Your credit union can do much more than just provide a loan for you the next time you buy a car.

Usually when you think of buying a new car, or a new-to-you used car, you think of how it will look, the gas mileage you will get, what color it will be, how fast it will, and maybe how many people it will, or in some cases, won’t carry.   However, when it comes to paying for that car, we often go up against the professionals after we have become emotionally attached to a particular car.  It isn’t uncommon to end up paying more over a longer period of time because they drop the monthly payment like you wanted, but have you pay it over five or six years instead of three or four.  Other times, extras such as under coatings or extended warranties are pushed as part of the package.  Using the resources at your local credit union, you can get rid of most of that hassle and pressure.

Choose Your Type of Car

First, decide what kind of car you want.  Not necessarily a specific year and model, but decide if you want a full size SUV, a small SUV, a mini-van, or a super cab pickup truck.  Then carefully check all models of that type and if you plan to sell the car in 5 – 8 years, check out the resale value as well.  By being flexible, you might find that instead of the $25,965 Ford Escape that you were originally looking at, the $24,375 Subaru Outback is not only $1,590 cheaper, bur also has top ratings for safety and resale value.  Your credit union can help you discover what the blue book value is for each of the cars that you are looking at.  You can also check out sites like Edmunds.com and kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book).

Get Pre-Approved at Your Credit Union

Do take the time to get pre-approved by your credit union for how much they will loan you for a car.  This helps you be able to stay on your budget and know that when you are shopping, you can look in a specific price range with confidence.  You should also find out what the phone number is that you can call at the credit union once you have the VIN on the car you finally decide on.  When you call, they will be able to tell you right then and there based on the VIN, mileage, and option how much they will loan on that particular car.  Feel free to let the dealer try to beat your bank’s best financing offer.  If they can, take it, otherwise, you already have the financing ready to go.

Consider Leasing and Buying Programs at Your Credit Union

If you plan to get a new car every few years, consider leasing.  Many credit unions have car buying and/or leasing programs which they have set up and which deal with the fleet managers or internet managers at the dealerships for you – instead of the pushy salesman.  Many times, they will solicit multiple bids, and then bring you the best offers to pick between.  Some even will deliver the car to you once you make the purchase.  Take advantage of these if you feel like your negotiating skills are not very strong.  Also, now beginning to appear are leases on used cars.  As long as you don’t have to have the latest model year, these leases allow you to have lower car payments on two to three years old cars which are still in great shape – a great alternative to get a lot of car at a low price.

Enjoy Your Great Deal

Owning a new car is a lot of fun.  It is even more fun when you avoid most of the headaches of the buying process, and know that you got a good deal on the car.  Use the many options available to you at you local credit union to help you create this kind of experience the next time you are ready to buy a car.

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