Can you finance a salvage title car? It’s not impossible. In this article, we’ll discuss
- what's a salvage title vehicle
- if it’s a good idea to buy a salvage title truck or car
- different financing options.
A salvage title vehicle may not be what you think
“Totaled”, “Salvage”, “Junk”, “Rebuilt” are different brands slapped on vehicle titles. At bottom, branded titles are legally required when the cost to repair is a certain percentage (normally 80% in most state by law) of the vehicle’s fair market value.
The reason for the repair varies. Most salvage vehicles are branded from accident damage. But they can also be from flood, fire, bio hazard (someone bleeds out, too much meth, etc), etc.
Group think is to stay away from these vehicles. And for the most part, that’s good advice. However, there’s one exception — theft.
Check out our salvage theft recoveries
Theft recovered vehicles are by definition total losses if the insurance company pays the insured — they paid out the total loss. However, most states give direction to the insurance company to brand the title for undamaged recoveries. Therefore, “total loss” theft recoveries are clean/clear titles.
But, for a great buy, be on the look out for undamaged salvage title theft recoveries. Insurance companies often salvage perfect theft recoveries for liability reasons; the increased sale price isn’t worth the possible headache of selling it clean.
We’ve sold $50,000+ undamaged salvage recovered thefts. And for those, financing can be a great idea. Here’s how to do it.
Who will finance a salvage title car?
It’s not impossible to get salvage title financing. Here’s how it works.
Major banks that finance salvage title vehicles (Wells Fargo, Chase, etc.)
It is possible to get the major banks, like Wells Fargo, to approve salvage title financing, but it requires a very strong relationship and a lot of managers signing off. If you’re on a first name basis with your bank’s branch manager, this could work out.
Personal lenders financing salvage cars and trucks
Borrowers with good to great credit can get personal loans — loans simply guaranteed by your signature. These are very easy to work with and don’t put a lien on the vehicle.
Our favorite is LightStream. Our customers sing their praises and, in our experience, it’s the most straight forward to get a loan on a salvage title vehicle.
Specialty banks and credit unions financing branded titles
USAA will lend on salvage title vehicles, but it requires military affiliation. Many credit unions will too. In the western part of the U.S., America First Credit Union does a great job financing salvage titles.
Dealership financing, indirect lending on salvage trucks and cars
Call LightStream first for salvage vehicle lending
In our opinion, if you have good to great credit, go with Lightstream. It’s easy and their rates tend to be competitive with traditional auto loans.
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