Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2021

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Here's what you need to know

  • No-credit-check car insurance companies are hard to find.
  • USAA, Nationwide, Geico, American Family have the cheapest car insurance rates for drivers with bad credit.
  • Travelers, Progressive, Farmers, and Nationwide are more lenient on drivers with bad credit compared to drivers with good credit.
  • State-by-state, drivers with bad credit will pay 20 to 50 percent more than drivers with good credit, though it’s illegal to base car insurance rates on credit history in six states.
  • Bad credit raises your car insurance rates by $165.39/month on average. 

No-credit-check car insurance companies pretty much don’t exist.

Insurance companies believe that a low credit score makes you more likely to file a claim. Basing car insurance rates on credit score is mostly unfair, outlawed in six states, and, unfortunately, an excepted practice.

The great news is participating in a usage-based car insurance program can lower your rates up to 50 percent. If you want to find the best car insurance for bad credit, this is a good place to start.

Read on to see bad credit car insurance rates and discounts. Enter your ZIP code to compare free car insurance quotes from top companies.

What are the best no-credit-check car insurance companies?

Do all insurance companies use credit scores to determine rates? No, but most companies do.

Research has shown, numerous times, that consumers with lower credit scores or more negative items on their credit reports are more likely to be in an accident than policyholders who have sterling credit reputations.

The reasons for this are unknown, but the correlation seems to be rather hard to disprove. For this reason, a shoddy credit history will cause an insurance company to charge slightly higher rates to insurance customers who have had financial problems in the past.

Since the percentage of companies using credit scores in rate setting is so high, you may find it difficult to locate a car insurance company that does not check credit. 

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What are the best bad credit car insurance companies?

We’ve taken a look at the top 10 insurance companies in the financial market to help you find the cheapest bad credit car insurance.

How much is bad credit car insurance?

Let’s first explain what bad credit it is. Credit can be divided into three ranges.

  • Good Credit (670-739)
  • Fair Credit Score (580-669)
  • Poor Credit Score (300-579)

If you know your score, or range of score, you can get a general idea of how much your rates will be with each company.

Average Annual Car Insurance Company Rates based on Credit
CompanyGood CreditFair CreditPoor CreditHow much more you pay with bad credit
Allstate$3,860$4,581$6,49141%
American Family$2,692$3,170$4,46840%
Farmers$3,677$3,899$4,86424%
Geico$2,435$2,987$4,26043%
Liberty Mutual$4,388$5,604$8,80250%
Nationwide$2,926$3,255$4,08328%
Progressive$3,629$3,956$4,73823%
State Farm$2,174$2,853$4,95156%
Travelers$4,059$4,344$5,16021%
USAA$1,821$2,220$3,69151%
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In general, the companies that offer the cheapest rates for drivers with bad credit are USAA, Nationwide, Geico, American Family but since so many other factors go into determining your rate, it’s good to get multiple quotes.

However, also important to consider is which companies increase rates more for drivers with bad credit. The companies that are easier on drivers with bad credit as compared to those with good credit are Travelers, Progressive, Farmers, Nationwide.

Bad credit raises your car insurance rates by $165.39/month on average. 

Companies often look at particular parts of your credit report rather than basing their decision on only the score.

How does credit affect car insurance rates state-by-state?

The ability of a car insurance company to check your credit score is determined by your state’s insurance commissioner.

In most states, it is perfectly legal for an insurance company to check your credit.

In the states where it isn’t legal, such as California, insurance companies don’t run your credit to determine your rates. There additional credit-check car insurance laws in Michigan, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Massachusetts.

For all other states, expect a difference in rates for drivers with good credit and bad credit.

Bad Credit Car Insurance rates State-by-State Comparison
StateGood CreditPoor CreditHow much more you will pay
AK$2,314$3,35231%
AL$2,961$4,76938%
AR$3,390$5,07133%
AZ$2,956$5,00841%
CO$3,072$4,95638%
CT$3,653$5,95439%
DC$3,411$5,90342%
DE$4,564$7,96843%
FL$3,424$6,41147%
GA$3,887$6,47840%
IA$2,417$3,68934%
ID$2,298$3,64137%
IL$2,596$4,24439%
IN$2,763$4,12733%
KS$2,846$4,16732%
KY$3,997$6,87742%
LA$4,551$7,19737%
MD$3,447$6,10844%
ME$2,077$3,32338%
MN$3,340$6,18346%
MO$2,551$4,43142%
MS$2,882$4,71739%
MT$2,564$4,13938%
NC$2,935$4,04527%
ND$3,219$5,55742%
NE$2,714$4,33537%
NH$2,448$4,13741%
NJ$4,199$7,26042%
NM$2,984$4,11127%
NV$3,721$6,29941%
NY$3,152$5,95947%
OH$2,289$3,54335%
OK$3,253$5,35539%
PA$3,257$5,07536%
RI$4,258$6,06330%
SC$2,999$4,89839%
SD$3,059$5,23742%
TN$2,859$4,70939%
TX$3,014$5,18942%
VA$1,953$2,89533%
VT$2,309$4,54449%
WA$2,432$3,74635%
WI$2,401$3,77536%
WV$3,193$5,24239%
WY$2,423$3,78036%
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In New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, drivers with bad credit will pay car insurance rates that are up to only 30 percent higher than those that have good credit.

