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When “0%” Sounds Too Good to Be True

You’ve seen the 0% percent financing ads. How could you could wrong with no interest, right? When you read the fine print, though, it’s not always the great deal you were expecting.

  • 0% is often available only to those with the best credit records—less than 9% of those who apply.
  • It’s usually only for loans with shorter terms (36 months or less) which greatly increases your monthly car payments.
  • Often the rate is only offered on “selected” models, which are usually not the most popular models.
  • Consider the total cost of the loan too. Will you be charged an application fee? Is there a prepayment penalty? Would you be required to pay front-loaded interest, that is, pay more of the interest earlier in the loan? You may carry a larger principal balance longer, meaning at some point the value of the car could be less than the balance of the loan.

Your best deal could come from skipping the 0%, taking the dealer rebate, and financing your vehicle through with Priority Plus FCU. Why?

  • When you apply the rebate, you lower the loan amount saving you money in finance costs.
  • You could get lower monthly payments at Priority Plus, because we offer loans with longer terms.
  • You may save money on the total cost of the loan, because we don’t charge application fees or prepayment penalties, and we charge simple interest, meaning you pay down your principal balance at a faster rate.

Talk to us before you sign any financing agreement a dealership offers you.


Car Shopping 101: Don’t Get Taken for a Ride

So you’re ready to buy your first car! Here are a few tips to help you make an educated decision.

Do Your Homework

  • Talk to other car owners and visit consumer websites for their recommendations and performance histories of different makes and models.
  • Figure out what you can really afford. What kind of down payment can you make and how much money can you budget each month?
  • Stop by our office and get approved for an auto loan.
  • Look for the best place to get your auto insurance.

Getting the Best Price

  • Always negotiate the PRICE of the car, not the monthly payment. Tell the salesperson you do not want to discuss financing until you’ve agreed on the purchase price.
  • When negotiating, start with the dealer invoice and work your way up. Don’t start with the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) and work your way down.
  • When a cash rebate is offered, it’s usually from the auto manufacturer and not the dealership. Don’t let the salesman figure the rebate into the negotiations because the dealership isn’t paying for it. You should get the best price from the dealership as well as the cash rebate from the manufacturer.

Remember if you don’t get the best price for the car, be prepared to walk away—no matter how much you want that car!


How to Take a Test Drive

According to professional auto journalist, Robert Hellman, there are afew steps to remember for taking a test drive.

Step #1: Do your homework BEFORE you drive. When you have balanced style against practicality then you can test drive the possibilities.

Step #2: Approach the test drive with a clear head, and “the attitude that this is just one of several I might like.” Settling on only one make or model in advance, is not only a poor way to negotiate the purchase, but a poor way to judge the vehicle.

Step #3: Does the car have what you need in these categories: power, room, safety features, ease of entry and exit, local parts and service, and a solid warranty.

Step #4: Look for excessive wind or engine noise, heavy or imprecise steering, poor gas mileage, sloppy fit (trim, molding, etc.), unreadable instruments and clumsy controls or levers.

Step #5: Does the car fit your lifestyle. Will your luggage fit in the trunk? Are there enough seats for those you will transport on a regular basis.

Finally, Hellman suggests asking the salesperson to be silent during much of the test drive so that you get the proper feedback from the vehicle. Then just sit in the car for a few minutes. Your body will tell you all you need to know.

  • I was impressed with the competitive interest rate they offered for my car loan. They beat out the big guys! ... They provide excellent customer service that's very well personalized and professional.

    — Missy White July 7, 2013
  • I knew I made a great decision because the employees were the friendliest and most knowledgeable people I have met. I had nothing but a positive experience with them during my time in Wilmington.

    — Norwood August 29, 2013
  • Wonderful people, helpful and quick to respond. Great online services!

    — Melanie Jianniney December 9, 2016