The Auto Loan Center at CU Advantage

Helpful Tips

Be Patient
At the beginning of the new model year (typically in the Fall), dealers look to make room on the lot for the shiny new cars. This is your chance to get a good deal if you’re OK not having the very newest model.

Get Pre-Approved
Let us get you pre-approved for you loan so that you will know what you can afford and how much you will be paying each month.

Find the Average Transaction Price
Knowledge is power … and extra bucks in your pocket.

You can compare average transaction prices with the sticker price on the vehicle you’re considering at

Find the Dealer Invoice Price
Go to and enter the make, model and trim level. You can even click “Incentives and Rebates” to see what manufacturer offers are out there.

Forget Monthly Payments
Do not negotiate with a dealer on monthly payments. Dealers often will extend loan terms to get you to the payment you want instead of giving you the best deal on the vehicle.

Instead, negotiate price only and let the credit union get you the best loan deal.

Work Your Trade and Purchase as Two Separate Transactions.
Lumping the purchase and trade-in together provides the dealer the opportunity to give you a lower trade-in value and still look like they are giving you a good deal.

Be Prepared to Walk
Any price near or at invoice provides a profit to the dealer. If the salesperson leaves the room to, “get my manager,” and returns with bad news, leave and find another dealer.

Create Competition
A vehicle is not tied to a specific lot. Find the wheels that you want, test drive it, then leave immediately and get online.

Contact the internet managers at several dealers and ask for bids. When they contact you, let them know that you are shopping around and ask for their “best offer.”

Don’t Forget Insurance
Call your insurance company and get a quote on the cost to insure the vehicle you want.

Consider GAP
The amount you owe on your vehicle and the amount it is worth usually take very different roads.
GAP will assist you in covering the distance between them.

Most types of vehicles are eligible and you can generally include GAP coverage in your vehicle loan payment.
Click here to learn more

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