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In Santa Barbara, the vast majority of consumers obtain their vehicles on credit, as few of us have the money on hand for a cash purchase. Unfortunately, the process of securing financing can be a major struggle, especially if your credit isn’t exceptional. Instead of trekking from one bank to the next, trying to get financed, you can apply just one time online. A local auto loan professional can help you get approved for your car loan, answering your questions along the way.

Auto Finance Rates in Santa Barbara

What will your interest rate be? The truth is, your rate of interest can vary hugely based on your FICO score, among other things. The rates shown below are only for informational purposes. These aren’t advertisements, and your actual rate could be very different.

Credit Score New Car Pre-owned Car
Excellent 3.2% 3.7%
Good 4.6% 5.7%
Average 6.5% 8.5%
Subprime 9.4% 10.8%
Bad 14.1% 16.5%
Very Bad 15.6% 18.4%

Used Car Financing in Santa Barbara

New cars and trucks have the lowest rates of interest. Savvy buyers, however, typically go for used cars. The numbers speak on their own.

Years Old Price APR Months Payment Interest Total Cost
New $16,600 6.00% 60 $320.92 $2,655 $19,255
1 Year $13,280 7.50% 60 $266.10 $2,686 $15,966
2 Years $11,288 7.50% 60 $226.19 $2,283 $13,571
3 Years $9,595 7.50% 60 $192.26 $1,941 $11,536

Many cars depreciate 15% each year, so you can obtain a low-mileage used car for thousands less than a brand new one. Finance companies charge higher rates of interest for pre-owned vehicles, but in most situations, you only need 10% down, and the insurance costs are less expensive.

Poor Credit Auto Loans in Santa Barbara

Credit score is an important factor when it comes to credit approval and interest rate. Essentially, your FICO score is used a barometer of risk. Most of the time, it’s smart to deal with a specialist who can direct you through the process.


Many people end up turning to Santa Barbara buy here pay here car dealers, which don’t even evaluate a customer’s credit. The cons are appreciable: excessively high annual percentage rates and inflexible terms.

You will be better off with financing from a traditional bank or credit union–available through traditional car dealers. There are a number of benefits: better interest rates, better service, and if you make your payments when they’re due, an improvement to your credit score.

Contact an auto finance professional in your area today.

Minimizing Your Rate of Interest

Are you worried that your interest is going to be too costly? First, you’ll want to review your credit report for discrepancies. Fortunately, it’s free to check your credit report once a year at

Disputing inaccuracies is fairly simple. You can do it yourself, or enlist one of the credit improvement agencies that serves Santa Barbara. Other ways to improve your APR:

  • Having a cosigner.
  • Saving up for an increased down payment.
  • Agreeing to shorter loan repayment terms.

Zero Down Car Loans in Santa Barbara

Saving up enough cash you need to obtain a car can be difficult, even if you only need enough for a down payment. For those who have extremely good credit, many creditors will not require a down payment. If your credit isn’t but fair, however, a down payment of 10-20% is commonly a requirement. For people with unfavorable credit, there is only one real approach: locate a car dealership that takes trade-ins, and let your existing vehicle cover the down payment on your new one.

Santa Barbara Resources

Credit Unions


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