How to fund an emergency car repair with a low credit score 

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If your credit score is under 580, that is considered well below the average of U.S. consumers and it can make it more difficult to get an affordable short-term loan for any reason. But when your car breaks down, you may need money for repairs. Fortunately, you do have options for low-cost emergency car repair loans even if your credit isn’t perfect. 

Need to repair your car for unexpected reasons?

Before you take out a loan, try to figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle. The information below can help you troubleshoot the problem, fix it yourself, or find car repairing services in your area. 

Can you repair your car yourself? 

Depending on the reason your car needs repairs, you may be able to do a quick fix yourself. That said, it may not be a good idea to take on projects that are beyond your skill set. 

How to find a repair shop

If you search online and you are not sure what shop would be best for your situation, ask your friends and family for mechanic recommendations. Some garages even give friend-and-family discounts, so be sure to mention their names when you get a quote!

5 funding options for emergency car repair costs 

Once you’re sure a visit to the mechanic is in order, it’s time to review your emergency car repair assistance options. 

Save up money to avoid getting a loan

If your vehicle still runs safely, you could try finding part-time work so you can pay for the repairs in cash. In doing so, you can avoid interest payments that come with putting repairs on a credit card or taking out a loan. 

Find a loan that helps build credit 

If you have to take out a loan for an emergency car repair, consider getting one that does double-duty. Credit builder loans are designed to help people with no or bad credit. You’ll make payments, earn interest, and once the term of the loan ends, you’ll have access to all the funds. Your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. If you make your payments on time, that can help improve your credit score. At MoneyLion, we offer Credit Builder Plus to help you build or improve your credit. If you become a Credit Builder member, you will unlock all of this for $19.99/month:

  • Credit Builder loan up to $1,000 with a competitive APR
  • Credit reporting to all three credit bureaus to help build your positive payment history
  • Credit monitoring and weekly updates on your credit score and credit factors
  • 0% APR Instacash cash advances up to $300.

Ask a family member or friend for a loan

Your friends and family may also be willing to offer car repair financial assistance. That said, you don’t want to ruin your good relationships, so be sure to come up with a payment plan and stick to it. You may even offer to pay a little interest on top of the loan to sweeten the deal. 

Government emergency car repair assistance

Believe it or not, welfare car vouchers do exist, though they’re typically reserved for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, recipients. Low-income applicants who are pregnant or caring for a child and need their vehicle to get to work may qualify. 


What happens if you can’t afford to pay a mechanic?

Some mechanics will let you negotiate your repair bill or pay in installment plans to lower the cost. Before making the appointment, it is a good idea to ask about payment arrangements. But if you really can’t afford your car repairs, you may qualify for grants or will have to ask your family, friends, or a bank for a loan.

Can you get a loan to pay for car repairs?

Some lenders advertise loans specifically to cover car repairs. But you don’t need a specialty car loan – not when you can take out a competitive-rate Credit Builder loan from MoneyLion to cover your costs! 

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