What Are the Features of a Credit Union Auto Loan?


Credit unions are a great resource for individuals who are interested in auto loans, because the rates they offer are competitive and accessible. A credit union auto loan is among the best on offer across the lending spectrum, predominately because of the rate offered, but also for a couple of other reasons.

Credit unions are less about making money and more about facilitating financial services to its members. Becoming a member of a credit union is a bit like buying a stake in a company. When you become a member of a credit union, you’re not only “buying” a share in the institution, you’re gaining a valuable voice in the procedures and goings-on of the branch. You’re able to vote on measures that directly affect the community working in conjunction with the credit union, and because a credit union is a nonprofit financial service provider, the rates associated with loans and accounts vary greatly from the traditional banking entity.

Lowest Interest Rates

Credit unions are generally the go-to lender for auto loans. Between low rates and personal service, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better all-around loan for your auto purchase. With a lower payment each month and less interest over the course of the loan, it makes a lot of financial sense to seek out a credit union auto loan.

A Whole New Meaning to Customer Service

Between the ease of joining a credit union and the great customer service you’ll get, there isn’t anything quite like applying for an auto loan at a credit union. Once you’re a member, you can apply online or over the phone or sit down with a teller or agent and start the application process. While the in-person process may take longer than it would online, you’ll be easily able to answer all the questions you may have through the attending agent.

Much of what you do with representatives at the credit union will be more straightforward than it would be at a bank. There are no hidden fees, and the rates offered will be more competitive. You’re treated like a member, and that means more personable and personalized services, instead of just being one of many account numbers at a bank or other lending institution.

More Convenience Around Your Loan

One major perk of having a loan at a credit union is that there’s a little more flexibility surrounding the loan. You may be able to request a smaller amount of money overall than you’d need to at another institution. The length of the loan could be shorter, and while that means a higher monthly payment, the overall interest you would pay would be less than the longer-term loans offered (or required) by other lenders.

Credit unions will also take your situation into account. Let’s say you hit a rough patch in your life and need to make the loan payment a little later than you normally would. At a credit union, you’re more likely going to have a bit of flexibility than you would at a bank, where everything is much less forgiving and often more penalizing.

A Not-for-Profit Environment

This feature of a credit union (and the auto loan you hold there) can make all the difference in the world. At alternate financial institutions, you’re often charged for services that many would consider being basic components of holding an account at the institution. There’s usually an ulterior motive with offering you things that “help” you or benefit you or your business or your loans, and at a bank or other for-profit financial institutions, that equates to more fees and charges for you and more money in their pocket.

A main feature of having accounts or loans at a credit union is that you’re empowered without additional charges. That is, you, as a person or business or loan-holder, are treated like a person and not just as another way for them to make more money.

Repayment Features

Many credit unions are keeping up with the times and the advancements in technology. What this translates to for you, the consumer and member, is the option of making mobile and online payments for your loan. The ease that comes with having your auto loan at a credit union cannot be overstated.

Additionally, another feature that a lot of credit unions offer is the ability to finish paying down your loan early without having to make any concessions. Auto loans are generally set up to last for a certain duration of time, and early repayment can incur extra charges so the lending institution can still make enough money from the loan to pocket the little extra. Many credit unions won’t charge you a fee or penalty if you pay down the loan before the predetermined end date.

This can save you the hassle and worry about the timeline of paying down the loan and motivate you to pay it as quickly as you can comfortably afford. Remember, by paying down the loan as quickly as you can, you’re saving yourself the interest payment that many other lenders rely on. Credit union auto loans are definitely the best way to go.

Extras Available on Some Auto Loans

Depending on the credit union you work with, you may even be able to sign up for discounted auto insurance or other coverage to protect your wallet and make sure the loan is still paid. Some credit unions will offer an additional service that covers loan payments, if you opt for the insurance, should something happen that would prevent you from making multiple loan payments.

Additionally, there are some programs that go even further to offer mechanical service insurance should you need to take the new vehicle into a mechanic. Ask your credit union about some of the extras they offer auto loan holders. The experts at Central Willamette Credit Union will be able to detail all you need to know about their auto loans and the support and programs they offer. Get in touch with them today to find out the best way to go about getting yourself into a new car.