InTouch Credit Union Auto Loans Keeps Texans Saving Money
With so many financial institutions in the state of Texas, drivers can understandably feel overwhelmed with the car-buying process. Fortunately, InTouch Credit Union provides financing services to state residents who are looking for the most financial benefit, including competitive Texas auto loan rates.
In order to give borrowers an enhanced understanding of InTouch Credit Union’s auto loan option, Texas Banking Rates sat down with the well-renowned institution to learn more.
Texas Banking Rates (TBR): Do you offer free auto loan quotes? If so, what are the steps a consumer would take to obtain a no obligation quote?
InTouch Credit Union (ITCU): Both member and non-members can apply for all the various auto loan products InTouch Credit Union has to offer for free, without any obligation. The online application for an InTouch Credit Union auto loan can be found on the institution’s website.
TBR: What are typical turnaround times for a car loan application to be processed and funded?
ITCU: InTouch Credit Union values members’ time; however, ITCU also works to give every new Texas auto loan application the careful review and consideration that it deserves. The average turnaround time for a loan application submitted within normal business hours is approximately 30 minutes once the application has been received by the underwriting team.
However, applications submitted online can average a bit longer, due to the verification processes required. InTouch tries very hard to give all loan requests every opportunity to be approved. Funding for auto loans is generally done on the same day it has been approved, given that members have already provided the required documentation necessary to close.
TBR: What are your top tips for buying a car locally?
ITCU: Get pre-approved before visiting a dealership. Knowing that you are pre-approved, as well as what your rate will be, will force your salesman to cut straight to the chase. Pre-determine your maximum borrowing limit and how many months you’d like your financing term to be, so you can estimate your monthly payment in advance.
Don’t get herded into a payment. Avoid letting the dealer utilize their own financing, without knowing the rate and term, too. Compare all the details to what you can get at the credit union. Don’t accept a rate that’s even a little higher just for convenience sake. That mistake could translate into hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan.
Research the vehicle in advance. Car buying can be a very emotional experience and new car fever can easily diminish your usually sharp instincts. Don’t wait until you visit the dealer to learn what current vehicle prices should be; utilize websites like Kelly Blue Book or NADA to get retail and invoice pricing, current rebates and special financing deals. Again, this will place you in a position of knowledge and power when negotiating pricing at a dealership.
Ask for the fleet sales department. Try calling the dealer and asking for someone who is in fleet sales or who specifically works with credit union members. Most dealers have salespeople in this role. Even if they don’t, ask for the dealer to provide you with their best price or pricing over invoice (for example: 1% over invoice).
Calling ahead will save you time and gas as well as allow you to make an informed decision, without all the hype that can come when you finally visit the dealer in person. Please note that some dealers are reluctant to provide specific vehicle pricing over the phone for fear that it will be misunderstood as the price for all cars on the lot of the same make and model. However, if you are able to get a general idea of how a dealer prices their vehicles over the invoice price, you can get a good sense of what a car will cost when you pick out your favorite one.
TBR: How can a person determine how large a loan he/she can afford?
ITCU: InTouch Credit Union offers a couple different free options, depending on what is easiest for you.
First, you can always utilize one of our self-help online auto loan calculators without obligation. This tool allows you to do limitless calculations. You can start with a monthly payment and determine the maximum amount that you want to borrow, or you can start with the loan amount and then work toward a monthly payment.
If calculating it yourself is not your thing, complete our application and let our staff help you do the numbers. Generally around 15 percent of your gross monthly income is considered a good rule of thumb for determining your ideal car payment.
Either way, InTouch Credit Union is always happy to help you get into the vehicle of your dreams!
TBR: Are there any options for someone with a car loan that’s too expensive?
ITCU: During the car-buying process, it is not uncommon for buyers to get caught up in the experience and get stuck with a higher rate than expected. If this has happened to you, please consider giving InTouch Credit Union a call to see if we can refinance your vehicle at a better rate. ITCU can refinance used cars, regardless of the year or model, as long as the vehicle has less than 125,000 miles.
TBR: What’s the difference between an auto loan from a credit union and an auto loan from a bank or finance company?
ITCU: In most cases, the everyday auto loan rate of a credit union can beat the interest rates offered by a dealer financer or bank. Even when a dealer offers the choice of a 0% rate or rebate, you will often be better off by taking the rebate choice and financing through a credit union.
Additionally, a bank or finance company may charge you a fee if you decide to pay your Texas auto loan off early. InTouch and many other credit unions will not charge you such a fee. Finally, you don’t just get a great interest rate at a credit union, you get a life-long commitment to great products and services, as well as a staff that really does care about their members’ financial well-being.