Income and personal expenses determine amounts banks are willing to finance for you. As a general rule, 6x your gross monthly income is a fair maximum in most cases.
For example if you work full time for $14 per hour, your gross monthly income is about $2400. In this case, figure that vehicles priced around $12k or less will work. Many 1st time buyer programs cap out at $15k so we try to keep a large stock of newer year vehicles in the $8-13k range.
Remember that lenders also look at your expenses to determine payment affordability so rent/insurance/ expenses on your credit will be a factor in a final approval. Neither All American Motors or our financing sources want to set a customer up for failure with a payment that is too high based on leftover income.