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Q. i was curious to know if you would be able to answer this i am only getting 4100 a month from my union i dont have a car not because of repo or anything like that but i am going to a different railroad and i need to get a car not the greatest credit but where do recomend i go

A. Hi Jeff, buying anything requiring a loan can be a hassle if you have bad credit. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you do a little homework first. I’d suggest you visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action and request a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy each year. There are likely a few things that you can correct or pay off to improve you credit score immediately. Once you feel that you’ve done all you can with your credit rating, visit a few banks to get an idea of what percentage loan rate you would be able to get for a new vehicle (you will be able to get a more favorable rate on a new vehicle than a used vehicle). Armed with this information, visit a new car dealer NOT a buy-here-pay here used car dealer. The new-car dealer has access to several different sources of credit, from banks to manufacturer-supported financing to self-financing. Be upfront about your situation and the new-car dealer will work with you and its credit sources to get you the best possible rate. There are more than 400 dealerships within our network, so you will definitely want to shop around to find the best deal. DriveChicago.com has a dealer locator where you can enter your zip code to generate a listing of local dealers, depending on which brand you are interested in: http://www.drivechicago.com/cardealers. It’s cheaper to lease a vehicle now in the state of Illinois, so that may be an option you want to consider -- depending on your credit. Or, many dealers sell certified pre-owned vehicles –- another good option if you want to save. Additionally, we offer this handy auto loan calculator (http://www.drivechicago.com/paymentcalc) so you can determine what you can afford per month. Once you have that determined, you can click on the “Used Cars” or “New Cars” tab at the top of the site and search for cars that fit within that budget. I hope this was helpful; good luck with your search.

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About Jen

Jen MorlandA note from Jen: Let me start off by saying in no way do I claim to be an automotive expert but, trust me on this, I have some of the best connections around town to guide you in the best possible direction when you’re seeking automotive advice. Think of me as the connecting rod that unites the piston and the crankshaft – to get your engine revving and keep you on track!

About Jen: Jen Morand got her feet wet in the automotive industry back in 2008 when she started as the Communications Specialist for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA). In fact, she introduced the Chicago Auto Show to social media and created both Facebook and Twitter pages for the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. Now, the pages have thousands of fans who follow the engaging weekly content (shameless plug to “like” the Chicago Auto Show on Facebook).

Currently, Jen is the Senior Public Relations and Social Media Manager for the CATA and Chicago Auto Show. She’s no stranger to answering tough questions (is that a challenge?) as Jen was a spokesperson for the national got milk? campaign and had to respond to tough questions from reporters while on-air. Jen has always found pride in helping others and looks forward to putting Chicagoland in touch with the right people to answer their automotive-related questions so they can make an informed decision.

If you’re in the market to find a new or used car, rest assured you’re in the right place as DriveChicago.com is the area’s most comprehensive online resource. Also, for all of the social folks out there, be sure to “like” DriveChicago on Facebook where you can also post questions for Jen.

If you are in the market for a new or used car in Chicago, make sure your shop at Chicagolands best car shopping website, DriveChicago.com!