Applying for a car loan doesn’t have to be complicated.

Many car buyers go shopping for their new car before they look into auto financing. Don’t make this mistake; it’s nearly a guarantee that you’ll wind up with a higher rate, which means you’ll spend too much for your car loan financing. To get the best deal shop around for the money before you shop for the car.

Remember, car loan financing doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you want to refinance your current loan or apply for a new or used auto loan, SC Telco offers competitive car loan rates along with added benefits that simplify your finances and keep you headed in the right direction.

Preparing to Apply

If it will be several months before you to purchase a car, take steps to improve your credit score so you can get better auto financing rates. If you need to buy a car quickly, it’s a good idea to take some time to get all of your personal information in order. Doing so will help you avoid surprises and make the car loan financing process run smoothly.

What you’ll need to provide:

  • Social Security number
  • Current Address, and previous address if you’ve been at your current residence for less than two years
  • Driver’s License, make sure that your address is current on your license
  • Name of Current Employer, and previous employer if you’ve been at your current job for less than two years
  • Pay Stubs or W2’s to verify income
  • Most Recent Tax Returns
  • List of Outstanding Debt
  • Co-applicant Information, if applicable

You will also need to gather information about your current auto loan if you plan to refinance. Check out our refinancing checklist to get started. In addition to enabling us to pull your credit and determine your rate, all of this information gives us a complete picture of your financial situation so we can better serve you.

Shopping for Your Car

This is the exciting part of the process. And since you took the steps to apply for a car loan beforehand, shopping for your car should be even more fun. Getting pre-approved for auto financing puts you a step ahead of the dealerships. You already know what your budget is, so you won’t be swayed into purchasing a car that you can’t comfortably afford. Also, pre-approval from a credit union is the same as having cash in your pocket, giving you more negotiating power with dealerships, as well as the option to buy from an individual.

So get shopping and have a blast! Remember to consider your desires as well as your needs as you make your decision. Which car feels right? If you want more guidance as you make your purchase, look over our First-Time Buyer’s Guide.

Closing the Loan

You’ve found the perfect car — now there’s one last step before the keys are in your hand. Fortunately, it’s the quickest, easiest step: signing the papers. Come into your local branch to make the deal official. While you’re here, we’ll discuss including payment protection and mechanical repair contract options. We’ll also talk to you about your loan payment options.

As a credit union, we aren’t beholden to investors. We work hard to provide our members with low auto loan rates. More importantly, we take your financial health personally and are committed to your future growth and success. We are with you for the entire journey, before you apply for a car loan, while you’re shopping for your next car, and after you sign the documents, to help you make tough decisions and manage your money wisely.