Skip to Main Content

Skyla Credit Union: 2023 auto loan review

2023-08-29 16:15:00

At a glance

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Compare auto loan rates
See rates

About Parsons Federal Credit Union

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount


  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from


  • Funds available in

    Not specified

Skyla auto loans are best for large loan amounts and low rates

Skyla Credit Union offers a variety of auto loans up to $150,000. The starting rates it advertises are competitive — borrowers with solid credit profiles who choose to take out a 48-month loan or shorter may qualify for the lowest rates. Plus, the federal credit union boasts minimum annual percentage rates (APRs) below the national average interest rates across all of its auto loan products. 

Skyla pros and cons

Skyla offers great starting rates and a high maximum loan amount, but there is no option to prequalify for a loan.


  • Checkmark

    Loan preapproval

  • Checkmark

    Advanced credit considerations

  • Checkmark

    High loan amount


  • Close X

    Membership requirement

  • Close X

    No prequalification

  • Close X

    Only three repayment terms

Skyla Credit Union recently merged with Parsons Federal Credit Union to better serve consumers and their finances, including auto loans. The credit union offers service in all 50 states but only has brick-and-mortar locations in four: California, Virginia and North and South Carolina.

Do you qualify?

The competitive rates and high loan amounts are only available to members of the credit union. You must be one of the following to apply for a loan product offered by Skyla:

  • Existing Parsons FCU member 
  • Existing Skyla member
  • A member of the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation

But it’s easy to become join the credit union. Besides borrowers employed by specific companies related to the credit union, anyone can apply for membership through the American Consumer Council (ACC). To do this, you simply apply on the site and enroll in the ACC to gain access to the credit union offerings. You will need to supply basic contact information along with a deposit of $5 into your Skyla savings account.

Skyla doesn’t have a minimum credit score for qualification. The lender’s website states that Skyla reviews factors including your income, employment and other financial assets in addition to your credit score. That may make it a good choice for those with a solid income but shaky credit history.

Skyla versus PenFed

PenFed, also a federal credit union, offers auto loans comparable to Skyla’s. These lenders have similar starting APRs, though the latter is slightly lower. One major difference is that PenFed offers borrowers more loan terms, between 36 and 84 months. So if you intend to finance a pricier vehicle and extend your loan to make the payment affordable, PenFed would be a better fit.

Skyla versus Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union also offers similar auto loan products. Borrowers can benefit from similar starting APRs. Consumers Credit Union’s unclear loan amounts are a downside compared to its counterpart. Another stand-out feature from Consumers Credit Union is the TrueCar car-buying service, which Skyla doesn’t offer.

What we like and what we don’t like

While the ability to get preapproved for an expensive vehicle is enticing, the relatively short max term might not be the best fit for everyone.

What we like

  • Loan preapproval. Loan preapproval lets you lock in your rates for 30 days and see and monthly costs before signing off. And it can put you in a better position to negotiate at the dealership.
  • Advanced credit considerations. Skyla does not use credit score as the sole measure of acceptance. Instead, employment, income and other financial assets are considered.
  • High loan amount. Borrowers may be approved for up to $150,000, allowing you to finance a pricey vehicle. Plus, qualified borrowers can get 100 percent financing — no need for a down payment.

What we don’t like

  • Membership requirement. In order to secure a loan you must be a member of the credit union.
  • No prequalification. While some auto lenders allow you to prequalify for a loan to preview rates and terms you might receive if approved without affecting your credit, Skyla doesn’t. When you apply for a loan, the lender will perform a hard credit check, which could temporarily ding your credit. 
  • Only three repayment terms. Borrowers can only finance their loans between 48 and 72 months, which can be restrictive for those that want a long vehicle term.

How to contact Skyla 

The Charlotte-based credit union boasts 24/7 support over the phone at (704) 375-0183. Borrowers can also gain assistance on the easy-to-navigate site or by submitting questions online or via email.

Auto loan types offered

The merged Parsons FCU and Skyla offer drivers the option to finance new and used vehicles or refinance. 

New and used car loans 

  • Amounts: $3,000-$150,000 
  • Terms: 48, 60 or 72 months
  • APR: New, 4.99%-16.50%; used, 5.99%-16.99%

Skyla offers auto loans with competitive starting interest rates for new and pre-owned vehicles. Its minimum rate is in line with what other credit unions offer qualified borrowers. Used car loans start at 5.99 percent. With both new and used car loans, the minimum and maximum APRs higher if you choose a longer loan term. For example, the minimum for a term between 61 and 72 months is 7.25 percent for used vehicles.


  • Amounts: $3,000-$150,000
  • Terms: 48, 60 or 72 months
  • APR: 5.99%-16.99%

The refinancing process is a great way to try and save money on your monthly payment and ideally walk away with a better deal. Refinancing rates offered by Sklya fall in line with their used auto loan offerings. Your vehicle must be 15 years old or younger to qualify for refinancing — noteworthy because most lenders cap the age at 10 years.

How to apply for a loan with Skyla 

Borrowers can apply for financing easily online through a mobile device or computer without the need to speak to a loan officer or go to one of the 19 branch offices. The auto loan application process should only take minutes and, following preapproval, your auto loan is valid for up to 30 days. 

New Sklya members will need to input their Social Security Number in order to move forward with the application. Current members can simply log into their online banking account. 

Features and additional perks 

Outside of competitive rates, the credit union offers additional coverage including mechanical repair coverage, gap protection and credit insurance protection. 

Fees and penalties 

When you apply for an auto loan with Skyla, you don’t have to worry about paying an application or documentation fee. In addition, there’s no penalty for paying your loan off early.

Skyla FAQs

How Bankrate rates Skyla 

Overall Score 4.1
Availability 4.8 Skyla boasts a high maximum loan amount and a variety of loan products.
Affordability 4.1 Competitive APRs and flexible underwriting criteria bode well for the lender's affordability.
Customer Experience 5.0 Perfect scoring for the lender's 24/7 support and easy-to-use website.
Transparency 2.5 Skyla does disclose all fees but only offers preapproval, not prequalification.


Bankrate considers 18 data points when rating auto loan lenders. Acceptance criteria, whether rates and fees are available and APR range all influence lender scores. These scores are broken up into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. 
  • Customer experience: How long you have to shop, customer service availability, whether there’s an app and autopay availability are accounted for in this section.
  • Transparency: This category accounts for the availability of fees and rates along with whether prequalification is available.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Writer, Auto Loans and Personal Loans

Rebecca Betterton is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021. Through her writing, Rebecca aims to provide clarity and accessibility to the automotive loans industry as the cost to finance new and used vehicles continues to climb due to steep inflation.

Edited by Editor, Auto Loans