In Minnesota, Florida, New York, Vermont, drivers with bad credit will pay car insurance rates that are approaching 50 percent higher than those that have good credit.

If you aren’t sure whether this is a legal practice in your state, you can do a search for your state’s department of insurance on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, under the States & Jurisdictions map.

How can I save money on my car insurance rates if I have bad credit?

While poor credit is one negative factor in setting car insurance rates, there are some things you can do to offset the additional cost you may be paying. The first step is to speak directly to your car insurance agent or company and ask if you’re eligible for any discounts.

Some of the discounts that are available with car insurance companies include a good driver discount, good student discount, multi-policy discount, and pay-in-advance discount.

A multi-policy discount is available to you if you have two or more insurance policies with the same insurance company. The policies can be for two vehicles, one vehicle and a homeowners policy, or even a life insurance policy.

A pay-in-advance car insurance discount is what it sounds like. Basically, if you pay for your entire insurance policy upfront, whether for a six-month policy or a 12-month policy, you can receive a discount.

Finally, a good student discount is available to parents who have a teenage driver on their policy. If the teenage driver has at least an 85 average, the policy is eligible for a discount.

This is because students who have good grades are considered more responsible, and in turn, more likely to be good drivers.

How much is usage-based car insurance for drivers with bad credit?

Usage-based car insurance is an excellent way to prove to insurance companies that people with bad credit aren’t necessarily bad drivers.

Many car insurance companies offer a discount program that bases your car insurance rates on either driving habits or how much you drive. Some companies have both.

Best Companies with Usage-Based Car Insurance for Drivers with Bad Credit
CompanyDriving Device or Driving App Discount
Allstate20
American Family40
Esurance25
Liberty Mutual30
MetLife15
Nationwide40
Progressive20
Safeco30
State Farm50
The Hartford10
Travelers30
USAA5
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You can participate in these programs by simply plugging their device into your car or downloading and using their driving app.

How does credit score affect car insurance rates?

Are there car insurance companies that don’t check credit when calculating car insurance rates and issuing car insurance policies? Car insurance companies are all about risk.

They assume the risk that you may be responsible for a car accident while driving or incur some other type of loss involving your vehicle in exchange for a premium that you pay monthly or yearly.

Premium rates are set according to statistics that help determine what type of risk a driver presents. Many factors are considered when setting insurance rates. These factors include age, gender, experience, claims history, driving record, where you live, the type of car you drive, and more.

Your credit history is one of the newer variables that insurers now consider when setting your car insurance rates. How you’ve handled your credit in the past is a significant factor in how much you’ll pay for car insurance.

A visit to the website of the insurance regulatory commission in any given state, or a call made to the commission’s toll-free number, will also provide information about no credit check car insurance providers in your state.

However, many times the non-credit based car insurance rates are much higher than regular car insurance rates.

The companies using the no credit check tagline in their marketing campaigns are targeting a riskier and often more desperate audience.

Finding a provider that will cover them at anything resembling a reasonable rate may seem like a gift to these drivers.

Why does your credit affect car insurance rates?

Credit scores are used by most companies to set rates. Credit scores have a strong correlation with a person’s likelihood to make insurance claims.

In fact, people with poor credit scores are much more likely than those with good credit scores to make claims.

Since statistical evidence of this fact came to light, more insurance companies have considered credit scores as one of the factors when determining how much a client will pay for car insurance coverage.

Some industry experts state that more than 90% of companies now use credit scores in determining rates.

How much does my credit score weigh into my car insurance rates?

Each insurance company weighs rating factors differently.

While your driving record is the factor that is considered first, the other factors each have their own weight, which is assigned by the underwriters of each individual insurance company. This contributes to the variation in insurance price quotes from one company to another.

The use of credit scores for insurance rating is newer than other factors and therefore is not treated uniformly by all insurance companies.

Credit scores vs. credit-based insurance scores: What’s the difference?

Credit scores and credit-based insurance scores are two entirely different things. 

To any entity that looks at your credit score, even if it’s not a car insurance company, the credit score is only a prediction to show how likely it is you will go three months without paying your bills in the next two years. 

