How a pre-approved car loan could fund your post lockdown vehicle purchase

young woman sitting in her vehicle bought with pre approved car loan

Been holding out to buy a car once post-lockdown? Well, it may be time to think about getting pre-approved for a car loan.

Not only could this speed up the process of buying a new or used vehicle, it can give you the peace of mind that you have already been approved for lending from a car loan provider. 

Plus, it can give you a better idea of what car prices you can go for as well as how far you need to go if it comes to negotiating the price. 

But what is car loan pre-approval? 

Car loan pre-approval is when a lender conditionally agrees to loan you money before you purchase a vehicle.

Note the word ‘conditionally’. This means that the loan isn’t set in stone, rather the lender sets conditions in order to fully approve the loan for the purchase of a car. Conditions may include things like loan limits and vehicle types. 

It’s also important to remember that pre-approvals only last for a certain amount of time before they expire - in Australia that’s usually around one to three months. 

So with this in mind, if you are planning to go car shopping post-lockdown it may be a good idea to have a look online and see what’s available within your price range right now. That way you will have done your research and won’t waste time once you’ve been pre-approved. 

Do pre-approvals affect credit score? 

Like all lending, pre-approvals can impact your credit score. The golden rule when applying for a loan or pre-approval is not to make multiple applications at once. Other lenders and tax reporting agencies may see this as a negative. 

Remember, to be granted pre-approval on a car loan you need to have a healthy credit rating as it gives a potential lender the indication that you are a trustworthy borrower. So if your credit score isn’t looking good right now, it may be worth focusing on repairing it by paying off your current debts, before seeking out more forms of credit.   

So wait, does pre-approval guarantee a car loan? 

As mentioned, in the case where a borrower receives pre-approval, there is no guarantee of a car loan. 

Some of the reasons someone may not receive lending after pre-approval: 

  • The pre-approval period has expired 
  • The car they are looking to purchase is too expensive (above the pre-approved loan amount)
  • The lender doesn’t cover a particular vehicle type

How do I apply for car loan pre-approval? 

First off, you’ll have to find a lender that offers pre-approval, as not all of them do. 

Once you have, like a normal car loan application, the lender will assess your finances and check over things like your credit history, transaction and savings accounts as well as your employment status. That way, the lender will be able to determine how much they think you can afford to repay over the life of the loan. 

If you receive pre-approval on a car loan, you will then be provided with funds to make a vehicle purchase. 

Ready to start comparing car loans? Have a look at these options or head to our car loan hub for even more!

Compare car loans - last updated 4 March 2024

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  • Used Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured, No vehicle age limit

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.57% p.a.to 18.99% p.a.
    7.19% p.a.to 21.78% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Get a competitive fixed interest rate on a secured used car loan of up to $75,000 depending on your credit score. No vehicle age limits. Easy online application. Fast pre-approval. Pre-approved funds held for up to 3 months. No monthly account keeping fees, no exit fees and no early repayment fees. Flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments on terms from 1 to 7 years.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.57% would cost $35,528.12 including fees.

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    Details
  • New Car Loan - Special

    Home Owner Discount, Including Demo, Variable, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.24% p.a.
    7.36% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Low variable car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers. Personalised loan amounts between $5,000 and $150,000. Flexible repayment options. Choose between the 3 to 7 year loan terms. Good credit history. Stable employment history and Australian citizenship or PR required.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.24% would cost $35,880.27 including fees.

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    Details
  • New Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured, Excellent Credit Score [832+]

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    7.29% p.a.to 7.79% p.a.
    8.00% p.a.to 8.50% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Enjoy a quick application process and no monthly fees on NRMA new car loans. Finance also available motorcycles, caravans and motorhomes. Low fixed interest rates with terms of up to seven years. Plus, NRMA Blue Member benefits apply so you could enjoy even lower rates as an NRMA Member**.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 7.29% would cost $36,387.95 including fees.

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    Details
  • New Car Loan - Special

    Including Demo, Variable, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    7.74% p.a.
    8.85% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Low variable car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers. Extra low rate for qualifying homeowners. Personalised loan amounts between $5,000 and $150,000. Flexible repayment options. Choose between the 3 to 7 year loan terms. Good credit history. Stable employment history and Australian citizenship or PR required.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 7.74% would cost $37,153.94 including fees.

    Compare
    Details
  • New Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.57% p.a.to 18.99% p.a.
    7.19% p.a.to 21.78% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Get a competitive fixed interest rate on a secured new car loan of up to $75,000 depending on your credit score. Easy online application. Fast pre-approval. Pre-approved funds held for up to 3 months. No monthly account keeping fees, no exit fees and no early repayment fees. Flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments on terms from 1 to 7 years.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.57% would cost $35,528.12 including fees.

    Compare
    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    8.49% p.a.to 16.99% p.a.
    9.21% p.a.to 17.77% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Enjoy a quick application process and no monthly fees on NRMA used car loans. Finance also available motorcycles, caravans and motorhomes. Low fixed interest rates with terms of up to seven years. Plus, NRMA Blue Member benefits apply so you could enjoy even lower rates as an NRMA Member**.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 8.49% would cost $37,420.08 including fees.

    Compare
    Details

* WARNING: The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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