Where can I get basic, straightforward car-shopping advice on the web?
Look no further. Your credit union is proud to present CU Auto Online, a resource for our members when entering the car market. Basic information can be found in our 'Advice' section, with new articles being added regularly. As always, we are open to your content suggestions. Check back often, as we intend to continually grow this useful member resource.
Why get my car loan at a credit union?
Nationally, credit unions are among the most competitive vehicle lenders. We're not-for-profit, so our focus is on member service, not the bottom line. That allows us to typically offer lower loan rates and fewer fees than the competition. We're also owned by the very members we serve, so you know you'll be treated like more than just a customer. You are an owner, and it is our goal to make you feel that way whenever we can.
At what stage of the car-buying process should I apply for my loan?
Though you can wait until the very last minute to apply for a vehicle loan, your best bet is to visit your credit union before you even begin to shop. The application process will give you a clear idea of just how much you can afford. Armed with this knowledge, you likely won't get talked into a vehicle that's out of your price range. If you have your auto loan pre-approved, you can often save yourself a return visit to the credit union. Ask your loan officer for more information about auto loan pre-approval.
Is applying for a loan on my credit union's website safe?
Absolutely. Your credit union uses state of the art encryption technology to ensure your loan application and personal information remains secure. Upon retrieval of this information, we will handle your web-application with the same confidentiality we administer to all personal documents.
The credit union's loan rate is lower, but other financing gives me lower monthly payments. Why is that?
It could be for any number of reasons, you are probably getting a lower monthly payment because you are stretching out the term of the loan. (ie: You are making more payments over the life of the loan) Before getting sold on a lower monthly payment, compare apples to apples. There may be some serious downsides to a loan that on the surface looks unusually affordable...And be sure to investigate the payment-lowering options at your credit union - Chances are, we have an option that will fit your budget, and won't beat you up in the long run.
What does the phrase 'upside down' mean when referring to owning a car?
A borrower is 'Upside Down' on their auto loan when they owe more than the vehicle is worth. This typically happens in the early months of a loan, especially when little or no down payment has been made. One of the key disadvantages of being upside down comes from an insurance perspective. If your vehicle is totaled, your policy may only cover the worth of the vehicle, and not necessarily the full balance of your loan.