Buying A Car Soon, Financing Advice?

Buying car soon, financing advice?
My girlfriend and I have been talking about buying our first car in the fall… we would like to start saving money for a down payment but are not really sure what our target should be… We would like to get either a Mazda3 or Mazda6 but my credit is not good… im just finally getting out of 3 years of debt, which has resulted in my credit card being taken away… is 10 months too short to do a major repair on my credit?? As well my girlfriend has very little credit as she has just finally got her first bill in her name and has not had credit before… we are looking at getting her a secured credit card to help build her credit…

What are the chances of us being able to secure a loan for a car? Should I apply? my girlfriend or jointly? and is a Mazda out of our price range?? (Meaning do you think its possible we could secure a car loan for around $ 13,000) Together we make about $ 50,000 a year.gross.

Thanks for your advice!

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