The average American buys nine vehicles in their lifetime. Many buyers still forget to research the best way to finance a car. Some get their loans from credit unions, while others finance through auto dealerships to put them in the driver’s seat.
So, where should you get an auto loan? Consumer advocates agree, credit unions almost always offer the best financing for cars, motorcycles, RVs, and other vehicles. They tend to offer lower rates and fees, and will conveniently pre-approve your loan before you head to the dealer.
What to Watch Out For
Dealerships are offering zero percent interest promotions.
These offers sound like great deals, but often may only available for specific car models or buyers with excellent credit scores. If you qualify for one of those deals, you’ve done the research on other offers available to you, and you feel confident in the dealer’s option, go for it!
If you’re not sure what the best financing option is for you, stopping by to talk to one of our reps first arms you with a secure pre-approval plan and informed negotiating power before you hit the lot. This way, you know exactly how much you have to spend before negotiations begin.
Let’s look at some scenarios:
You want to pick a car and take it home that day. Why not just get the car and the loan from the same place?
For some buyers, this option is totally right for them! Again, it’s important to understand your options and find the right fit for you. If you start with a credit union, many have “preferred dealer” programs. With a quick call, you’ll find out what those preferred dealers are. When you buy from those dealers, mention you want to finance through your credit union’s program. This way, you’ve found the financing option right for you and still have the convenience of lenders and dealers that work closely together in your best interest.
A car salesman mentions the financial institutions they work with and can “shop around” to get you the best deal.
The reality is, a dealer’s job is to sell you a car. They have the power to shop rates for you, but so do you. Compare rates you find with those your dealer finds. If somehow, they find a better rate than you did, that’s awesome! Remember, you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. It’s important to know what’s out there and feel confident you’ve found what’s right for you.
A credit union’s mission is to help people year-round.
Many credit unions offer specific loans – with more favorable terms – to first-time car buyers or buyers with lower credit scores. Credit unions have always followed the mantra “people helping people,” for us, it isn’t just a seasonal special!
When you’re ready to finance a car, we’re prepared to put you in the driver’s seat.
To learn more, apply online or give us a call at 406.651.AFCU (2328).