The Car You’re Buying Says a Lot About Your Credit Score

May 3, 2019 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Most people don’t pay cash for cars. They either lease them or finance them. The credit rating range among buyers of car brands varies widely. Luxury car buyers tend to have the best ratings. Buyers of one of America’s best-selling brands have the worst.

Even buyers of the most expensive cars do not have credit rating scores, on average, that put them in the top tier of ratings. That category is called “exceptional,” with a credit rating score of 800 to 850, the highest level. Twenty percent of Americans fall into this category.

The brand with owners with the highest scores when their credit is approved for a car loan is Tesla with an average score of 740, according to Lending Tree. That puts them in the “very good” category, which credit rating agencies use for the 740 to 799 range. Twenty-five percent of Americans fall into this category. At the far end of the scale, buyers of Chryslers have the lowest score of 656, which puts them in the “fair” credit rating category, which makes up 18% of Americans.

Rounding out the top of the credit rating scores by car brands, Porsche drivers approved for car loans have an average score of 727. Porsche is the car brand with the best customer service.

Lexus buyers approved for loans are at 699, followed closely by Volvo at 698 and Audi at 687.

Joining Chrysler at the bottom of the list, Kia owners have an average score of 659. Nissan owners have an average score of 665.

Why such a large difference in credit scores from the top of the range to the bottom? Likely car prices. The base Tesla Model S has a starting price of $68,750.

By comparison, Chrysler vehicles can be cheap. The Chrysler 300 Sedan has a base price of $29,220. The Chrysler Pacific minivan has a base price of $26,985.


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