What documents do you need to apply for car finance?

Here's how to get all your supporting documentation in order so that applying for a car loan is easy. 

If you’re considering applying for car finance, you’re going to need some documentation to support your application. 

Collating all the documents you need will take some time, but you can make the car financing process much smoother if you’re completely prepared. 

Lenders are required to request these documents as part of their responsible lending criteria. Handing over these documents when asked will also mean that you can get your car loan approved more quickly.

What is car finance? 

Financing a car involves borrowing the money that you need to purchase the car. You can do this by approaching a bank and getting a loan from them, or you can get finance through your car dealer or a finance broker. 

Regardless of which way you go, you’re going to need to have the appropriate documents at hand ready to proceed. 

How do I get car finance? 

You’re going to meet some basic lending requirements, such as being 18 years of age or older, being an Australian citizen (or a permanent resident) and earning a regular income. 

What documents do I need to apply for car finance? 

Identification: You will need to take some identification along to have 100 points of ID. Of course, a drivers’ licence is a good start.  

Proof of citizenship: The lender will also want identification documents that provide citizenship information, and a list of dependents, including children or anyone else you care for in your home, such as elderly relatives. Some lenders may require additional information, such as your passport or Medicare card, so take that along too. 

Once the lender can verify your identity, they will want to see if you can afford to repay the loan, so you will need to confirm your income. 

To do this, you need to take along: 

Payslips: The most recent payslips issued by your employer.

Bank statements: The most recent statements highlighting your income and expenses for the last three months. The lender will also want to see how much you’ve got in savings.  

Proof of income: Tax returns or business activity statements (BAS) for the past two years – your tax return will verify your income, while your BAS statement and business financials will do the same thing if you’re self-employed. 

Proof of residence: Take along a recent utility bill or rates notice with your home address on the top as proof of residence. If you’re renting, take along your tenancy agreement.  

Proof of assets and liabilities: Lenders will ask you to bring along documentation that shows your assets and liabilities so they can determine your borrowing power. 

The lender will do this by taking your total income and subtracting your expenses, including loan and credit repayments, rent, utilities and discretionary spending. 

The lender will also apply ongoing costs of car ownership, including running costs, regular servicing and petrol, to determine whether you can meet repayment obligations. 

Debts: Documents that highlight your debt repayments, including mortgages, credit cards and personal loans. 

Assets: Documents about any assets that bolster your income, such as an investment property, stocks or other investments. 

Super: An annual statement showing your superannuation balance may be required by some lenders. 

Insurance: Lenders are going to want to check you’ve got comprehensive car insurance on the car before approving your application in the event that the car is involved in an accident or stolen before the paperwork is rubber stamped. Bring along this documentation.

Details of the car you want: If you’ve already decided which car you’re going to buy, they will want documents about the car you’re wanting to purchase. Make sure you’re armed with the make, model, registration number and the vehicle identification number, odometer reading if it’s second-hand, and any information about modifications are at hand. 

If you are purchasing the car through a dealer, an invoice or contract of sale will be requested. 

If you’re buying the car privately, you are likely to be asked about the condition of the vehicle, the registration, require an invoice, and details about the seller, including their driver’s licence and bank details for the loan payment to be made by the lender. 

Good luck. Being organised for the financing appointment will help you get behind the wheel sooner. 

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