More than 90% of American households keep a vehicle, making a car essential for going to and from work, grocery shopping, and ferrying family members around. But if you have bad credit, getting the car you need may feel impossible. Fortunately, there are options for those with less-than-stellar credit. One popular option is buy here pay here, which allows you to secure a loan directly from the dealership where you shop. However, this type of financing typically comes with high interest rates and can cause you to spend more on a car than it’s worth after you take into account the total cost of financing.

Which payment method is safer?

Typically, you’re limited to the vehicles on the dealer’s lot that are within your price range, and many of them are used or dated with lower resale values than newer models. The lender also takes on the risk of the car’s value depreciating, so they often charge elevated interest rates to make up for that potential loss. Additionally, some buy here pay here lenders require that you have a tracking device installed in your car to monitor its location and disable it if you fail to make payments on time.

Despite the negative press that charlotte buy here pay here lending has received, it can be an effective way to get a newer car for a fair price if you do your homework. Compare the rates and repayment terms offered by a variety of reputable online lenders to find a deal that works for you. You should also ensure that the lender you choose regularly reports your loan and payment history to the main consumer credit bureaus, as not doing so could negatively impact your credit score even if you’re making all of your payments on time.