We answer your top car finance and used car financing questions.

Top 10 Car Financing Questions | CarMax

Customers have lots of really good questions about auto financing. We know — we’ve heard them in our stores from many of the hundreds of thousands of customers who choose to finance with us each year! Below are the 10 questions we hear most often from CarMax customers about used car financing while they’re conducting their used car research.

  1. Why does a car’s age and miles affect my financing options? Financing companies may be unwilling to assign longer terms on some older vehicles. Newer vehicles can often get more competitive terms. However, for many CarMax customers an older vehicle is a solid choice. It’s no surprise that higher-mileage cars and trucks carry more affordable price tags; and it’s also true that all CarMax vehicles satisfy our renewal standards. All CarMax cars are eligible for financing and MaxCare extended service plans. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.
  2. Do I need to make a down payment? A down payment isn’t a requirement for financing a purchase at CarMax, but making a down payment matters. Making a down payment is always a good idea because it reduces the amount you’ll need to borrow. Any amount you choose to put down can improve your chances of approval and receiving better terms. No matter how much you decide to put down, you can also add any equity from the trade-in value of the car you drive now. Learn how to get your car or truck appraised here.
  3. Does CarMax offer auto financing? Yes, and financing at CarMax is a quick and transparent process. Let’s say you’ve narrowed your search to a used Toyota Tacoma and a Jeep Wrangler. Now, how to pay for your final choice? Maybe you’ve got the cash in hand; if not, you can borrow the money to make your purchase. Nearly 8 of every 10 CarMax customers finance their purchases through our sources, who can deliver offers within minutes of your submitting an application.
  4. How does financing at CarMax work? When you borrow money to buy a car or truck at CarMax, it’s different from the way car loans work at traditional car dealerships. That’s because we aim to give every customer an honest, straightforward, and haggle-free experience. Our financing gives you choices, and puts you in the driver’s seat! You can bring your own financing when you visit us, too. Requesting financing terms on a Dodge Charger, Acura MDX, Mercedes SUV, or any other vehicle we sell is easy — just click on the link found on that vehicle’s Car Page and speak with a sales consultant about available financing options. You can also check out our more detailed explanation of how auto financing works at CarMax.
  5. Can I get pre-approved? Yes. This fast and easy process lets you choose how much you want to borrow based on the type of vehicle you’re looking for. If you’re interested in financing a purchase with CarMax, visit us online to get pre-approved. A CarMax associate will contact you to discuss any available financing options, including the amount you’re qualified to finance.
  6. Can I get approved if I have bad or damaged credit? We successfully provide options to customers with many different credit profiles because we work with some of the country’s leading financial institutions, which improves your chances of getting approved. If you’d like to learn more about credit scores, check out our article about understanding credit ratings.
  7. Can I finance through my bank or credit union? Yes, you can bring your own financing — you can visit CarMax with a pre-approval product, or we can provide you with a buyer’s order, plus the exact amount of financing you need to bring back to pay for your vehicle, including taxes and fees. And, if you do finance with CarMax, you’ve got three business days to replace your financing with alternative financing at no cost.
  8. Do you have a first-time buyers program? Many customers can qualify for financing without a prior vehicle purchase or a limited credit history. Our finance sources accommodate customers with a wide range of credit histories and profiles.
  9. What finance companies do you work with? In addition to CarMax Auto Finance, we work with leading institutions such as Ally Financial, Capital One Auto Finance®, Wells Fargo Dealer Services, and others. These relationships help ensure a broad variety of financing options for our customers.
  10. What do I need to get pre-approved and approved? All you need to complete the pre-approval process is a strong idea of your budget and how much you’d like to finance, your contact information, your employment and income information, and information about a co-applicant, if you have one. Once you submit your application, we’ll be in touch quickly to discuss any financing offers available to you.