Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

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What The Heck is Buy Here Pay Here?

Plenty of people out there have bad credit, whether it came from poor financial management at one point in their life, challenges of personal life or career difficulties, or even having their identity stolen by scammers. No matter how it comes to be, bad credit has the potential to haunt people for years, limiting their options in numerous aspects of life. With bad credit, trying to get a loan for any reason, be it a new home, a business, or new car, is next to impossible. Fortunately, when it comes to cars, there exists an option for financing that doesn’t rely on banks or credit unions. Buy Here Pay Here dealerships can be a great resource for people trying to get themselves on track, as long as they stay informed and responsible.

How It Works

Instead of being provided financing options from outside sources such as banks or credit unions, the dealer acts as the lender. Based on your financial history, you’ll be presented with a list of available vehicles. This is done as a way to help find a car suited to your budget but also to help protect the interests of the dealer, who is taking a larger risk than a normal dealership by maintaining the financial relationship with the customer. I would suggest analyzing your personal or household monthly budget and writing it down. Bringing that information with you in a tangible way shows the dealer not only a certain level of self-awareness and responsibility but also a solid and unmoveable line depicting what you can and can’t afford. With this in mind they can help you find a car that suits your needs while also fitting within your budget. From there on out you’ll pay the dealership directly on a monthly (or sometimes bi-weekly) basis.

What That Means For You

First and foremost, this means you won’t be turned away due to a low credit score. You’re guaranteed options the moment you walk in the door, offered a chance at redemption that other dealerships wouldn’t afford you. For many people, the road to improving credit begins at a Buy Here Pay Here dealership, especially outside the city where less public transit means a car is almost mandatory in order to hold down a job.

Another result of the way that Buy Here Pay Here dealerships operate is a much easier and more streamlined customer experience. Buying your car while getting it financed simultaneously reduces the overall process by a few steps, which is always a welcome thing to hear for anyone with a busy schedule. Additionally, the concept of making your payments to the dealership is much more straightforward than the typical purchasing process, and since the dealer has a larger stake in your ability to afford the vehicle, they won’t be trying to upsell you or use typical sales strategies.


The selection from Buy Here Pay Here dealers is pretty much the same as any used car dealer, so despite any preconceived notions you may have, there are plenty of options. Even if you have to do a bit of searching for the right dealership, you should be able to find at least one with a diverse assortment of vehicles. Your choices may end up limited by the dealership itself, and the cars available will be dependant on your financial history, but that in no way means that you’re going to be stuck with a twenty year old car or something else unpractical like that. That policy is mainly in place to provide people with a varied selection within their range of affordability, so you may find that it helps far more than it hinders.


Yes, the interest rates will be higher than what someone with better credit might be paying, but that can only be expected with the added risk that the dealer is taking on. Remember that self-awareness is an important part of this process, and being aware of the fact that you represent a certain level of risk to the dealer is a part of that. That’s not to say that you’ll end up paying a price outside of what your budget can afford, though, because as I mentioned earlier the dealership should be very willing to help you find a car within your price range. If they’re a reputable dealership their first priority will be finding a deal that you can afford so that you don’t miss any payments. If you do miss a payment it directly affects the dealer’s business, so they shouldn’t have any interest in putting you in a car that will cripple you financially.

Addressing Concerns

The biggest thing that people worry about when it comes to Buy Here Pay Here dealers is repossession, for two main reasons. The first one is pretty obvious, that most people don’t like the idea of having their car repossessed. To me, that’s a bit silly, because whoever focuses on that is operating under the assumption that they won’t be able to make their payments regularly, and if that’s the case then they shouldn’t be looking at a car anyways. The other main thing that often concerns people is malpractice. Anyone who has watched a decent amount of Judge Judy (definitely not me, I’m just holding this information for a friend, I swear) will know that there are some dealerships out there willing to screw their customers to fill their wallets. Fortunately for modern consumers, the internet has become a great tool to help find those business and avoid them, so as long as you do your due diligence and don’t take any deals that you don’t think you can handle, you should have no issues with repo men (unless we’re talking about the Jude Law and Forest Whitaker movie, in which case feel free to have as many issues as you’d like, that movie was a mess).


With all this in mind, you should have a good idea of how Buy Here Pay Here car dealerships can benefit you, and how to avoid any of the pitfalls that you may encounter along the way. As long as you understand the deal you’re making, and feel both ready and responsible enough to handle it, then you’ll end up satisfied.