If you’re in the market for new wheels, you should also be cruising around for the best financing. There are several ways to pay for a car, but some are better than others.
Big banks offer auto loans quickly because they have large pools of capital, but don’t forget—banks are for-profit institutions that seek to make money off your transactions, so there may be more to the terms, fees and interest rates than meets the eye.
Meanwhile, car dealerships, which often work with banks to provide vehicle financing, also make decent profits from loans, so again, it pays to understand all of the loan’s terms and what calculations comprise the interest rate.
Then there is SECU. Good ‘ol SECU, which is always looking out for its members. They offer financing for new and used cars that is fair and affordable, simply because they want you to drive a new car without Debt Mountain always in your rearview mirror.
SECU has low fixed rates for both new and used cars, and will often finance 100% of the car’s value. They will work with you on a feasible down payment, and the same applies to a repayment plan. The approval process is quick and painless, and they also do pre-approvals, which can give you the upper hand at a dealership.
Your friends at SECU also offer a handy dandy Buy v. Lease Calculator, so you can figure out—in definitive dollars—whether buying or leasing is the right option for you. In recent years, due to rising car costs, leasing, which is essentially renting a car at a lower monthly payment, interest rate and repair costs, has become a popular alternative to buying. The biggest difference between leasing and buying is that at the end of your lease, you don’t own the car (you do, however, have the option to buy or lease again).
To access the calculator, click here and scroll down to the left side under “Helpful Links.”
Finally, since SECU loves to reward their members for just, well, being awesome, they will cut your auto loan interest rate by 0.25% if you a) sign up for direct deposit or b) automatic payments. Seriously, auto pay is the best. You never forget, you’re never late and it makes your credit score glow with a halo of dependability.
Did I mention SECU has great refinancing options too? Don’t keep getting crushed by a ridiculously high monthly payment or interest rate—see the folks at SECU and they will help you make a payment schedule that allows you to breathe a little easier.
So, ride away in a shiny new set of wheels and a clear conscience by financing your new car through SECU. You can apply for any of SECU’s loans online at http://www.secunm.org/loans-credit/auto-loans .