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How Your Credit Score Affects Your Auto Loan

Find your true credit score and how that translates to your payment and savings.

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The Credit Score Difference

Has this happened to you? You access your free credit report and credit score on a site like Credit Karma and it says you have a great score – let’s say 730. So, you trot on down to the dealership the buy that car you’ve had your eye on. The test drive, the new car smell! You get to the point to close the deal and you’re shocked that your rate and payment are so high. The finance manager tells you that your rate is based on your credit score of 650. “WHAT”, you say!

The fact is, the “free” score you obtained from Credit Karma is not the same as the score most creditors pay for and use.  The score you get from Credit Karma is known as Vantage Score and is based on slightly different algorithms of the traditional FICO credit score model. It does not place as much weight on certain credit criteria and usually results in an inflated score. Furthermore, the auto dealer has most likely “shot gunned” your credit to different lenders, further impacting your score.

How do you avoid this?

Call or visit your Automotive Lending Experts, MTC Federal Credit Union BEFORE you go to the dealer. Apply for a pre-approval and find out your true credit score and how that translates to your payment and savings.  Once you are pre-approved, go to the dealer and tell them you are a cash buyer with financing from your credit union. Don’t let the dealer pull your credit! Your score will thank you.


Not all free credit report sites are bad. There are many versions of the FICO score in circulation that are used by mortgage companies, credit card issuers, auto lenders, and others. Depending on who is pulling a score on you, your credit history may generate more than 60 different scores. These sites can give you an “idea” of what your score is, and will allow you to review what is in your credit file.  Another fact; most of free credit report sites will try to sell you a credit card from a number of different issuers. This is where they make their money, and chances are you will pay much higher interest and fees on those cards than if you just talked to YOUR credit union!

Reach out to MTC Federal for your Individual Financial Analysis. In a one-on-one session, our financial experts can review your credit report with you and show you how you can improve your credit score dramatically, and put you on the path to financial freedom.


  • Pay off or pay down on your credit cards
  • Do not normally close credit cards as it may decrease your capacity
  • Move your revolving debt into installment debt
  • Continue to make payments on time
  • Slow down on opening new accounts
  • Acquire a solid credit history with years of experience


See how you can save more by improving your credit score.

Loan Amount Term Score Rate Payment Total of Payments Interest Paid Savings
$20,000 60 months 770+ 2.95% $359.00 $21,540.42 $1,540.42 $0
$20,000 60 months 720-769 3.95% $367.95 $22,077.29 $2,077.29 $536.87
$20,000 60 months 680-719 6.95% $395.66 $23,739.85 $3,739.85 $2,199.43
$20,000 60 months 640-679 12.95% $454.65 $27,279.00 $7,279.00 $5,738.58
$20,000 60 months 600-639 15.95% $485.92 $29,155.20 $9,155.20 $7,614.78
$20,000 60 months <599 16.95% $496.60 $29,795.98 $9,795.98 $8,255.56

The MTC Federal Automotive Lending Experts are never more than a click, tap or call away. Have questions? Schedule an appointment to get your questions answered at a time that fits your schedule.