Credit-based insurance scores, on the other hand, are designed to predict whether or not you’re likely to file an insurance claim, so insurance companies likely look at the individual items on your credit report.

What do car insurance companies look for on my credit report?

Car insurance companies may look for particular things on your credit report rather than the entire credit score to determine your credit-based insurance score. 

Car insurance companies like to see the following on your credit report:

  • Long-established credit history
  • No late payments or past-due accounts
  • Open accounts in good standing

Car insurance companies don’t want to see the following on your credit report:

  • Past-due payments
  • Accounts in collection
  • A high amount of debt
  • The number of accounts
  • comparing total loans against your available credit
  • Not enough credit or history
  • Multiple credit inquiries

Other things they may see but not necessarily hold against you:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Repossession

As anyone who’s familiar with credit scores knows, there is a huge range of possible scores a consumer can have. Therefore, underwriters have a wide variety of possibilities to consider.

Do car insurance companies check credit to simply look at good credit versus bad credit? They often actually look at the details of your credit history, as provided by one of the credit reporting bureaus.

Two companies have designed models to help insurers use credit information for insurance scoring.

ChoicePoint and FICO have made it easier for many insurance companies to use your personal credit score, and some companies have their own system in place.

However, before they can access your information, they must get your permission.

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How do I improve my credit and get cheaper car insurance?

How can I get my credit score up to bring my car insurance rates down?

There are several simple ways to improve your credit score, although most of them take a long time to help.

The first way is to make any loan or credit card payments that you have on time. Most credit cards have set payment amounts that are fairly low, so making the payments on time will help raise your credit score.

Another way to help raise your credit score is to keep a low balance on your credit cards. If you have a large credit limit on your cards, it shows that you are responsible for your finances and your credit, and therefore will help keep your credit score high.

By taking small steps to ensure that you’re responsible with your finances, you can save money on your car insurance rates.

Does a good driving record help lower my car insurance rates if I have bad credit?

You may be asking, can my driving history lower my car insurance rates? In short, yes, and you can keep them low even if you have bad credit. Most car insurance companies will look very favorably on a safe driving record, and it may even offset any increase in cost from a poor credit rating.

If you haven’t had any accidents or moving violations over the previous three years, you’re considered a good driver.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

#1—Can you get car insurance with no credit?

Yes, you can. Most first-time drivers are trying to build credit, so they will likely not have any yet. Basically there are plenty of other factors insurance companies can use to calculate your rate, including your age and driving record.

#2—Does getting multiple car insurance quotes affect my credit score?

No, you will be happy to know that getting car insurance quotes won’t affect your credit score.

Online car insurance comparison tools help consumers view the differences between each insurance company conveniently on one website.

This makes it easy to see where the best car insurance rates come from, how they’re determined, and which factors might have caused a company to charge you an elevated rate for coverage.

After your ZIP code, you’ll be asked to provide information about yourself, your driving record, your vehicle, and the kind of coverage you want. The information will then be submitted to a variety of car insurance providers serving your area.

In no time, you’ll have the quotes you need to compare and contrast for the best price possible for the best coverage possible. Once you start comparing quotes, you’ll see for yourself how different companies treat the exact same information.

Do your homework and compare quotes carefully to make sure you get the best coverage possible to meet your needs. Get an online rate quote to get started shopping for cheap car insurance with no credit check and car insurance for low credit scores.

#3—What else do car insurance companies use in calculating my rates? 

Studies have shown that there is a distinct correlation between low credit scores and a high incidence of insurance claims. This correlation is the reasoning behind using credit scores as a car insurance rating criteria.

You may wonder which car insurance companies do not use credit scores, but the fact of the matter is that most underwriters will take this factor into account, along with information like:

  • Personal demographics
  • Where you live
  • What you drive
  • Your driving record
  • How your vehicle is used
  • Type of coverage you want

The use of credit scores in setting insurance rates is somewhat controversial despite its widespread use for many years.

However, due to consumers’ concerns, most states now have guidelines in place regarding how insurers can use credit information in rate setting. This provides reassurance for consumers whose credit information is not being used in a standard way throughout the industry.

#4—How does credit score affect car insurance claims?

The essential goal of an insurance agency, as stated earlier, is to assess risk and charge consumers a rate that compensates for the amount of risk they “inject” into the pool of drivers that an insurance agency covers.

Bad credit means that a customer poses more of a risk on paper, but that may not be the case in reality. After all, even excellent drivers can encounter unexpected financial hardship.

When applying for insurance, be sure to highlight anything that points toward a safe driving record.

This can include an accident-free history on the road, a defensive driving class, driver’s education courses, or any other way you can prove bad credit does not equal a bad driver.

