Tag Archives: car buying

Car Buying Tips

Buying a new car doesn’t need to be like a game show. No choosing the right door and winning your prize – a deal on a good car! We are here to help make the car buying experience easy by outlining a few simple steps you should consider when buying a car.

Set your budget –  Decide how much you want to spend, what your monthly payment should be, and how you will finance your purchase. Don’t forget to get insurance quotes as well and include that in your numbers.

Get Pre-Approved by your Credit Union– Getting pre-approved by your credit union before sealing the deal. It takes the hassle out of guessing what you can and cannot afford, and takes out a lot of the guesswork and uncertainty. Plus, your Loan Officer will look over the purchase order prior to funding to ensure you are getting the best deal, and aren’t paying for unnecessary fees.

Choose the right car – Narrow the fields and choose the model that best serves your needs. Think about all the ways you plan to use the car, will it accommodate your family, and keep them safe.

Check reliability and ownership costs – Choose a reliable car that you can afford to own. Look into average repair costs and make sure it will fit into your budget.

Test-drive the car – Test-drive your top choices to see which car is right for you. Find a route that has a bit of everything such as hills, rough pavement, and curves to make sure it performs to your expectations.

Find the right price – Use price guides,  to see what other people are paying for the car you like. Make sure you accurately input all the options you want because in some cases all the little factors can affect the cars price.

Negotiate – When negotiating in person it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Just go slowly, and make sure you are understand the numbers. Ask for a breakdown of the car, and any additional fees before you agree to a deal. And don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement, or don’t like the way you are being treated.

Maximize trade-in value – Find out the value of your car, and get the most out of it when trading it in. Compare the numbers you find and the numbers the dealers are giving you, and try and find a fair price.


In the market for a new car? Don’t miss out on our Enterprise Fall Car Sale going on now! Connect with one of our Loan Specialists today to get pre-approved by calling 503.275-0300 Option 2, applying online, or stopping in today!

 

5 Reasons to Start the Car Search at Your Credit Union

Before you set foot on the dealer lot, you’ll want to be informed about your options. Here are 5 reasons why starting the search at your CU is the better deal… 

Lower rates.
Maybe you’ve come across a dealership offering 0% financing on certain cars. Seems like that might be the best deal, right? If you check out the fine print, it’s usually not. Dealers often use this low rate to tempt buyers onto the lot, and into their financing office. Once you begin the purchase process, and start to fill out their paperwork, you may not qualify for that special 0% rate. Dealers count on those buyers that don’t qualify for the 0% to balance out any loss they might take, and their non-qualifying rates are usually substantially more than the 0% offer.

Better prices.
GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance protects you against having to pay out your loan balance if your car is stolen or totaled. It’s a smart thing to add to your new car purchase, however you’ll want to be careful who you purchase it from. Some dealers require you to buy GAP insurance if you finance through them, and they can be much more expensive than what you’ll find at your Credit Union. The dealer is counting on you not to ask questions or to shop for a better deal. Compare USAgencies GAP product to the dealer’s, and you’ll find it’s a great deal. And we welcome your questions! Our mission is to Improve Each Member’s Financial Life. The more informed you are, the smarter a shopper you are, and the better a deal you’ll get.

Personalized service.
Members tend to have a much more personable experience at a credit union when compared to the financing department at the dealer. At your Credit Union, there are no high-pressure sales tactics- you can openly discuss any concerns you might have about your loan, talk about repayment options and review your personal financial goals with a professional that’s dedicated to your best interests. When you know your Credit Union offers quality loan products, fair pricing, and transparent lending policies, this can help alleviate some of the pressures of securing vehicle financing.

Educational resources.
Credit Unions have a ton of educational resources available to their members (usually for free) to help you make the best possible financial choices. From learning more about financing options, to calculating your monthly payment, to understanding additional insurance options—your Credit Union wants to do everything it can to help you make the best decision for your needs and goals. USAgencies Credit Union also has a whole host of financial education tools available to members online. From webinars, to articles, to interactive modules, USACU is here to help ensure you’re making an informed purchase. Feel free to browse our online resources anywhere, anytime.

Owned by YOU.
Unlike dealerships, or banks, which often create high-pressure sales goals and give bonuses for the loans they get approved, credit unions work for our members. We’re owned by our members, so we always have your best interests at heart. We aren’t trying to sell you products or services you don’t need, just to make a profit. We’re not-for-profit, so all profits made end up being returned to you in the form of lower rates, lower and fewer fees, and better savings rates. If you don’t like the pressure of working with lenders dealer financing company or bank, consider heading to your Credit Union first. We’ll steer you in the right direction.

 


Need one more great reason? Now through Oct. 31, you can save 1.00% on your auto loan rate during our Smart Savings Car Sale!

Questions about how to begin your search? Connect with us.

