Ford removed its 84-month minimum FICO requirement for financing, according to a bulletin sent to dealers this week. While 84-month loans are not for everyone, the change could allow consumers to no longer feel constrained by their credit score in the same way as in the past when purchasing a new Ford car or truck.

7-year loans are not common yet, but incentives early in the pandemic saw a surge in these types of deals. In Ford’s case, the company introduced a 0% APR for 84 months. Although the offer disappeared in a matter of months, the 7-year loans are still part of Ford’s incentive programs.

So does removing your minimum FICO requirement allow anyone to get financing, including buyers who may not be qualified for an 84-month new car loan? The answer is no, at least according to a statement CarsDirect received from Ford Credit spokeswoman Margaret Mellott by email this morning.

“Our proprietary scoring models do an excellent job of assessing the likelihood that an applicant will be able to pay. FICO is an entry. Removing the separate FICO requirement opens the possibility of financing to more clients who would qualify for 84-month financing within of our models regardless of their FICO score. “

While a buyer’s credit score plays an important role in obtaining financing, it is only a basic requirement for a car loan. In this case, Ford’s captive finance company has chosen to adjust its requirements. That could make being able to afford a new car seem less of a black-and-white credit-rating affair.

84-month loans often have higher rates that can translate into significant interest costs. While the advantage is usually a lower monthly payment, the total cost is another matter. For example, we estimate that Ford’s current rate of 6.9% on the 2022 Bronco Sport would make a $ 40,000 SUV cost more than $ 50,000 before taxes and fees.

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