payment, you can increase your chances of getting approved for a car loan with advantageous terms. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to driving off the lot in your new car.

365 Loans Canada offers a wide variety of loans, from bad credit loans to personal loans, to give individuals the finances they need to own the things they need. If you are looking for online car loans, check out what we have to offer!

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