Doing This Before Car Shopping Could Save Hundreds

Doing This Before Car Shopping Could Save Hundreds

Getting pre-approved for a car loan at BECU could save you hundreds – if not thousands – on your next car purchase by knowing before you go.

Knowledge is power – this holds true in the car industry, too. When you're ready to buy your next vehicle, knowing how much you can spend and how far your dollar can go puts you in the driver's seat.

Get Pre-Approved

How much car can you buy if you don't know how much you can afford? Head into a local branch. At BECU, you can even make an appointment online. They'll work with you, review car-buying calculators, current interest rates based on an estimated credit score, and break down your potential car payment.

How Does This Save You Money?

  • Avoid temptation – Set your car search to your exact budget. Find a car that works with your budget, rather than forcing your budget to work with your car.

Example: You can afford $250/month, but the car you found is going to cost $340/month. Going that high means sacrificing daily coffee stops. You vow to brew from home, but eventually revert back to your daily caffeine stop. Now you need to find the extra $90 elsewhere. Worth it?

  • Adjust your search – BECU offers new-car borrowing rates on used cars up to two years old. Buying a slightly used car at a new-car rate could net major savings.
  • Go neutral – Work with your financial institution, rather than someone affiliated with the seller, to help reveal the true cost of a vehicle and how much that $8,000 price tag looks on paper after you add up interest, sales tax and fees.
  • Step back – Analyze your monthly payment away from a pressured environment and decide if you need to scale your budget back.

You're bound to find a fantastic vehicle from a dealer, private party or even an auction site. Ensure that no matter where you buy, your budget is priority number one.

Understand Your Credit Score

When you're pre-approved, a big part of the decision is your credit score – a number based on your past payment history, current outstanding loan balance you have, and additional factors that BECU does not know. Members at BECU have free access to their credit score in Online Banking when they log in to their account view.

Use Search to Your Advantage

There are numerous car-buying apps, search websites and buying options that allow you to research local and even national inventory.

Having so many search tools available reveals just how many vehicles are coming to market every day. If the car you want isn't available now, it's bound to show up sooner or later.

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