by Dave Zwaska, VP of Lending
Purchasing an auto is a BIG deal! It’s important to find the car that’s right for your budget, but that’s not always as straight-forward as it sounds. While researching vehicles prior to shopping is a great first step, you also need to consider if any back-end items (defined in Section 4) may be needed.
Below are some tips and tricks to help you make your auto-lending experience through Guardian Credit Union as easy as possible!
1. FIGURE OUT YOUR BUDGET.
Many people go into the car-buying experience not truly understanding what they can afford. When looking at a member’s financial picture, our skilled lending staff reviews a member’s debt-to-income, employment history, value of collateral, credit score, and credit history. While all of these factors paint a well-rounded picture of your financial situation, only you know your actual budget and lifestyle. It’s critical that you take time to assess your budget on your terms to understand the monthly impact of your auto purchase.
2. SHOULD I BUY NEW OR USED?
There are definite benefits to both – it comes down to what you prefer.
New vehicles come with the reassurance of a new car warranty and the likelihood of no immediate repair costs. The downside is higher up-front costs since new vehicles are more expensive, and a vehicle significantly drops in value once driven off the dealership lot.
Pre-owned vehicles have already begun to depreciate (lose value), making the purchase price much less than a new vehicle. This immediate savings is great, but repair costs can arrive somewhat quickly since the vehicle is pre-owned. No one likes this kind of uncertainty, so there are back-end items you can use to off-set these higher, potential repair costs. By working with a member of our staff, you’ll be able to get all the tools you need to feel safe and confident with your pre-owned vehicle purchase! (See Section 4 for more details.)
3. HOW DO I GET FINANCING?
Here at Guardian Credit Union, your financing experience is our #1 priority! We want to make sure you’re comfortable throughout your entire financing journey as the process can very overwhelming.
You can rest assured that we have the rate and term to match your financial needs, and you don’t even need to have your car picked out to get started. You can simply choose to apply online, over the phone, or at any one of our branch locations. If you have specific questions, one of our friendly Branch Loan Representatives is there to help you every step of the way to get you in your new vehicle as soon as possible!
4. DO I NEED ANY BACK-END PRODUCTS?
Back-end products are additional financed products that will help cover your vehicle in a variety of ways, and Guardian Credit Union offers them all!
GAP insurance: In the event of a total loss situation, GAP insurance will cover the difference between what you owe and the replacement value of the vehicle. If you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth, this product is definitely beneficial for protecting your financial health. Plus it comes at a very reasonable cost.
Warranty programs: A warranty program will lower your potential repair costs on pre-owned vehicles for certain types of repairs, and these protections last for years to come! Although these warranty programs come at a higher cost, the benefit can far outweigh the costs of the repair.
Other back-end products: Unemployment protection, credit/life insurance, and disability protection safeguard your loan and credit from unfortunate circumstances.
Be sure to apply at Guardian Credit Union to begin your auto buying journey! You can apply at www.guardiancu.org, or call one of our representatives at (414) 546-7450.