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Looking for car finance quick? Find out what you need to know to get a fast car loan, secured or unsecured personal loan...

Do you want to get a good deal on car finance fast?

How long does it take to get finance?

Organising car finance has different stages, and some stages are quicker than others. Getting conditional approval on the amount you can borrow can be fast, however loan documentation can sometimes take weeks to process if you're not prepared.

Conditional Approval

The first stage in finance approval is Conditional Approval. You submit an application for a loan and the lender will approve or decline your application based on the information you've provided (as well as conducting some additional checks).

Conditional Approval is like the lender saying: "If your application was correct and everything checks out, then you're approved". If the information you have provided can be verified through pay slips, etc, then the approval should stand.

You can now go shopping for your car.

Tip: Make sure you complete loan applications carefully and correctly. An error could lead to a nasty surprise down the track if your Conditional Approval is withdrawn!

Final Approval

Final approval must occur before the loan is settled and you can take possession of the car.

To get to this point, lenders will seek proof for the financial information you've provided in the application. If it is a secured loan they will also want the details of the security, which is usually the car the loan is for.

Be aware, the time it takes to get final approval can stretch out to weeks. If you don't have the proof the lender requires readily available it can be you who holds the process up! Gathering pay slips and credit card statements, or waiting for documents to be mailed can add up to longer than you might have expected.

Loan Settlement

Once you have final approval on your loan, settlement usually takes just one or two working days - basically as long as it takes for the money to be transferred to the seller.

You can then arrange to pick up your car!

What can you do to speed up the process?

If you want your finance organised quickly, the key is to be prepared. Time can be wasted by you gathering the documentation required by the lender to prove your financial situation, especially if you need to request it from a third party such as your employer or your bank.

Once you have conditional approval the lender will tell you which documents they need. Their requirements can vary however commonly requested items include:

  • Proof of income.
    If you work for an organisation that uses electronic pay slips, check that a print out of your online pay slip will satisfy the lender. You may need some other proof such as your employment contract or a letter on company letterhead.
  • Referees
    Have the correct contact details of your employer at hand when you complete the application. Fixing incorrect details may be a reason for the person processing your application to put it at the bottom of the pile.
  • Credit card statements
    Some lenders request proof of your credit card limits and the amount you owe. Usually print outs from your internet banking will not be sufficient unless they are validated by the credit card issuer, so be ready to dig up your last three credit card statements.
  • Insurance
    If the car is security for the loan, lenders may ask for evidence the car is insured before they settle the loan. Most car insurers can organise cover quickly to suit this purpose, however you might want to spend time shopping around for car insurance, especially if your car (or your driving profile!) is likely to be expensive to insure.

Are dealers quicker?

Offering fast finance can be important to a car dealer closing a sale, and some car dealers advertise same day approvals. If you're considering fast dealer finance, make sure you find out:

  • When you can take possession of the car.
    Are they simply offering conditional approval on the same day? This is what some other lenders offer. It is very different from final approval and if their finance company goes through the same process as other lenders it means the process may not be any faster.
  • How good (or bad) the deal is.
    Dealers generally use established lenders with similar approval processes to major banks, so getting the loan settled will not necessarily be quicker, but if you use the dealer as a one-stop-shop you will save time shopping around for car finance. But be aware, if you skip this step you may not know if you’re paying over the odds on your finance.

Before you arrive at the dealer, do a simple web search or check our interest rate comparison so you know what current car loan interest rates are. Ask the dealer what his interest rate is so you can compare and make an informed decision.

Other quick finance alternatives

Credit Cards

If you have a credit card in your wallet that has sufficient credit to cover the price of your car, this could be a faster alternative to organising car finance from scratch. However, there are a number of things you should consider before buying a car using a credit card, including surcharges, the interest rate, what it means for your cash flow and more.

Read Buying a car with a credit card for more information on the pros and cons of using a credit card to buy a car.

Mortgage Redraw

If you have a flexible home loan and have funds available, mortgage redraw could be a fast option to getting funds.

Read Using your mortgage to finance a car: what to consider.

On-the-spot lenders

On-the-spot lenders that don't check financials and credit history will typically lend to high risk individuals. This means they are likely to write off more bad debt and pass on these costs to other customers through sometimes exceptionally high interest rates and other fees.

If you're considering an on-the-spot lender because you're concerned you won't be approved for finance, you can find out more in Concerned You're Not Eligible for Finance.

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