In many cases, the insurance company will issue discounts for these things that will more than compensate for poor credit history.

#5—Does having bad credit make me a bad person?

No, Financial hardship happens. It’s important to examine all avenues when signing up for car insurance, as required liability coverage can be had for low rates even with a less-than-stellar financial history at the major credit bureaus.

Always compare rates, look into the services of a broker, and contact the state regulatory agency for more questions about how credit may, or may not, impact the amount that car insurance companies can charge.

With the right information and the protection of state officials and issuance brokers, consumers can enjoy discounts on their coverage even as they work toward a brighter financial future.

Remember that car insurance is not a monolithic industry.

Every insurance company offers its own unique assessment of the risk a driver poses to its corporate bottom line, and that can lead to big swings in policy coverage levels, monthly payment amounts, and the amount of emphasis placed on a poor or even sterling credit reputation.

#6—How do you read a credit report?

Your credit score is measured by independent organizations called credit bureaus. They take into account factors such as the following:

  • Your payment history
  • How much you owe
  • The amount of credit available to you
  • The length of time you have owed money

A good credit score means you can be counted on to fully pay your debt and also signifies your membership among the ranks of reliable and responsible citizens.

“Good” credit ratings are represented by a score of 700+, while scores below 600 are considered “poor.”

Credit ratings are usually determined by one of the three big credit reporting agencies:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

Every U.S. citizen is eligible for a free credit report once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com.

You need to know what your credit score is and what is on your credit report. The best way to know is by ordering a free annual copy of your credit report. By visiting the Federal Trade Commission website, you can find out exactly how to get your report by mail, phone, or online.

Be sure to thoroughly review your report, looking for inaccuracies and errors. If you find any errors, you will need to dispute them so they can be corrected or removed. In this way, you can improve your credit score as much as possible so that you can get the best car insurance rates.

You may also find that you have a poor credit score due to identity theft. In this case, you must report it and take the appropriate steps to repair your credit. You can find more information on the United States Department of Justice website.

In the case of bad credit for which you are genuinely responsible, learn all you can about how to improve your score so that by taking the right action, your insurance rates will be less impacted by it in the future.

When you’ve ensured that your credit score is as good as it can be, you’re ready to start shopping around. Be sure to check out a variety of different insurers and compare prices to make sure you get the best deal possible on your car insurance.

#7—How do you protect yourself and your credit rating?

If you are denied car insurance or given a higher rate because of your credit rating, your insurance provider must give you the contact information for the credit reporting agency that delivered your score.

Get in touch with the reporting agency to find out the details of your report.

If you request the information within 60 days of being denied insurance, you are eligible for a free copy of your report.

Once you have all the information at your disposal, you will be able to analyze the results so that you can determine what steps to take in order to improve your credit rating and lower your insurance rates.

Compare both no credit check car insurance quotes and traditional car insurance quotes using online tools that provide a wide array of competitive rates.

#8—Will my credit score affect my fleet insurance rates if I have a business?

Your personal credit score won’t affect your overall rates for your fleet insurance. However, who you choose to drive your vehicles will have an impact on your rates.

If you choose drivers with overall bad credit scores, this can cause your rates to increase.

In order to keep those rates down, you should choose a car insurance company that doesn’t request the social security numbers of your drivers.

Also, choose a company that provides drivers education car insurance discounts if you send your drivers to driving classes.

#9—How do I contact my state’s department of insurance?

Every state has a regulatory body that certifies individual insurance agencies on a yearly basis (or slightly less frequently).

This agency is responsible not only for documenting an insurance company’s financial position and its ability to pay on insurance claims, but also for documenting how an agency does business, how it determines its rates, and what its average rate is for consumers in that state.

Calling your state’s department of insurance is a great way to find out whether a company requires credit information to get a quote, and whether or not that information can be used to lower or increase rates.

Customer representatives who work for the department can even search through their database for companies that don’t base their policy rates on consumer credit histories and credit scores.

#10—Will a broker use my credit score?

Another way to potentially escape the damaging effects of a credit check is to use an insurance broker.

This is because, in many cases, the broker acts as a “middleman” and a payment processor, eliminating the risk posed to the insurance agency of a customer not paying their bill.

After all, the likelihood that a low-credit customer may not pay on their policy is one of the most significant reasons why higher rates are issued.

When seeking the service of an insurance policy broker, inquire as to how they handle payments and whether or not their service will allow an exemption from standard insurance agency credit checks.

Remember to be honest and open about credit problems, as these individuals are employed to help the consumer, not the insurance agency.

If you’re ready to buy bad credit car insurance, enter your ZIP code below to find rates in your area.