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How to Get a Car Loan from a Credit Union: 4 Things You Need to Know

Sep 3, 2021 | News

Montana is an enormous state connected by highways, suburban roads, and dirt trails. So, it’s important to have a reliable car if you plan to continue traveling throughout this great state. However, car loan rates in Montana can be steep, especially if you go through a bank or similar financial institution. 

At Vocal Credit Union, we believe you should have a car that fits your needs and lifestyle. One of the many benefits of a credit union, like ours, is how we approach loans, especially car loans. If you are wondering how to get a car loan from a credit union, here are the top 4 factors you need to know about the process and the benefits.

Members Only

The first step in getting a car loan from a credit union is becoming a member of a credit union. Credit unions’ services are only available to members of a credit union  So, as part of the loan application and approval process, non-members will need to apply for and be approved for membership.  Don’t worry—it is an easy process, and we will help you through the process. To learn more about becoming a member at Vocal Credit Union, call us today at 406.442.1421 

Smooth Application Process

Many credit unions, like Vocal Credit Union, offer online applications for car loans, so you don’t have to worry about carving out time to fill out the application in person. You can choose to fill out the application in person if you are more comfortable doing so. Filling out the application in person can be helpful if you have questions along the way and need additional assistance from an experienced loan officer.

Once the loan is pre-approved, a loan officer will provide you with the necessary education to make sure you get the vehicle that best fits your needs at the right price from a dealership. It’s important that you purchase a car that works with your current budget and has a value that holds up over time. This makes it easier to trade in in the future. After you provide proof of insurance and income, a loan officer will reach out to you to finalize the loan, discuss how much you qualify for, and your interest rate. All that’s left for you to do is sign the loan agreement.

Lower Interest Rates, Fees, and Minimums

Those asking how to get a car loan from a credit union often worry about interest rates and fees. One of the best benefits of getting a car loan through a credit union is lower interest rates. Because credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by members, they reinvest profits in their members. This means you can typically get better rates and reduced fees.  Banks, in comparison, are owned by shareholders, so they make a profit from loan fees and rates. Car loan rates at credit unions can be 1% to 2% lower than the rates offered at banks.

Better Approval Odds

While banks and similar financial institutions turn people with bad credit scores away, credit unions allow more flexibility for those seeking car loans with bad credit. Yes, credit union loan officers look at a member’s credit score and history. But they make lending decisions based on their understanding of what impacted the credit score over the years, not just the score. Credit unions typically have more personalized, community-oriented services, so they focus on building strong relationships with members. Credit unions usually have more trust in a member’s ability and commitment to making payments, which also increases the likelihood of being approved for a car loan.

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply for a car loan at a credit union, the team at Vocal Credit Union would be happy to answer your questions. When you come in or call for a car loan, one of our loan officers will lay out the options available to you, what works with your budget, and how we can start a sustainable payment plan. We want you to get the car or truck best suited for your lifestyle, so we offer low-dollar car loans custom-tailored for your needs. To speak with a loan officer today, reach out to us at 406.442.1421

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