Stack of coins next to blue toy car

Which Documents are Needed for a Car Loan?

Things to Bring When Buying a Car

Finding your next car is exciting for any driver. Of course, you’re most likely not paying for your vehicle in full that same day. In cases like these, you will need to borrow the cash in the form of a car loan. To qualify for your car loan, you will need several documents to prove who you are, how much you make, and more. Here’s a list of things you should bring when buying a car.

Proof of Your Identity, Income, and Residence

Before borrowers can be issued a loan, it’s important to verify the applicant’s proof of identity, income, and residence. This is to avoid fraud and make sure that the borrower can afford to take on the car loan. So, what should you bring to the dealership? Here’s a list to collect:

Person signing a car loan agreement

For Identity:

  • A valid government-issued document with your name and photograph, such as:
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
    • U.S. visa

For Income:

  • A recent and valid document detailing your current and average earnings, such as:
    • W-2
    • 1-2 most recent paystubs
    • Bank statements
    • Name and phone number of your employer to confirm employment status and wage if you cannot provide any of the above

For Residence:

  • Valid documentation that shows your current residence, such as:
    • Driver’s license
    • Address on credit application
  • If you have recently moved and your address does not match the one provided on your driver’s license or credit application, you will need to provide one of the following:
    • Utility bill
    • Lease agreement
    • Mortgage statement

Credit History

Now that you have proved who you are, how much you make, and where you live, it’s time to provide your credit history through a credit application. This will pull important information such as your credit score, your current debts, and your debt-to-income ratio. The results of this credit check will determine the loan offers you qualify for as loan amount and interest rates will vary per borrower.

[ Get Pre-Qualified for a Car Loan ]

Red toy car inside of a toy shopping cart

Proof of Insurance on Purchased Vehicle

Did you know that you need to insure your purchased vehicle before you can legally drive it away from the dealership? Even if your home is only a short drive away, you will need to provide proof of insurance. If it is your first car, it’s highly recommended to shop around for your insurance ahead of time and purchase it the day you buy your next vehicle. If you already have insurance for a different car, your insurance company may offer you a grace period to get your next purchase onto your policy. Consult your insurance provider to learn about their rules.

Documents for Current Vehicle If Trading In

In many cases, buyers will trade in their current vehicle to lower the cost of their next one. If you decide to trade in your car, you will need to bring:

  • Vehicle registration and
  • Vehicle title

[ READ MORE: How to Maximize the Value of Your Trade-In ]

Down Payment

Finally, the last thing you will need is your method of payment for your down payment. It’s recommended that you put down at least 20% of the value of your purchase. Whether that be in the form of a cashier’s check, cash, debit or credit card, you will need to have your money ready.

[ Browse the U.S. Auto Sales Blog ]

If you have any questions about our financing process, contact us at U.S. Auto Sales. We will be happy to tell you more and help you enjoy a stress-free car-shopping experience with us.