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Some people can qualify for an auto loan without proof of income.

Applicants with excellent credit scores and or large down payments put bankers’ minds at ease. After all, lenders consider three tests when making a decision and only one measure (debt-to-income ratio) involves earnings.

However, most of the world has less stellar credit ratings and fewer dollars for a down payment.

The rest of us must provide evidence that we can afford the projected monthly payments. We must bring the correct income documentation to the car dealer and expect the finance company to verify employment.

Therefore, it pays to be prepared.

No Proof of Income Auto Loans

Auto loans without proof of income do exist for a subset of possible borrowers who exceed the two other important underwriting requirements. People working under the table, those who might underreport cash tips to avoid taxes, and the newly self-employed can shine in other areas to gain approval.

For example, finance companies commonly look at three main criteria when making a decision. Only one of the three tests relate directly to earnings.

  1. Good credit scores predict a low risk of future delinquency based on historical data
  2. Large down payments make it costly to lose the deposit after repossession due to default
  3. Low debt-to-income ratio (DTI) suggests affordability but clearly relies on salary information

Therefore, people with higher credit scores (700+) combined with large down payments have the best chance of landing an approval for a car loan without proof of income. Finance companies may be more lenient with DTI when an applicant exceeds two of the main underwriting tests.

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No Job

People with no job can often get financing for a car without income documentation provided they have a credit score above 700 along with a sizable down payment. However, most unemployed people struggle meeting just one of these criteria. Meeting both tests is even harder.

  • Saving money for a down payment is almost impossible when you are unemployed
  • Credit scores often plummet after losing a job
    • Balances balloon
    • People fall behind on payments

Applicants collecting government benefits such as unemployment compensation and social security disability payments can borrow against these future funding sources. However, disability recipients have better approval odds because the permanent benefits often outlast a typical 5-year repayment term. On the other hand, unemployment benefits are temporary by nature and end after months not years.

Car Title

Auto title loans with no income verification are a last resort option that can fund emergency car repairs. Sometimes, fixing up your old jalopy is the better alternative to purchasing a newer vehicle with fewer miles on the odometer. People dealing with unemployment need to keep expenses to a minimum.

Be aware of the risks associated with car title loans that do not require proof of income. Title loans are high-cost short-term installment contracts secured by the equity in your automobile. One or more of these negative consequences could happen to you if you do not have a job to fund prompt repayment.

  • Origination fees add up quickly if you rollover the balance
  • Lenders can repossess the vehicle if you default on the obligation
  • You lose transportation needed to commute to work

How Banks Verify Income for Car Loan

Banks often verify income and employment before approving a car loan for marginal applicants. Therefore, be prepared with the correct earnings documentation, and expect the lender to verify employment if your qualifications fit this common profile.

Lenders want their money back. Contracts can have repayment terms lasting up to seven years. Therefore, auto finance companies need assurances that you can afford the monthly payments long into the future – not just the first few months.

Paperwork Requirements

Auto finance companies will require one of two types of paperwork to verify income. Make sure that you bring the appropriate documents with you to the car dealer when making a purchase. W2 earners should bring recent paystubs or direct deposit statements, while the self-employed should bring two years of tax returns.

Pay Stubs

The bank may require recent pay stubs in order to verify income if you work as a W2 employee. A W2 employee works the hours set by the employer under their control and direction. Collect at least the last three months of recent paychecks before applying.

Do not falsify the documentation by using a fake pay stub generator. This is fraud. It could lead to a criminal record. In addition, if you need to manufacture fake pay stubs, you are probably getting in over your head.

Tax Returns

The bank may require may require copies of recent tax returns in order to verify income. Expect this if you are self-employed as an independent contractor, 1099 employee, or you own a small business. An independent contractor sets his or her own hours and works outside the direct control of an employer.

In this case, the bank needs to determine your net compensation after business expenses, so a 1099 statement by itself is insufficient. The lender will require a copy of Schedule C business expenses.

You may need to complete IRS Form 4506-T (Request for transcript of the tax return). The IRS then sends the tax return information directly to the lender for evaluation.

Other Documentation

Many applicants have other sources of earnings that can help them qualify for a larger monthly payment. The automotive lender will want to verify these supplemental income streams as well. Be prepared to present appropriate documentation if any of these apply to you.

  • Social Security Income (SSI)
  • Disability insurance
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Public assistance

Employment Verification

Auto finance companies often verify employment when evaluating marginal applicants. The purpose is to confirm that your earnings are likely to continue throughout the term of the contract. The extra step allows lenders to make a more confident decision.

The companies want to know that you have a stable work environment and may confirm employment through electronic databases or by direct contact with employers.

Electronic Verification

Banks frequently utilize electronic verifications to confirm employment. This method relies on a database of pre-published employment information. The process is very fast, reliable, and unobtrusive.

For example, Equifax provides an electronic employment authentication process. The information comes directly from 5,500 employers nationwide and contains basic information about the stability of your work environment. Source

  • Employer name and address
  • Headquarters location
  • Job title
  • Employment status
  • Hire date
  • Length of time with an employer

Contact Employers

Car finance companies often contact employers to verify employment when the electronic database has no record. The database covers only 75% of the largest employers such as the federal government, school systems, and big companies. Also, most small businesses do not contribute to the file.

However, calls to employers are less frequent than in the past. As a standard policy, many employers do not divulge private information for fear of lawsuits and other forms of legal retaliation. The common policy is to confirm date of hire and active status only.