Bob, Vice President, Lending

If you’re buying a car and can’t or don’t want to pay cash for it, you’ll need an auto loan. And since most consumers finance a car for between four to six years, you’ll want to make sure the payments fit your budget.


There are several options for financing your car. Investing time to research your options will help you save money.


Dealer Financing
Without pre-approved financing, you’ll have to meet and haggle with the finance manager after you choose the car you want to buy. Generally, deals that are financed at the dealership include a fee or communication for the dealer, often based on rate and term, so it’s very profitable for them to pair you with their preferred lender. Surprisingly, even 0% financing may not be the least expensive option for you. The cost of the car, the financing and value of a trade-in all are pieces of the deal and have to be considered together to protect your interest. Read When 0% isn’t the Best Deal  in the Auto Articles at left or use our 0% vs. credit union financing calculator to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.


Independent Lender
An independent lender, like a bank, credit union or loan broker, provides multiple options, so you may be more likely to find a better overall deal using outside financing. A savvy car buyer should get pre-approved through an independent lender before going to the dealership.


Stepping into the dealership with your financing secured will provide peace of mind. Since rates and terms are based on a variety of factors like your credit score, your loan balance and length of credit history, it is helpful to know exactly what you qualify for. After pre-approval, you’ll know your rate, payment and maximum loan amount. Knowing how much car you can afford can also help you determine if you should put money down for a lower payment or if you’d prefer to save your cash by financing more of the purchase price.


Auto Equity Option
If you choose to finance with Pacific Service CU, we have a unique financing option for California homeowners. You can elect to receive the tax advantages of a mortgage loan with the low, flexible terms of a vehicle loan. It’s easy and free of “red tape.” Through this program, your loan is secured with your owner-occupied home which may allow you to write off up to 100% of the interest you pay on your car, motorcycle, boat or RV loan. Please consult your tax advisor for details.


For an instant loan decision, payment calculations or more information, call our Loan By Phone center at (888) 858-6878.