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Your Guide to Car Financing & Refinancing With a Credit Union

Your Guide to Car Financing & Refinancing With a Credit Union

Whether you need a loan to buy a new car or you want to save money by refinancing, consider working with a credit union. Credit unions offer great loan rates, more personalized service, and many other perks.

Want to know how the car financing and refinancing process works with a credit union? Here’s what you need to know:

Should you get a car loan through a credit union or dealership?

Because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, we are able to offer some amazing benefits, including competitive rates — lower than dealerships and even banks, on average. Here’s an explanation of how we're able to do this.

We are member-owned, so serving our members is our highest priority. We don’t take a commission on your loan (like a dealer) or pay dividends to stockholders (like a bank). We always give our members honest, straightforward financial advice and put their best interests first.

How to get your car loan through a credit union

First, if you’re not a member of a credit union, all you need to do is find one you qualify for. (Did you know that 99% of Americans are eligible to join a credit union?) Valley Credit Union is a great choice for anyone in the Salem, OR area.

Second, take a look at your financial situation. What loan terms would be ideal for you? How much do you want to pay each month? How soon would you like to have your loan paid off?

Third, get in touch with your credit union to talk to an expert about your loan options. Alternatively, many credit unions let you apply online. You can apply for a Valley Credit Union auto loan here.

If you’re buying a car for the very first time, here are some tips.

Car loan application with keys sitting on top

Is car refinancing a good idea?

“I can't afford my car payment. What are my options?” This is a common dilemma. Refinancing your auto loan can save you money by lowering your interest rate and/or the amount you pay each month.

If the terms of your current loan aren’t working for you, you may be able to get a better deal. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, since each person’s situation is unique. Refinancing is a good idea if you can find a new loan with terms that make sense for your schedule, budget, and long-term financial plan.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1

Let’s imagine that a fictional woman originally got a loan with high monthly payments and a short loan term. Unfortunately, she recently needed to take time off work, and now her monthly budget is tighter. The good news is, she has been able to significantly improve her credit since she got her original loan and she thinks she’ll be able to qualify for a better interest rate. If she can get that lower rate, a loan with a longer term may be a better option for her.

Example 2

On the other hand, let’s imagine a different woman who just got a raise and can now afford higher monthly payments. She would be better off shortening her loan term. She’ll pay more each month for a while, but she’ll save money on interest and her loan will be paid off faster. It’s nearly always beneficial to pay off your car loan as soon as you can, since cars depreciate as soon as you drive out of the dealership, and you want to avoid a situation where you owe more than your car is worth.

Take advantage of Valley Credit Union’s current promo!

  • 1% Cash Back on new vehicle, boat, and RV loans
  • Move an existing loan to Valley
  • Borrow funds for a new purchase
  • Cash Back is deposited into Ownership Account that earns 3.25% ($500 max)
  • No payment for 120 days if desired

We’re always available to answer any questions you have! Call us today at (503) 364-7999 or apply online now.

About the Author

 Justin Roberts, Vice President of Lending

Justin Roberts is our Vice President of Lending and has been in the financial industry for over 18 years. He is an Oregon State University Graduate and has just completed Western CUNA Management School. When he is not focused on helping the members at Valley, you will find him coaching his two sons and volunteering his time to help develop the youth in our communities through sports.

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