Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2022

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The lowdown...

  • If your credit score is low because you have bad credit or no credit at all, listing another driver in your household on your car insurance policy may be a way to lower your rate
  • Insurance companies look at your credit score when figuring out what rate you will pay for insurance because it is an indicator of how much of a risk you pose as a driver
  • Even if you have to pay more for a car insurance policy with bad credit, you can reapply for a new rate once you have taken steps to improve your credit score
  • Car insurance companies also look at your driving record, which means that a great driving record and the absence of any claims could help to balance out a bad credit score in terms of your car insurance premium
  • If you are curious about your credit score, you can request a copy of your credit report to check it out

Credit and the score that comes associated with it may not seem like much if you haven’t needed it yet in life, but it’s a pretty big deal. It can affect some major decisions in your life, such as buying a home or vehicle, what sort of down payment you’ll have to be able to afford on certain things, and sometimes, unfortunately, what insurers will agree to work with you.

If you have a bad credit score because of a poor credit history or not having enough of a history established, you can still get quotes for auto insurance from the major car insurance companies. Auto insurers will still provide you with pricing for an auto policy, but they’ll still run a credit check if you proceed further in the process of buying a car from them.

You might notice that it is a bit harder for you to get a lower rate on car insurance, but it is possible to mitigate the damage of having a poor credit score.

Believe it or not, your marital status can actually help you. A popular way to do this is to have another driver from your household listed on your auto insurance company. This is an especially good idea if they have a good credit score and a decent driving record. If your listed as married and have your spouse on your policy, this can lead to a discount that may slightly offset the higher price you might be paying for your coverage.

Good credit or bad credit, you can save money by comparing car insurance quotes. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Is it a good idea to have a copy of your credit report on hand?

Unless you are absolutely sure of your credit score, it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report. The good news is that the vast majority of people have a decent credit score.

The reason that getting a copy of your credit report is a good idea is that you can see if you have any discrepancies in the events that are reported in your credit history and work to correct them if necessary.

If you have poor credit and the score you get back is lower than you would like it to be, then there are many steps that you can take to improve it:

  • The most obvious one is to reduce your total debt. If you have any overdue bills or judgment liens against you, then it is a good idea to pay those off first.
  • Look at the type of debt you are carrying. For example, it is much better in terms of your credit score to have debt from carrying a mortgage than to have maxed out your credit card borrowing limit. The type of debt you carry matters with respect to showing that you are financially responsible.

Making a lot of money can help you to pay down debt, but it is not necessarily the biggest factors in what determines your credit rating.

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Will it be easier to look into auto coverage after raising a credit score?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it will take time and effort to make sure you’re getting affordable coverage. Settling for the first insurer that crosses your path doesn’t guarantee that the type of coverage they offer is going to be right for you. Make sure that you look into various quotes for insurance after you take the steps to improve your credit score. With a better credit score and a clean driving record, you may have quite a few more options for insurance than you did before.

It is a good idea to gather multiple quotes rather than just accepting the rate from your current car insurance company.

While a better credit score can get a lower rate for car insurance, this is not the only thing that matters. You need to examine the track record of each car insurance company in taking care of claims for their policyholders.

They also need to be licensed to sell auto insurance in the state where you reside and your car is registered.

Other things that could make a difference in the rate that you pay for car insurance include:

  • your driving history
  • the type of car you drive
  • the zip code you live in
  • the number of miles you put on your car each day

There are rating systems used by car insurance companies to weigh these relative factors and figure out your car insurance rate.

Because the factors are weighed differently, you will get different answers from each insurance company that you ask on what you will pay for car insurance. If you are in a high-risk position as a driver, it may take more quotes to get a reasonable rate.

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Can drivers who are high-risk find coverage?

There are some car insurance companies that specialize in providing policies for drivers that are a higher risk.

While there are fewer of these companies than mainstream car insurance companies, it is possible to find insurance options even if you are not an ideal driver or have a perfect credit score. You just have to be willing to pay a bit more.

Car insurance is certainly not optional for anyone.

Since you cannot get around the legal requirement to have insurance as long as you intend to drive, you should work toward increasing your insurance score and credit score to try to pay as low a rate for car insurance as possible.

If you are a high-risk driver with a bad score, then you may have to reach out to your state department of insurance for help in securing a policy that meets all of the state requirements.

This is not impossible to do, it just requires some extra planning and the realization that you will probably be paying more for your car insurance coverage at least until you improve your driving record and credit score.

What’s the bottom line?

It is certainly possible to get a car insurance policy even if your credit score is not great. You may end up paying more for your premium with a bad credit score, but you could try to balance this out by getting as many discounts as possible on your policy, and looking into any optional courses you could take that would lower your rate.

Another option is to have another driver in your household added to your insurance policy. By listing a driver with a good driving record and credit score on your auto insurance policy, this could counteract your insurance risk and get you a lower rate for car insurance.

Another option looking into? Review your credit report with a fine-toothed comb, and be sure to dispute errors if you find any. Doing so can result in a higher score.

Each company factors your credit score differently into how your rate is calculated, which is why it is such a great idea to get multiple quotes before committing to any one insurance company for your car insurance policy.

Start getting quotes today by entering your zip code into our free comparison tool below.

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