Having a job is one of the most important factors that banks look into when you're applying for a bad credit car loan. If you're recently out of work, try to get back into the workforce straight away. Any 'down time' that you think you need to recover from job loss is simply a gap in your employment history. On the other hand, if you just got yourself part-time or full-time work, it is best to wait until the initial probation period is complete before applying for a loan (usually 3 months). Also, if you have a casual job it doesn't necessarily mean you are not eligible for a loan. Being in the same casual job for an extended period shows you are committed and have stability.
Bank account management
General housekeeping of your bank account is a great way to speed up a finance application. Having clean and punctual bank statements makes it easier for lenders to check over your history. If you have been putting away money every week or month, even small amounts, it will demonstrate you have the capacity to slowly pay off a loan. Try not to overdraw your account either. These are the 'red crosses' of the lending world. Presenting bank statements for the last six months with no overdraws, and some small savings, will always get you a giant green tick.
Lenders like seeing stability. If you have other existing loans or mobile phone bills, that's usually okay, but you will need to present a good track record and show that you have been making regular payments. In fact, having an up to date mobile or internet bill can boost your credit rating. Your living arrangements are also taken into consideration during an application. For example, moving around a lot and jumping between renters is not a good idea. Conversely, if you've been living in the same arrangement and paying the rent every month, this will work in your favour. The same can be said for credit cards or even mortgages. Most of us have debts to pay off, but if you can't keep up with them it will tarnish your chances of being approved. Keep everything as stable as you can.
If a loved one or family member can understand your situation and sees that you are doing your best, and trusts you, they might be willing to co-sign an agreement. Basically this means you are both applying for the loan with you being the main payer. Doing this does put a lot of pressure on your family or friend. If you are unable to make payments the cost then falls onto them. From the bank's point of view though, it simply bolsters your ability to pay back the loan and could speed up the application process and increase your chances of being approved.
Lastly, being honest is the best way forward. Speak with your bank or lender and provide them with clear and accurate details. It might seem intrusive to let a stranger know of your financial hardship, however, most lenders are there to help you. The more they can understand about your situation the better. Being honest not only relieves stress for you, as you aren't constantly hiding things, it will also help the lender devise the best plan for your needs and one that you will be able to manage.