4 Documents You Need for Your Car Loan

young couple taking selfie in front of new car

You've taken the test drive, fallen in love, and negotiated a great deal for the car of your dreams.  What documents do you need to get your loan and drive away happy?  

Even when you're pre-approved for a car loan, you need to bring in these four documents to your credit union to complete your loan and get your money.

    1. Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S) or Bill of Sale

Your dealer will give you a Purchase & Sale Agreement when you agree to buy the car. If you've purchased a car from an individual, you should have them write up a bill of sale to bring to the credit union. For a bill of sale to be legal in Massachusetts, it must include the following elements:

  • Name, signature, and address of the buyer
  • Name, signature, and address of the seller
  • Date of purchase
  • Purchase price
  • Vehicle identification information (VIN), plus make, model, and year of vehicle


   2. Registration and Title Application

The Registration and Title Application (formerly RMV-1) is a two-page document in Massachusetts that's eventually filed with the RMV.  Both pages must be completed in full and stamped by your insurance company or agent (registration transactions only). If you purchased your car from a dealership, they will fill the form out for you. When you're purchasing a car from an individual, you will need to ensure the form is filled out accurately because it will be rejected by the RMV for any of the following reasons:

  • The form is not printed on 8 ½ x 11 white paper
  • The form is printed on color paper
  • The form is printed on card stock
  • The form is not signed in the appropriate places by the registered owner(s)
  • The form is not legible due to ink smears or low toner marks

   3. Insurance Binder

An insurance binder is a legal agreement issued by either an agent or an insurer to provide temporary evidence of insurance until a policy can be issued. The binder can be faxed directly to the financial institution.

    4. Certificate of Origin (New) or Copy of Title (Used)

When a vehicle is first manufactured, there is no title issued to identify ownership of the vehicle. Instead, manufacturers create documents known as "certificates of origin" to identify that the product is a newly manufactured vehicle. The certificates of origin are intended to serve as temporary ownership documents.  When you purchase a new vehicle, the vehicle will be titled for the first time.

If you are purchasing a car that already has a title, you will need a photocopy of both the front and back to show your lender. They will need to see the title to ensure it's not a salvage vehicle.

When you've found that right vehicle, come in with these four documents and you will get your money the same day!


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About Author

Bill Burpeau
Bill Burpeau

Bill Burpeau is a Financial Wellness Coach at Hanscom FCU. As a Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor, he is an enthusiastic advocate of everyone being engaged in their financial health, educated and empowered to make the best financial decisions for themselves every day. He constantly studies and is up to date with the latest financial management concepts and technology. Bill is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Business Management and served in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Officer.

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