Auto Archives - Common Trust FCU

What You Should Know When Preparing to Purchase a Car

Purchasing a car represents exciting and meaningful milestones for all buyers. Whether it is a first-time car purchase, an upgrade, or buying a new or used car for a loved one, it is natural to have questions about auto loan financing. Auto loans bridge making a large vehicle purchase possible over time. The experts at Common Trust Federal Credit Union shine a light on what you need to know when buying a car and what financing options are available to get you and your family on the move.

Timing 

Things are looking up in these times, and the automotive market appears to be making a solid comeback from COVID-19 with good deals blooming. At Common Trust, we encourage our members to shop around for a deal that suits your lifestyle and to pay particular attention to interest rates, contract length, payment amounts, and car value overall.

Budget Assessment 

From SUVs to Sedans to trucks, your car needs will require financing considerations ahead of time. Before you take out a car loan, we will help you learn how interest rates work to get the best deal on your loan. The best guide for your budget parameters is the 20/4/10 rule. We recommend putting 20% down, committing to a 4-year loan term, and ensuring that your loan does not exceed 10% of your gross annual income. When finalizing your budget, remember to factor in gas, insurance, and potential maintenance costs. 

Direct vs. Dealer Financing

85% of buyers elect for some form of financing. Both direct and dealer financing are available, and both have their unique advantages. Direct financing allows for more competitive rates as some institutions offer discounts to customers. Dealer financing may allow for flexibility if you are working on building your credit. Direct financing means your monthly payments are sent directly to the lender. Dealer financing means a dealer sells the loan contract to a financial institution, like a bank or credit union, and that institution then collects your payment. 

New and Used Car Loans

Common Trust offers auto loans for both new and used cars. We provide up to 120% financing on your new car or truck purchase for up to 7 years. For new and used vehicles, we will provide up to 120% financing of the NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) Retail value of your used car or truck purchase. We also finance vehicles up to 7 model years old, and in some cases, older. 

Get started

Now that you set your budget, gathered all of the necessary documents, and compared financing options, you are ready to apply for a loan. If you are not already a member, you will need to join Common Trust as a member before applying for an auto loan. Click here to become a member. If you are already a member, you can submit your application using your account number or Home Banking login information. 


We are committed to providing our members the opportunity to save in meaningful ways as we emerge from these challenging times. Common Trust is pleased to offer special rates as low as 1.99%* on auto loans until June 30, 2021. Click here to learn more about this Auto Loan promotion, and we look forward to assisting you.

Drive a Good Bargain: How to Get Your Best Auto Loan

Congratulations—your car search has come to an end and you’ve settled on a shiny new vehicle to call your own. Whether you choose to invest in the luxury or base model, neither decision will make a difference if you don’t have the cash to fund your new purchase. That’s where an auto loan comes in—to provide you with the money needed to buy a vehicle outright and avoid hefty dealership fees or interest rates. From purchasing a used vehicle for your newly-licensed teenager to budgeting for a better model, here are the top five strategies to finding an auto loan to fit your needs.

Search Around

Before you start test-driving potential models, always search around for running averages for interest rates, loan terms, and repayment options. Don’t go into the deal blind, and know what to look for to detect potential scams or hidden fees. Around the holidays or new year, loan promotions may be available with low-interest rates and flexible repayment options. Ask around—friends and family may know about discounts or promotions with their local bank. Give potential lenders a call to make terms a little clearer and ask any questions you need to get started. 

Understand Your Financial Standing

Before you even think about setting foot in a bank or credit union, understand your current financial standing to know what to expect before the conversation starts flowing. Important things to research are your credit score, credit report, and financial history. Knowing the range of these numbers can help you to understand what kind of rates you’ll be presented with when you start discussing. Some lenders will offer a discount, lower-interest rates, or a more flexible repayment period if you are in good financial standing. You may even get pre-approved if your credit is insufficient, eliminating the need for hard-inquiry credit-checks entirely.

Read All the Terms

When you sit down with a financial advisor to review terms, be sure to read all the fine print. Avoid loans that present surprise fees or interest charges, and stick to those that have a non-fluctuating period of repayment. Points like these will allow you to rest easy knowing that nothing will change over time and leave you underwater. Before signing anything, make sure you are fully aware and understand what you’re agreeing to.

Ask Away!

When it comes to anything financial, never be afraid to ask questions. This is a long-term investment, so make sure all terms and statements make sense and are clear in your brain. Financial advisors and advocates are here and want to help you make the best decision. If they’re a little sluggish in making your contract easier to read and understand, it may be time to find a new source of funding. No matter how silly the question may seem, don’t be afraid to perk up and ask—it could be the difference between short-term funding and a lifetime of debt. 

