My Credit Union was sending me pre-approved auto loan notices for a long time. I only actively pay attention last year when I thought I was going to buy a 2014.
The Credit Union pre-approval showed up every 3-4 months. I watched as the rate dropped. For about the last year it was 1.79%.
I went into my CU branch in May to see how the process worked. Since I was already pre-approved there would be no hard inquiry on my credit. They would issue me a blank check for the dealer and I would fill it out there. That’s it.
It was surprisingly simple process.
My husband and I talked about it. I came to the conclusion that I would be ready to buy in September. That was the month of my 40th birthday and I knew some extra money would be in by then.
Then the CU sent me an offer I just couldn’t refuse. The new Credit Union pre-approval showed up. It was for 1.49%. I know the difference was only 0.2%, but I needed something to push me over to buying a new car.
This was a little over two weeks before the end of the month. The timing worked out perfectly.
I went into the CU Branch to talk with another loan officer. We talked again about how it worked. I asked questions and he cut me a blank check.
The CU officer also went over the GAP and bumper-to-bumper warranty. Don’t chagrin information you think you don't need. Write it down. I used it!
The warranty was from the CU Third Party and not the Manufacturer. The numbers looked okay. I was not really excited about it. But I took the information with me.
They were doing a special offer on GAP Insurance for $345. I didn't know if that was good or bad, but in dealing with the Credit Union over the years I knew they would not gouge me. This gave me a talking point at the dealer.
Would I go with another deal? Of course!
If the dealer would beat the math then I had no problem going with someone other than the CU. But I knew that I had a great deal in hand and I only needed to focus on car price in negotiating with the dealer.
This was my true power.