How Long Does It Take To Get A Vehicle Loan?

two hands, exchanging car keys for a model car

You’re almost there! You’ve done your research and found the right vehicle for your needs. You’ve learned about how vehicle financing works, decided whether to lease or finance, and filled out your loan application. Even if patience is normally a virtue of yours, you can’t wait to hear back because you’re ready to get behind the wheel. 

The team at Autohouse Kingston understands you’re excited, so we figured we’d take a look at how long your financing approval may take—including how the process works and everything you need to get your financing deal done as quickly as possible. 

The process of applying for financing

While you don’t need to go to a finance specialist like Autohouse Kingston, it’s probably in your best interest if you want the deal to get done quickly. Your bank will be able to help you apply for a vehicle loan, however they tend to be pretty busy with more customers and businesses vying for their time and attention. On top of that, it might not be as pressing for them as it’s not their sole focus. Getting you approved for financing—and quickly—is what we do, and you can see by our customer reviews that we take said business seriously.
Likewise, franchise dealerships will often have their own finance department, however they make the bulk of their money by selling you a new vehicle. 

At Autohouse Kingston, we try to make the process as simple as possible, beginning with our secure online form found here. One way you can tell the form is secure is if the website URL (the address of the page online) begins with ‘https’—the extra ‘s’ standing for secure. Because you’ll be sharing sensitive information, this step is incredibly important. It’s also always a good idea to check to ensure that the site states that the business is OMVIC-certified, with OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) being the governing body ensuring that you are treated fairly and have the opportunity for recourse if anything shady goes down. It’s easy for us to just tell you to trust us, but we’d rather show you with our actions than our words.

What you need when applying for a vehicle loan

One way to ensure the process goes as quickly as possible, is to make sure you’ve got all the necessary information on hand, so you can get through the application or answer any questions that may come up. Whether you’re applying at Autohouse, a local dealership, or your bank, you’ll need the following:

  • Proof of employment (or, a letter promising employment)
  • Proof of income
  • Some form of government identification (driver’s license, passport, etc)
  • Proof of residence (this is as easy as a letter addressed to you)

Oftentimes you’ll be asked for other information, like any trade-in value (if applicable) or proof of insurance. It’s always a great idea to talk to your insurance provider beforehand, as a new vehicle can involve a change in your insurance costs affecting your budget.

Once you’ve compiled all this information and begin the process of the vehicle loan application, you’ll need to consent to the lender pulling your credit information. Without this consent, the lender simply can’t look at your credit history or determine your credit score*. The bottom line is, the quicker you can get this information or answer any questions related to this information, the faster your application will go.

*As an aside, you may have heard that someone doing a credit check can negatively affect your credit score, but the reality is a single check (in the future we’ll take a look at the difference between a “soft inquiry” and a “hard inquiry”) will probably have a negligible impact. However, by shopping around at a number of locations for a better price, and having multiple inquiries, you definitely run a greater risk of there being a negative impact. By using Autohouse Kingston, we’ll only need to check once while shopping around to get you the best deal. 

How long will it take to finalize your vehicle loan?

The length of time it takes to finalize your vehicle loan application depends on a couple of factors including time of day and the lender.

  1. Time of day: the reality is, if you show up five minutes before close on a Friday night or the day before a stat holiday, we might have a harder time expediting the entire process. The earlier in the day the better, as it will give us a chance to talk to as many lending institutions as possible.
  2. The lender: as we mentioned above, using the bank might take a bit longer. From paperwork being sent back and forth from the bank to the dealership, or the loan application being seen as less important than some other bank business, it can often take anywhere from three to seven business days when using a bank. However, by using our online pre-approval form, we can save you serious time. 

What factors can delay loan approval?

There are three factors that can slow down the loan approval process when it comes to vehicle financing, which are (in no specific order):

  1. Time: once again, financing specialists like Autohouse Kingston can often get you approved the same day you apply, but that all depends on the time you apply. Showing up before close on a Friday, or applying on the weekend, can often push the whole process to the next business day. 
  2. Missing documents: if you have all of the documents outlined above, ready to go, there should be no issues. However, if you need to contact your employer to have them fax over proof of employment, or you need to run home to grab proof of residence, the whole process can crawl to a stop. 
  3. Missing vehicle information: when financing, especially a used vehicle, having accurate information about the vehicle is extremely important. Some financial institutions limit the vehicles they’ll finance due to factors like model year or mileage. Make sure you have all the information handy, so that you’ll be able to answer any questions if they arise.

Your loan application was denied, what comes next?

Loan applications can be denied for a variety of reasons, some within your control and some outside of it. As detailed above, missing documents are a great way to have your application delayed or even denied outright. Same thing goes for refusing consent to run a credit check. Another issue can be the loan amount itself; if you’ve applied for too large of a loan compared to your current income, or you don’t have a stable income, you could be denied. This is why it’s so important to properly budget for a vehicle within your means. The last issue, the one most customers are afraid of, is their credit score. Having poor to non-existent credit is a major—though not always insurmountable—hurdle when it comes to applying for a vehicle loan.

At Autohouse Kingston we go the extra mile to ensure that you’re able to find a vehicle that works for your budget, and get approved for a loan—and quick! Whether you’ve been denied elsewhere, or just want to work with the best, contact the team at Autohouse Kingston and we can walk you through every step of the process. Or, simply fill out our secure online application form found here, and we can get started today!