Spotlight: A Look Inside Enterprise

If you didn’t already know, USAgencies Credit Union has partnered with Enterprise Car Sales for years in order to bring our members great cars with great pricetags and great warranties! Here’s a quick Q & A with Austin Moothart, Enterprise Dealership Manager, on what it’s like to work for Enterprise, and what he likes most about his job…

Enterprise

What do you do at Enterprise?
I am responsible for creating great buying experiences for our customers.

What makes Enterprise different?
Enterprise is different than any other dealership because our program is set up to put the customer first with our no haggle pricing, a transparent buying process and professional sales consultants who focus on helping the customer find the right vehicle for their needs. It’s not about just selling a car to a customer, it’s about the experience. So many people have negative experiences at dealerships which causes them to not look forward to buying their next car. When customers buy from us, our goal is to create customers for life and create relationships where people are excited to send in their friends and family.

What are some of the added benefits of buying a vehicle at Enterprise?
Great people and service, 109-point vehicle inspection, 7-day repurchase program, free roadside assistance for the first year, 12-month/12,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, and a free Carfax. Plus, we offer Kelley Blue Book Trade-in value on all trades!

We partner with thousands of credit unions across the country who trust us to help their members find the right vehicle when it’s time.

Favorite thing about your job?
Enterprise is a company that respects its employees and working in the Car Sales division has allowed me to work with some amazing professionals who share the same values that I have when it comes to taking great care of people. I really enjoy having a sales team that works really hard every day to do the right thing and exceed the expectations of our customers.

Favorite customer story?
I don’t have just one favorite customer story to share. But I will tell you that my best memories are the ones of customers who come in nervous about buying a car and leave telling us how they will never buy a car anywhere else but here. Having customers smile, laugh and hug us afterwards is the best feeling because we know that they are genuinely happy with the vehicle they picked out. Knowing that my team was part of a customer’s positive buying experience is incredibly rewarding!

 


Know what else is great about Enterprise? Now through April 30th, you can get 1% off your qualifying auto loan rate when you purchase with Enterprise and finance with USAgencies! Terms and conditions apply. Learn more.

 

How to Find the Right Car for You

Shopping for a new car?

Shopping for a new car? With so many options, the choice may seem overwhelming. Here are a couple of questions that can guide you to just the right car for your needs and lifestyle.

Is it affordable?

No matter how much you love a particular car, if paying for it is going to leave you short on cash each month, then you haven’t found your perfect match. Generally, what you shell out for transportation — including car payment, insurance and gas — shouldn’t come to more than 20% of your take-home pay each month after you’ve paid your other bills.

That said, you need to weigh your existing expenses before deciding how much is manageable. Financial institutions such as US Agencies Credit Union can pre-approve you for an auto loan and may reward you for setting up e-statements and automatic payments, for choosing a fuel-efficient model or even just for making your payments on time consistently. You’ll also have the advantage of knowing exactly what you can afford before you shop.

What are your lifestyle considerations?

Once you’ve set your budget, narrow the possibilities by examining your needs:

  • Will you be traveling in winter conditions and benefit from all-wheel drive?
  • Do you commute long distances, making fuel efficiency a priority?
  • Do you often drive passengers and need enough seating for everyone? Would having four doors make life easier? What about room for child seats?
  • How much cargo do you carry, and which vehicle types have enough room for your stuff?
  • Do you love to work on engines, or do you need something with top reliability ratings?

Credit unions like USAgencies often provide other helpful auto services like GAP and MRC coverage, and debt protection. Some credit unions also partner with organizations that provide car-shopping help.

Choosing a car can be a hassle, but knowing the right questions to ask will put you in the driver’s seat on the way to a new ride.

By Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet

7 Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying a Car

Buying a car, especially if it’s your first one, is an exciting experience!

By handing you those keys, the salesman will be opening up a whole new world of opportunity.

But don’t hit the gas too quickly. Before you sign any papers, or even before applying for an auto loan, take a look at these seven car-buying tips.

  1. Set a car-buying budget, which should include how much you can afford on a down payment and for monthly loan installments. Factor in insurance as well.
  2. If you want to finance your vehicle but haven’t established great credit, consider getting a relative to co-sign your application. This can improve the chances of your loan request getting approved.
  3. Consider prearranging that loan before stepping into the dealership. That way, you’ll know exactly what your interest rates are and can select a vehicle that’s appropriately priced.
  4. With your budget in mind, make a list of cars you can afford. Remember: Practicality should trump flair. For additional guidance, take a look at auto buying assistance services like those offered by lenders such as USAgencies Credit Union.
  5. Comparison websites can give you accurate quotes based on a car’s year and model, so you can get a feel for market prices.
  6. If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, take the time to inspect any car that has caught your attention, keeping an especially close eye out for any easy-to-overlook imperfections like scratches and worn tires.
  7. Simply say “no” to unnecessary add-ons your dealer offers you, like rustproofing. Rust problems are pretty much nonexistent among newer cars nowadays, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Surveys.

These suggestions should put you on the right path toward purchasing a car that’s best for you. With the right game plan, you’ll be on the open road in no time.

By Tony Armstrong, NerdWallet