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Many of SLFCU’s branch lobbies have re-opened for member service with additional safety precautions. Kirtland and Livermore East remain closed. Learn more. To read more about how COVID-19 is affecting SLFCU, click here.

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Financing Your Vehicle4/27/2016

Buying a vehicle doesn’t have to be stressful. Once you’ve researched the vehicle that best meets your needs, follow these tips for a smooth shopping experience.

Get preapproved. You can get preapproved for an auto loan before you actually buy a car, giving you peace of mind and a head start at the dealership. A preapproval will help determine how much vehicle you can afford before you start shopping. A preapproval can also have a positive impact on negotiations since it shows sellers you’re a serious buyer.

Preapprovals from SLFCU are valid for 45 days, so even if the vehicle you are interested in doesn’t work out, you can keep looking without having to reapply.

Consider your shopping options. CU Auto Sales in Albuquerque works exclusively with credit union members, offering a friendly, professional experience. Employees do not work on commission – their goal is to help you get the best possible price on the vehicle you want.

If you plan to purchase through a private party, SLFCU helps you save time by filing the title, facilitating the payment of any applicable taxes and, in some cases, arranging emissions testing and collection of the emissions certificate. Ask a representative for details.

Agree on a purchase price. To get the best price possible:

  • Let dealers know you’re preapproved, but avoid telling them how much you’ve been approved for. Knowing the amount you’re able to spend may impact a dealer’s willingness to negotiate a lower purchase price.
  • Time your shopping when dealerships are slow or when they are trying to meet sales goals, such as the end of the month or quarter.
  • Don’t discuss a trade-in amount until you’ve settled on a purchase price for the new vehicle.
  • Shop around for add-on services such as maintenance or insurance plans. They might be available elsewhere for a more competitive price.

Decide where you want to finalize the sale. Once you’re ready to sign on the dotted line, you have options for where you want to complete the necessary paperwork. Dealers are able to complete financing with SLFCU for you at the dealership. You may also request to take the purchase agreement, signed by you and a dealership representative, to SLFCU and complete the loan financing at any of our branches or over the phone.

If you are buying from a private party, SLFCU will need a signed bill of sale and a copy of the vehicle’s current registration. You may choose to meet the seller at any SLFCU branch to complete this transaction with a Financial Service Representative.

Once the loan is complete, our representatives will work with you to sign the loan agreement and provide a check directly to the seller.

SLFCU offers a variety of resources to help you navigate the car buying process, including calculators, advice, and information on financing options. Call us at 505.293.0500 or 800.947.5328 with your questions, or stop by any branch.

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