In today's economy many people are laid off from their jobs and are allowed to collect unemployment while they will look for new work. Unemployment benefits are temporary and cannot be considered for long-term income when a lender is considering loaning you money.
However, you may have the potential to qualify for a loan when you're collecting unemployment, if you have good credit to start with. Each individual and their circumstances are different. If you have another source of income and losing your job and collecting benefits is not a hardship or burden. Then you may be considered for a new car loan.
A person can only collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 99 weeks, as of January 2011. Therefore unemployment cannot be considered as a reliable source of income, and may hamper your efforts in getting a car loan. Car loans today, generally have payments that last anywhere from 3 to 5 years; the majority of lenders will not grant a loan based on someone's temporary unemployment benefits.
To get approved for a car loan, an individual must prove to a lender that he or she is financially capable of paying back the loan. If your unemployment is the only income you have to live on then chances are you can't afford a car payment.
Even subprime lenders or high risk lenders, that generally loan to people with poor or bad credit, are very unlikely to grant a car loan based on someone's unemployment benefits.
You may find a car dealer who was willing to put this type of loan together for an outrageous interest rate and down payment. The dealer may sell you a car that is way overpriced, with a large down payment, and an interest rate that could exceed 25 percent. This type of deal only benefits the dealer and not you the buyer.
Even if the dealer has to repossess your vehicle in a few months, they don't care because they will just turn around and sell the car again to someone else in a similar situation.
If you are in dire need of a car and can't qualify because of your unemployment benefits, you may want to consider a home equity loan, or an existing line of credit. It is not always wise to use a home equity line of credit. These type of loans can lead to excessive debt if used unwisely and cause you future problems financially.
If you absolutely must have a car then buy one for cash ($2,000 or less) to get you by until you start your new job. That way you won't be adding debt to your financial situation while looking for another job.
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