Our Credit Union auto loan calculator gives you the best rate. We created the Credit Union auto loan calculator when we found that other loan calculators only looked at commercial banks and ignore the favorable Credit Unions auto loans terms.
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How we learned about Credit Unions
When Chris and I started Carlypso, we went out to “change the way used cars are being sold”. We had big ambitions to make cars cheaper, be more transparent and treat customers well. Helping our customers get the lowest possible rates on their auto loans, we signed up a number of commercial banks and more than 100 California Credit Unions.
We quickly realized that the Credit Unions don’t do a good job promoting their auto loan terms (such as APR, membership eligibility, terms, stipulations and fees) and we found that most auto loan calculators therefore don’t succeed in presenting car buyers with their very best financing options. We couldn’t find any credit union auto loan calculator.
Most auto loan calculators are bad
No matter whether you’re financing a new or used car, auto loan calculators typically can’t present you the financing options with the best terms. Most calculators just don’t take the low rates and favorable terms of Credit Unions into consideration.
The U.S. counts approx 6,000 Credit Unions. All of these Credit Unions have charters that are supposed to directly support the immediate community. Since Credit Unions are very localized, shoppers looking for a low interest auto loan often don’t even know they exist.
Let’s look at the following example: imagine you have a 710 credit score, are looking to buy a car that was made in 2013, plan on fully financing the car for 60 months and reside in San Mateo county. You likely would not have guessed that you’re eligible for membership at San Francisco Federal Credit Union, which offers a rate of 2.64% versus the two local organizations San Mateo CU with 2.99% and MY CU with 3.99%.
What we learned from our Credit Union Auto Loan Calculator in San Mateo county
Credit Union rates in San Mateo
For a car that’s out the door $30,000, the monthly benefit of obtaining the auto loan through San Francisco Federal CU ($534 per month) vs. MY CU ($552 per month) is more than $18. Over the whole 60 months term of the loan, the savings some up to a total of $1,805 financing charges.
Credit Unions are not very progressive, yet. In fact, most of them work through physical retail branches and require an in-person visit for a simple loan application. Only the biggest Credit Unions have fully functional websites and online banking capability. In an effort to provide transparency, we collected physical rate-sheets from all the relevant Californian Credit Unions and aggregated the terms in the Credit Union interest calculator below.
Credit Unions offer the lowest APRs
U.S. Credit Unions have a community-support charter and are not-for-profit, cooperative and tax-exempt organizations. Credit Unions therefore have a lower cost-base than a commercial bank and pass on all those savings to the members.
Moreover, a lot of Credit Unions use auto loans as a means to acquire new members and don’t aim to make any margin off the loans. In fact, most of the Credit Unions barely break even on auto loans and primarily use the low rates and favourable terms to increase the membership base.
Our Credit Union auto loan calculator
We collected hundreds of physical rate-sheets and aggregated them in the following interest rate calculator.
Lower your rate even more
Here’s what’s really interesting and wildly unknown. Credit Union membership eligibility doesn’t always depend exclusively on where you reside. Some Credit Union’s charters will also allow for membership if you work, attend school, have an immediate family member or worship in their respective counties.
In other words, you may be able to get an ever lower rate than the above table shows because you may either work, attend school, have an immediate family member or worship in any of the counties below:
Going back to the example above, you already saved yourself $1,805 knowing that San Francisco Federal Credit Union will offer you 2.65% for your auto loan vs. MY CU with 3.99%. Should you either commute to work or attend a school in Alameda, you can save even more: in that case, you should choose 1st Nor Cal Credit Union, which is offering a rate as low as 2.24%, which translates into monthly payment of $529 and hence additional savings of $317 over the course of the 60 months.
In sum, our Credit Union calculator just saved you $2,122.
Final thoughts which Credit Union to get your auto loan from?
Other than the attractively low rates, let me conclude with two more benefits of a Credit Union auto loan. Typically, the stipulations for the auto loan are very generous. Most of our partners only ask for proof of income if your Credit Score isn’t prime. Lastlty, you can refinance or pay-off your auto loan at any time. Credit Unions don’t charge any early repayment fees.
Some Credit Unions will cut off another 0.25% – 0.5% if you set up auto-deposit or if you’re already a member. Unfortunately, we’re still working on gathering those details and will update our calculator shortly.
Looking for your monthly payment and financing charges on a specific vehicle and Credit Union auto loan, check out our out-the-door pricing tool and monthly car payment calculator.