20 Of Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

20 Of Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

January 18, 2024    Budgeting Advice , Credit Score , Financing & Leasing

Whether you’re shopping for a new vehicle, looking to rebuild your credit, navigating the car loan process or all of the above – we’re ready to answer your questions!

You can rely on us here at Birchwood Credit to help make your purchasing and financing decisions as easy as possible. We have the expertise and resources to help with all credit situations. Plus, our service is free, fully secure and there’s no obligation.

Here are answers to 20 of our most frequently asked questions. If you’re looking for further information about something you don’t see here, please get in touch with us. Our team of experts is always happy to help!


What do I need to qualify for a car loan and can I still be approved if I’ve been rejected before?

We can absolutely approve you regardless if you’ve been rejected in the past. Here’s what you’ll need to qualify for a car loan with us:

  • A valid driver’s licence
  • Be a resident of Canada
  • Have an income of at least $1,500 per month

Why are Birchwood Credit’s car loan requirements different from my bank?

Banks and traditional financial institutions often have strict requirements when approving any loans because they want to guarantee their loan will be returned. Since we lend our own money, we’re able to offer more flexible payment plans and interest rates.

What documents do banks require for a car loan application?

Banks and credit unions generally require more information from loan applicants, which often includes the following documents:

  • Social insurance number
  • Credit history and credit report
  • Address and previous address
  • Income
  • Monthly housing costs
  • Monthly payments
  • Household costs
  • Vehicle bill of sale

I recently arrived in Canada and have no credit history. Can I get a car loan?

Yes! We specialize in helping new Canadian residents secure a car loan and drive away with a vehicle they love.

If this is my first vehicle purchase, can I still get approved for financing?

Yes! We regularly secure vehicle financing for new drivers buying their first car.


How long does your online application take to complete?

Our online application takes less than 2 minutes and is designed to be as easy and hassle-free as possible.

How are my car loan payments calculated?

Your monthly payments will be calculated based on the size of your loan, the interest rate and the length of your term. Try our Car Loan Calculator to learn more.

Do I have to be a Winnipeg resident to apply with Birchwood Credit?

No! We serve auto loans to the entire Province of Manitoba. Although we are headquartered in Winnipeg and have four locations across the city, we can service you even if you live outside of the city.

Do I need to make a down payment on the vehicle?

No, we generally don’t require down payments – and not all dealerships in Winnipeg will require you to make one when purchasing a new vehicle, either. For most people, making a large down payment isn’t financially possible. When you shop with us, we look at your entire financial situation. If a down payment makes sense for you and will help lower your cost, then we may present that as an option.

How long does the application process take and when will I know if I’m approved for financing?

We usually have approvals within 24 to 48 hours of you filling out an application and will notify you through email and/or by phone. Once you have completed the application – either online, over the phone or in person – our Finance Managers will review your information and set up a time to meet with you.

What will the interest rate on my car loan be?

The interest rate you’ll pay depends on a number of factors including your income, your credit score and the size of your loan.

How does the length of the car loan affect my payment?

The longer your loan, the smaller your monthly car payment. Just remember – you’ll end up paying more interest if you take out a longer loan.

What should I do if I applied for a loan online but haven’t heard back from anyone yet?

We make it our mission to get back to you as quickly as possible. If you completed your application and have not heard back from us within 24 hours, please call us directly at 204-831-4860 and we’ll be happy to help.

Do I need to pick a vehicle before applying for financing?

No! But you can let us know the type of vehicle you’re looking for when filling out your application. Once pre-approved, you’ll be able to select a vehicle from our list of inventory.

Having your approval and knowing your price range will help you find a vehicle that fits not only your lifestyle but also your budget. Getting your approval first makes the car-buying process less stressful.


How does my credit score affect getting a car loan?

This is dependent on where you apply. Banks and other financial institutes usually put a lot of weight on credit scores because they indicate your reliability as a borrower. At Birchwood Credit, we lend our own money, allowing us to look beyond your credit score.

What is the minimum credit score for a car loan in Canada?

Lenders will look at your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and if you will be approved for a vehicle loan. If you have a score of 620 or higher, you have average to good credit and will likely be approved for a car loan. A score lower than 620 likely means you’ll have a harder time getting a car loan from a traditional lender.

Although we do check credit scores, we look beyond the three-digit number and take into account your whole financial situation.

What credit score is needed for a car loan?

In Canada, credit scores range from 300 (less than perfect) to 900 (excellent). If you have a score of 620 or higher, you have average credit or better and will likely be approved for a car loan wherever you go. Lower than that likely means you’ll have a harder time getting a car loan from a traditional lender, like a bank.

While we do check credit scores at Birchwood Credit, we also look beyond the three-digit number. We take your whole financial situation into account and have the expertise to help with all kinds of credit challenges.

Can I get a car loan even if I have bad credit?

Birchwood Credit was created to allow everyone an equal opportunity to drive a safe and reliable vehicle. Don’t let credit concerns keep you from your next car. We have the experience and resources to help with all of the following types of credit situations:

  • Bad credit / no credit
  • First-time car loan applicants
  • Slow, late or missed payment history
  • Getting a car loan after bankruptcy
  • Consumer proposal
  • Repossession
  • New to Canada
  • Divorce
  • Low income
  • Orderly Payment of Debt
  • Poor credit due to unexpected events

If I declare bankruptcy, how long before I can get credit?

It is very possible to get credit from day one after filing for bankruptcy without having to wait to be discharged.

How can I get a copy of my credit report?

You can safely check your credit and begin working towards your financial goals with our free Secure Credit Check. After filling out the form. one of our financial managers will reach out to arrange an appointment and review your report. When you meet in person, they can answer any other credit questions you might have.

Our team at Birchwood Credit is here to make the process of getting a car loan as easy and hassle-free as possible. If you can’t find the answer to your question listed, you can always contact us directly by our contact form or by phone at 204-831-4860.

Rebecca Lake
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