What is a Credit Score & How Does it Work in Buying a Car?

As soon as you get a credit card, take out a loan, or otherwise borrow and pay back money in your adult life, you will be assigned a credit score.

This credit score is comprised of many factors and can impact the way other lenders interact with you from how much they will give your towards house loans to car loans and everything in between.

When you buy a car, your credit score will become important as it will signal to our dealership lenders how creditworthy you are and what kind of payment terms can be worked out. To get a better feel for how to estimate or find out your credit score and understand how it is used in the car buying process, follow along below.

What is Your Credit Score Made Of?

Your credit score is calculated from the various loans and credit you've been extended in the past. It can include obvious items like the timeliness and payment amounts on a credit card or bank loan, but it can also include other less anticipated items like phone payments, insurance payments, rent, and more.

In the U.S. this credit score is created by the three major credit bureaus Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. In short, these scores are the amalgamation of all of your loans and repayments and provide a rough creditworthiness signal to other lenders to show how likely you are to pay back what's owed.

What Does Your Credit Score Mean for Buying a Car?

Illustration connecting drawings of credit card and shoes and calendar and dollar billsWhen you find a car you're interested in, you have three options: outright purchase, lease, or receive an auto loan.

For the latter two options, our dealership and our network of lenders will need to assess your creditworthiness so that we can work out the terms of your agreement. We know that maintaining a pristine credit score is unrealistic which is why we work hard to find payment options that fit within budgets and financial backgrounds of a variety of levels.

Once you have an idea of your score, come in to see a finance expert so that we can help to find the lease or loan arrangement that works best.

How to Find Out Your Credit Score?

If you'd like to find out your credit score before you begin the car financing process, you may be tempted to reach out to one of the credit bureaus to inquire. Beware that the scores between these bureaus differ (as the lenders that report to each of them differ) and it could potentially be costly (depending on which service you use to check).

To get a free, accurate estimate on your credit score through a trusted and simple service, take advantage of our online Black Book credit estimator which uses Equifax to calculate the result. After you enter brief personal information about your name, location, address, and the car you're interested in, you will receive an online credit score value and an email confirmation.

Got Questions? Reach Out!

To learn more about how your credit score is calculated or to find out more about how your score impacts your car financing process with us, please reach out via our general line at (833) 269-5975 and we can put you in touch with the right person to help.

If you would like assistance completing the online credit score estimator form, we are also around to help with that. Either call for guidance, or come into our dealership in person and we will sit you down with a member of our team to go over everything.


Westown Ford

1312 W Morton Rd
Directions Jacksonville, IL 62650

  • Sales: (217) 245-7101
  • Service: (217) 245-7550
  • Parts: (217) 245-7551


  • Monday 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • Thursday 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • Friday 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday Closed
  1. Westown Ford

    1312 W Morton Rd
    Jacksonville, IL 62650

    • Sales: (217) 245-7101
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