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Where do you think I should go for the best financing deal?

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I am replacing my 5 year old car and buying a new one. But I want to compare auto loan rates and loan terms from multiple lenders first before getting pre- approved. Where do you think I should go for the best financing deal? Go to a dealer, bank or a credit union?

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natosbourne said:   I am replacing my 5 year old car and buying a new one. But I want to compare auto loan rates and loan terms from multiple lenders first before getting pre- approved. Where do you think I should go for the best financing deal? Go to a dealer, bank or a credit union?
  Get pre-approved from your bank/CU; most should have rates displayed for new/used vehicles. When you are at the dealership, you can ask if they can beat it (or offer a discount on price if the rate is the same).

But negotiate the vehicle model/price independent of the financing. Make sure all tax/tile/doc/ fee are included in the price (ot the door price). Dont let them talk you into how much can/do you want to pay monthly.
 

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Even if the dealer matches the rate, watch out for added charges and restrictions that the bank/CU note may not have, e.g. early payoff penalty, origination fee, etc.  (Extra up-front fees should show up in the APR but they might only be matching the base loan rate, with you finding the difference when your pen is poised over the papers!)

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I got a better price by financing through the dealer for my last two car purchases.  Of course, I then immediately refinanced with a credit union at a lower rate each time.

I would recommend getting a pre-approved automobile loan draft (a "blank check") from Penfed or elsewhere before you start talking financing.  Even if you don't use it, it's Handy to have that in your back pocket if the dealer doesn't want to play ball.  When I bought my last car, the dealer offered me an additional $500 off if I financed through them (with no prepayment penalty).  Once I got my "welcome letter" for my Wells Fargo loan @ 3.99% I immediately started the refi process with Alliant Credit Union @ 1.99% and haven't looked back since. 

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Most banks and CUs post their rates for good credit. There is no penalty other than the time it takes to apply, so try a few that offer low rates, then use that to keep the dealer honest and see if they can beat it.

I used USAA last time for 1.39 for 36. Dealer couldn't touch it and it was better than my CU.

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Penfed

PS I think you are nuts to replace a 5 yr old car.

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I just did an auto loan through unify financial credit union.  Great rate, but it was a pain dealing with them.  If I were to do it again.  I would get preapproved from them and then get lightstream to rate match.

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Get preapproved with your CU. Tell the car salesman your preapproval rate and ask him to beat it. I've found that car dealers can get some very aggressive rates.

Most banks were at 3% for car loans years ago when I bought and I told my salesman I had a 2.49 preapproval. He got me 2.09 from BofA.

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I just got a good rate from BofA due to the 0.5% rate reduction for being at the Platinum Honors preferred rewards level. If you're at one of the tiers where you get a break on your rate, it's probably worth including them in the mix.

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forbin4040 said:   Penfed

PS I think you are nuts to replace a 5 yr old car.

  or as its known on FWF, "a new car"

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A clarification though, I am replacing my 5 yr old car with a new car.

All your points well taken especially the statement about the hidden/extra charges. I have not really though about that to be honest. I have inquired from both a bank and a local credit union about their loan offers. And, I have seen the basic information I needed and definitely, credit union has a better auto purchase loan offer.

One quick question though is, they are nominating a car dealer just in case. I am not sure if this is the usual practice or it is just them.

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natosbourne said:   
One quick question though is, they are nominating a car dealer just in case. I am not sure if this is the usual practice or it is just them.

"Nominating" a car dealer?  Not clear what this means, but just remember, you are at the credit union for a loan, not special pricing, not a warranty, not insurance, etc.  The only reason they will try to add anything into the package is because they make more money that way.  Stay focused.  

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