In these tough times it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain prime motor finance for people with a less than perfect credit history. A lot of the lenders have increased their scorecard and abandoned their rate for risk practices. This basically means that they have increased the credit score required to get credit approval. Before companies would advertise an attractive headline APR (annual percentage rate) but depending on your credit score they would decide if you would be offered that rate or a less attractive APR (annual percentage rate).In the sub prime motor finance sector the credit crunch has had damaging effect on the market. As a result of which, several of the major players have ceased trading or no longer approving new business. This has impacted on the mortgage, personal loans, in fact all the sub prime finance markets. It is probably more important than ever to know what your credit rating is and what personal information the credit reference agencies are holding. Once you know this information you can start to address the situation.The first thing you need to understand is what is a credit score? Some time this is known as credit rating. A credit score is a figure that finance companies and other lending institutions use to make lending decisions. They obtain all this information from credit reference agencies.The 3 main credit reference agencies used in the UK are Experian, Equifax and Call Credit. These agencies share information with finance companies providing the finance companies share account information with them. Such as if payments are being made on the due date or whether they are late or missed altogether. Credit reference agencies also hold electoral roll information such as county court judgments, bankruptcy and IVAs. They record previous searches information such as the number of times you apply for finance, what name you used and who you applied with. In a nutshell these credit reference agencies provide all the lending institutions with a comprehensive amount of information to enable them to make an informed lending decision. These institutions then set their own score based on that information and the information you supply in your application. There are anomalies however; the credit reference agencies do not share the information with each other. This means that not all information is recorded with all the agencies.If you do not have any problems getting finance this means you have a good credit score and you are known by the credit industry as a good credit risk or termed as a prime finance customer. If however you do have trouble and have been turned down you are a bad credit risk and are termed as a sub prime customer. This applies if you want to buy a sofa, contract mobile or a car. In fact anything you get declined credit for.A sub prime motor finance company is a finance company which provides car finance for people who have been turned down previously by the prime finance companies. Although you may want to buy or need a new car you should find out how bad your credit history really is. If your credit history is not really that bad you will still be able to get more favourable rates although a little higher than the mainstream prime finance rates. If on the other you have a bad credit history you still need to find out how bad your credit history really is to enable you to understand why you are regarded as a bad credit risk and therefore being charged at a higher rate. Once you have the all the information you need you should contact a sub prime motor finance specialist with a full range of sub prime motor finance lenders to discuss your individual circumstances in confidence.