Auto loans are hard to get for people who are struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, without a car, these people have even less of a chance of making ends meet. If you fall into this category of "working class poor," here are a few unusual sources for auto loans and free cars.
Ways to Work Program
It might be called something different in your state, but the program is essentially the same. Ask a social worker in the Department of Human Services about this program in your area. Usually, if you meet the income guidelines and you lack a vehicle to help you get to work or a work training program, this program provides you with an auto loan for up to $4,000, which would help you get a relatively cheap, secondhand vehicle.
Many church programs offer cars to missionaries and people in need. They take a fairly decent, older model vehicle, repair and replace it so that it is a safe, drivable vehicle, and then give it to the next person on their list. Not all churches participate in this type of program, so you will have to ask your church and the surrounding churches to see which ones offer this type of vehicle assistance.
Auto Loans for Veterans
If you served in any war, the government has a program that helps vets with an auto loan. The loans are extremely low to no interest, making a car very affordable. Talk to your military branch representative to find out how and where you can apply for this type of loan, and what kind of documentation you will need.
General Government Loans
The U.S. government offers hundreds of loans for any purpose, from education to research, and housing to cars. Usually, you can apply online or through a government loan broker. The site and/or representative searches through thousands of loan programs and lenders to find the loans that will work for you. This is kind of a nice resource, given that the broker does all the work and the lenders are guaranteed to make you a loan offer.
Public Service Awards
No, you cannot simply pick up trash along the side of the road and get a car. These programs require a year abroad, acting informally as ambassadors of good faith and works. You get a car all through your travels, PLUS you get to travel as you help others and are fed by them. It might be something worth considering if you are also out of a job and have no prospects.
Contact a lender, like Spire Federal Credit Union, for more help.