In the last two decades car ownership has increased exponentially, so much so that owning one has become the accepted norm. Poor credit may prove a hindrance for some new car owners, but it does not have to be. Just because you have made credit mistakes in the past does not mean that you have to settle for whatever you can find or are offered. There are several car dealerships and financing companies that are willing to help you become a car owner, even with bad credit. Past credit mistakes, such as bankruptcy might keep you from owning some cars, but by working to build your credit and finding the right company you should be able to own a car in the timeframe you established. In order to determine your credit rating and the risk associated with approving you, credit companies use a pretty standard set of measures. Items reported include both positive and negative feedback from creditors and lenders, such as your payment history, bad debt and credit cards owned and a history of each. To improve your credit score, you will need to clean up the credit report companies see by paying off old debt so that it is removed from your report. As you clear old debt off your report, your low credit score will improve and you will be able to secure more favourable car loans. Even working with those credit lenders who are willing to finance your car loan even though you have a bad credit score, does not mean you are in the clear. Those with bad credit are seen as a high risk borrower regardless of whether you get the financing you need or not. For this reason it is important that those who are looking to get a car loan with bad credit seek out lenders who are experienced at working with high risk borrowers. You can still find ways to get a good loan with these types of lenders because they have several loan programs available to them specifically for those with less than perfect credit. In all cases of lending and financing for a car, it is important that you understand the terms of your loan and borrow an amount that you are realistically able to handle without going over the actual value of the car. Once you are ready to begin securing a car loan or gaining financing for your perfect car, request a credit report that you can look over and asses. Determine if the loan that is being offered is a manageable amount for your current and projected income, and do not forget to include interest rates that you will be able to negotiate down with the right lender. Use resources that are made available from both your local lenders and financial institutions that you have used in the past, as well as free resources on the internet. This guarantees that you are as well informed as possible and helps you prepare to get the best interest rate you can. Remember, the best financiers and lenders will look not only at your past credit history, but will take into consideration the work you have done to clean up your credit and work towards financial stability.