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Having a poor credit history can make it difficult to obtain car finance in Ireland, but it is not impossible. Car finance intermediaries and lenders look at your credit report to assess creditworthiness. They also use it to determine the level of risk associated with lending you money.

How can I check my credit score?

In order to check your credit score in Ireland, you can request a copy of your credit report from The Central Credit Register. Your credit report will contain information about your credit accounts, loan and mortgage payments, and any bankruptcies or court judgments.

An electronic tablet on the left on a table and a laptop next to it. Both screens display the same thing, a pie chart and analysis of a credit score. There is a small plant in the back left of the image, behind the tablet.

What do car finance lenders and intermediaries look for in your credit report?

There are a few things that car finance intermediaries and lenders will look for in your credit report:

  • Payment history: Lenders will want to see if you have a history of making timely payments on your credit accounts. Late or missed payments can have a negative impact on your credit score.
  • Credit utilisation: Lenders will also look at how much credit you are using relative to your credit limits. Using a high percentage of your available credit can be a red flag for lenders.
  • Credit mix: Having a variety of different credit accounts, such as a mortgage, credit card, and car loan, can demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower.
  • Length of credit history: A longer credit history can be seen as a positive factor, as it shows that you have a track record of managing credit responsibly over an extended period of time.

How does my credit rating affect the loan I am offered?

Your credit rating can impact the amount of interest you pay on your car finance. Lenders typically offer lower interest rates to borrowers with good credit scores, as they are considered to be a lower risk. On the other hand, borrowers with poor credit scores may be offered higher interest rates to compensate for the increased risk to the lender.


A man on the right of the photo stood next to a car shows a couple something on his tablet device whilst stood in a car showroom.

How can I improve my chances of being approved for car finance?

If you have a poor credit history and are looking to obtain car finance in Ireland, there are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of approval:

  • Check your credit report: Make sure that the information on your credit report is accurate and up to date. If you find any errors, dispute them with the credit reference agency.
  • Reduce your credit utilisation: As mentioned above, lenders prefer to see a low credit utilisation ratio. Try to pay down your credit card balances to improve your credit score.
  • Make timely payments: Payment history is an important factor in your credit score. Make sure to pay all of your bills on time to demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower.
  • Consider a co-signer: If you are unable to obtain car finance on your own due to your poor credit history, you may be able to improve your chances of approval by having a co-signer with good credit vouch for you.


In conclusion, it is possible to obtain car finance in Ireland with a poor credit history, but it may be more difficult and may come with higher interest rates. To improve your chances of approval, it is important to check and build your credit score by paying your bills on time, reducing your credit utilisation, and having a diverse credit mix. For more information on credit scores, click here.

At LM Operations, we take a holistic approach to determining whether to offer you car finance. We believe that you’re more than just a credit score, so will look at your application on an individual basis.

Did you know that if you apply for car finance with LM Operations you’ll receive a decision within 4 hours? Check out our online application form here.


Representative Example

Borrowing €12,500 over 54 Months with a representative of 17.9% APR, an annual interest rate of 17.9% (fixed) and a deposit of €0.00, the amount payable would be 53 repayments of €327.52 per month, with one final repayment of €526.52 (which includes the option to purchase fee of €199.00), with a total cost of credit of €5,385.08 and a total amount payable of €17,885.08.

LM Operations Ltd are a lender, not a broker. This is for illustrative purposes only and is not a quote or an offer of finance.

Our finance rates vary depend on individual circumstances and is subject to status.