Not sure where to start looking for your ideal auto loan? For President’s Day, Common Trust is proud to be offering an auto loan promotion to get you in the front seat of your dream car. With a rate of 2.99%, you can focus more on enjoying your new ride and less on technicalities and fine print. Don’t miss out—this exclusive offer is only available until March 31st. Give us a ring or reach out via email today!

Start Your Engines: 5 Great Sites for Finding Your Perfect Car

Searching for a new or new-to-you vehicle can be daunting: Intimidating salesmen, pressure-filled decisions, and countless sunny hours wasted in the artificial AC of dealership waiting rooms are enough to put anyone off the process. And all those makes, models, reviews, and negotiations? Forget about it.

Thankfully, online resources are available to help you find the vehicle that best fits your lifestyle and budget before leaving the house — or even your comfy chair. In fact, Google estimates that nearly 50% of car buyers start to research their potential vehicle purchase online before heading into the dealership! Here is a list of 5 great sites to help get you started.

1. MyProductAdvisor.com

Looking to fast-lane your potential choices? This simple, effective quiz guides you to your best car match down to the make and model with targeted questions aimed at your needs. And, it offers instant customization with priority slide bars to help you weigh your answers based on what matters most to you.

2. CarMax.com

This all-in-one online auto dealer lets you digitally buy, sell, or trade in your car, but it also offers an extensive library of educational articles that can act as your own personal car-buying GPS, leading you in the right direction. It’s the perfect pit stop to get your car-search engine in top shape.

3. AutoList.com

Looking for your new ride while on the move? This mobile-friendly website and accompanying app give you on-the-go access to the databases of other car shopping sites and even local dealerships within a single user-friendly interface. You also get intel on price fluctuations, potential accident reports, and how long particular vehicles have been on the market.

4. Autotrader.com

Once you have a general direction of where you want to go next in your car search, this site can help you solidify your vehicle choices with advanced search functionality beyond just the make, model, and price. Parse results for fuel economy, navigation systems, keyless entry, etc.

5. KBB.com

Kelley Blue Book is a household name — and for good reason. This highly respected site offers the most accurate trade-in and purchase values for vehicles, giving you a solid idea of how much you should be spending on that new SUV before you start negotiations. You can also browse their extensive review section and even check your credit score.

When you’re ready to close the deal on your new car, Common Trust Federal Credit Union is here to help with our ongoing auto loan promotion! Get rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models, or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch to get started.


5 Reasons to Buy a Car this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is upon us which means it’s about to become one of the biggest weekends of the year for car sales. During Memorial Day weekend, auto manufacturers and dealerships kick off their summer selling season by showcasing their best deals and offering low prices. If your car is on its last leg or if you’re ready for an upgrade, this weekend is the perfect time to get a new ride. Keep reading for five reasons why this weekend is such a great opportunity to purchase a new car.

Dealers are clearing out inventory

Did you know that dealers start clearing out their car inventory for new models at the beginning of summer? That’s right, next year’s car models will begin to arrive at the end of the summer. This means that dealers are looking to clear out this year’s models quickly. You’ll be able to find great deals as well as have tons of inventory to choose from. Whether you want your car to have a red exterior or a tan interior, you’ll find what you’re looking for this weekend.

Great incentives

To get buyers into the store on Memorial Day, dealers provide tons of incentives. These incentives include lower-pricing, rebates, and low-cost financing. Some places even give impressive deals such as extended warranties, free oil changes, or a year’s worth of car washes. Make sure to do your research before heading into a dealership to find out what they are offering and what you can take advantage of.

End of the month deals

Every month, dealerships set goals for the target number of cars they aim to sell and offer sizable bonuses to the salespeople who can reach those objectives. When it’s the end of the month, dealers are more likely to negotiate a good price with you so they can reach their goals and receive their bonuses. Since Memorial Day falls at the end of the month, dealers are more incentivized to give you the price you want.

Upgrade your ride before summer

Summer is on the horizon, which means it’s almost the season of road trips. Memorial Day weekend makes for the perfect time to upgrade your ride so you’ll be ready for all of your summer travel plans. If your family is in need of some extra car space for your road trips, you can find a great deal on a bigger SUV this weekend. Purchasing a new car now will also give you the peace of mind that your car is safe and won’t break down in the 90-degree weather.

Buy before you need one

In general, it’s always best to be proactive and buy a new car before yours kicks the bucket. Even if you want to get every last mile out of your car, if you wait until it’s dead, you’ll be forced to get your next car quickly. When this happens, you run the risk of having to purchase a car for a much higher price. During Memorial Day weekend, you can take advantage of the low prices now instead of waiting until your car breaks down for good.
If you’re looking to take advantage of this weekend’s sales, make sure to secure your financing beforehand with an auto loan from Common Trust FCU. Our ongoing auto loan promotion is offering rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch to get started.

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