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Working with a credit union to get an auto loan carries many potential advantages, including more competitive rates. This is especially true as interest rates average close to 7 percent for new vehicles, according to Experian.
While credit unions tend to carry a membership requirement, it is an easy hoop to jump through in order to secure a great rate. Two options to start your shopping journey with are Skyla Credit Union, which recently merged with Parsons Federal Credit Union, and Consumers Credit Union.
Skyla CU is the perfect fit for drivers looking to finance an expensive vehicle, while Consumers Credit Union is the better choice for those looking to buy online.
Skyla vs. Consumers Credit Union at a glance
Consumers Credit Union
|Loans offered||New and used financing, auto refinancing||New and used financing, auto refinancing|
|Loan amounts||$3,000-$150,000||Not specified|
|Loan term lengths||48-72 months||36-84 months|
|Minimum credit score||No minimum||Not specified|
|State footprint||All states||All states|
|Time to funding||Not specified||Not specified|
|Autopay discount?||No||Yes, 0.25%|
|Refinancing restrictions||Max vehicle age 15 years||Not specified|
Skyla auto loans
Following its full merger in early August of this year, Skyla CU added many benefits for borrowers, including more in-person branches and expanded customer service hours. You’ll need to become a member to get loans from Skyla, which you can do through American Credit Council.
- High loan amount: Drivers can finance their next vehicle with Skyla for up to $150,000.
- Customer support: The Charlotte-based credit union offers 24/7 support for its members.
- Advanced underwriting criteria: Unlike most lenders, Sklya considers employment, income and other financial assets when determining rates. In other words, your credit score isn’t the only thing that matters.
- Minimal repayment options: Borrowers can only finance their loans between 48 and 72 months. Many lenders offer 36-month and 84-month terms.
- No ability to prequalify: Unlike many other lenders, including Consumers Credit Union, you cannot preview available rates and terms without a hard credit pull via prequalification.
- No autopay discount: There is no incentive for borrowers to sign off on autopay when financing with Skyla.
Consumers Credit Union auto loans
Like Skyla, Consumers Credit Union (CCU) offers auto loans for its members, with an additional perk that its counterpart does not. Enrolling in autopay nets you a 0.25 percent rate discount, though the listed minimum rate of 5.94 percent already factors in the discount.
The Illionis-based credit union has branches across the country where members can find assistance and an easy-to-navigate website where borrowers can shop and apply for their cars.
- Autopay discount: Those who agree to autopay will benefit from a 0.25 percent rate reduction.
- Minimal fees: The credit union’s website doesn’t list any fees associated with its auto loans.
- Vehicle add-ons: Those purchasing can bundle vehicle loan add-ons such as mechanical repair coverage through ForeverCar.
- Unspecified refinance requirements: Refinancing specifics can only be found by connecting with a CCU representative. You won’t find them on its website.
- Unknown loan amounts: CCU does not disclose its loan amounts for any of its loan products. This can be challenging for those with a specific vehicle budget in mind.
- Limited customer support: Support is only available six days a week, unlike Skyla’s 24-hour coverage.
How to choose between Skyla and Consumers Credit Union
Both credit unions offer the ease of an online application and the option for in-person assistance at a branch location. Although Sklya offers slightly lower starting rates than CCU, that doesn’t ensure a cheaper monthly cost. CCU offers a wider range of financing options, up to 84 months, whereas Skyla has only three repayment terms.
CCU might be a better choice if you intend to extend your loan term for a lower monthly payment. However, keep in mind the risks accompanied by a long-term loan, like more interest throughout the loan.
Choose Skyla if you want to finance an expensive vehicle
Vehicle prices have steadily increased following the pandemic, and financing amounts have followed. According to Experian data, the average loan amount in 2023’s first quarter was nearly $41,000. If you plan to finance an expensive vehicle, Skyla is a great option.
Borrowers working with Skyla can finance up to $150,000, leaving a lot of wiggle room for big vehicle expenses. Skyla also considers factors outside of credit scores when determining rates, making it a promising choice for those with poor credit. Skyla’s maximum rates, 16.50 for new and 16.99 percent for used vehicles, are still much lower than the highest interest rates out there.
Choose Consumers Credit Union for finding a car online
If you feel confident in your online navigation skills and have a good idea of what you’re looking for, shopping online can speed up and ease the process.
CCU offers a comprehensive online car-buying tool powered by TrueCar, allowing you to see what other drivers spent for a vehicle and receive member discounts. Plus, the loan application is available directly through the shopping platform. If buying online interests you, it is still wise to take a test drive in person to confirm the car is the right fit.
Compare more lenders before applying
If you want to purchase an expensive vehicle or need relaxed requirements, look closely at Sklya. CCU is ideal for a savvy online shopper looking for a seamless online shopping and financing experience.
But if you aren’t sold on the approach of either option, compare more auto loans to see how Skyla and CCU stack up against competitors.