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This Checklist Makes Buying a Used Car Hassle-Free

By A.J. Watts, Member Development Specialist, Affinity Federal Credit Union

Getting a Credit Union Car Loan Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Buying a car is a big commitment, but you don’t always have to splurge for the brand new model. If you’re looking for a reliable car to get you from point A to point B, a used car could be just what you need. Whether a car was returned after a lease expired or because its previous owner wanted an upgrade, there are an abundance of options to fit the needs of you and your family.

A credit union used car loan may be just what you need to get on the road, but the process can sometimes be a bit stressful. Utilizing the checklist below may help make your car shopping experience much smoother.

1. Get Pre-Approved. If you’re looking to apply for a credit union used car loan, you’ll need your financial house in order. Know your credit score and look over your monthly finances to understand what price range (and monthly payment) you can comfortably afford. From there, you’ll have the information you need to apply for a pre-approval with a credit union used car loan, which can help you shop more competitively.

2. Make a checklist. We all have specific wants and needs when it comes to our vehicle. Think about what you’ll be using this car for and create a checklist of what you need, want, and even more importantly, what you don’t need. Some cars come with a lot of bells and whistles but fall short of basic needs, including reliability and safety. A checklist can help you find your perfect fit.

3. Do your research. You may have looked up information on your ideal make and model, but have you done the full breadth of your detective work? Be sure to read industry and consumer reviews to uncover possible defects and common problems. You may even uncover some hidden benefits! Affinity’s Auto Solutions page is a tool to utilize to find a used car by searching dealers in the area. You can check car values as well as research essential insurance coverages to help protect both your vehicle and your financial future.

4. Request a vehicle history report. You’ve found a used car in your ideal make and model, and the test drive went well. Naturally, it’s time to take the car home, right? Guess again. Never agree to a used car purchase without the vehicle history report, which reveals title problems, ownership history, service points and previous accidents. A current CARFAX report can be available from dealers or ordered online. CARFAX offers one of the most comprehensive car reports available to purchase, which is pulled from a database of more than six billion car records.

5. Take your time. Rushing large purchases often results in buyer’s remorse. Avoid this by taking your time and considering your options for a more confident decision. Remember, there will always be used cars out there. Don’t feel the need to jump on the first used car you find unless you’re positive it’s the right one for the best price.

Utilizing this checklist could help put you well on your way to receiving your credit union used car loan and purchasing your new pre-owned vehicle!

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.

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