LOOKING FOR A CAR? START YOUR SEARCH HERE FOR A CHANCE AT SOME CASH!
Submit an online quote request for a vehicle of your choice from the Member Auto Center site during the between May 1, 2018, and June 15, 2018 for a chance at a $500 gift card. Member Auto Center provides members accessibility to new or used vehicles, credit union focused dealer contacts, vehicle carfax reports, and the opportunity to sell your current vehicle with convenience.
Member Auto Center is available for your auto shopping needs, and HCFCU is here for your lending needs. Any member who submits a request for a quote through Member Auto Center sale site will also be entered into a drawing for a chance at an additional $100 gift card! The quote request must have been submitted prior to June 15th and you must be an eligible member of the credit union.
It’s Easy As 1-2-3!
- Visit & search at hcfcu.carsale.memberautocenter.com before June 15, 2018.
- Find the car that’s right for you & complete the no-obligation price quote.
- In the comment section enter code word: 2018CSE1 and hit submit!*
That’s it, you’re entered to win $500 from Member Auto Center
& $100 from HCFCU!
*Need not apply for a loan to enter $500 Member Auto Center drawing. No purchase necessary. Limit one entry per person. All entries with the code word will be accepted and chances of winning depend on the total number of entries. To enter visit the website above, find a vehicle that you are interested in, and submit a price quote request before June 15, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST. One winner will be selected at random to win a $100 gift card and will be notified by a Credit Union Representative. Employees or volunteers of the credit union, CU Alliance, LLC, and its subsidiaries are not eligible. Must be 18 years or older. **Current HCFCU loans are not eligible for refinancing with promotional rate, or rate discounts. Ask your Loan Officer for applicable discounts available and the available loan options exclusive to this offer.
The old stereotype of the shady used-car salesman isn’t fair to most people who sell cars and trucks. But, accurate or not, it speaks to the fact that buying a vehicle can be challenging, and that it’s easy to walk away feeling like you spent more money than you should have.
If you’re borrowing to buy a car or truck, the best way to protect yourself is to be smart about an auto loan. Follow these tips to get the best deal.
- Improve your credit. To get the best interest rate, you’ll need good credit. If you don’t have to buy a car immediately, it might be worth trying to boost your credit score Pull and read your credit reports, dispute any errors you find, pay down your credit cards, consider raising your credit limit and take other measures that might make you a more attractive borrower.
- Budget first. Most of us have a general idea of how much we can pay each month on a vehicle. But close doesn’t count when paying bills. If you don’t already keep a budget, work one up before car shopping, so you know how much you can afford on your payments.
- Shop for the best rate. When you’re ready to buy, the dealership likely will offer financing. But that won’t always be the best deal you can find. Often you’ll find a lower rate at a community bank or credit union, like Harris County Federal Credit Union. Look into an auto loan before you go car shopping. If you know all that’s available, you’ll be less likely to overpay.
- Look out for hidden fees. Dealers have their own fees for which you should keep an eye out. So too do auto loans. For example, some loans carry a fee for early termination — that is, a penalty for paying your car off early (and thus denying the lender some of the interest due). If you think you might be able to pay off your loan faster than the terms dictate, ask about early termination fees. In general, familiarize yourself with all the terms of your auto loan so you’re never taken by surprise.
Buying a car or truck is expensive, and most of us can’t do it without taking out an auto loan. By approaching the loan process carefully, you could shave hundreds or even thousands of dollars off the price you’ll end up paying for your vehicle.
Doug Gross, NerdWallet
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9 Tips to Improve Your Car-Buying Experience
Buying a vehicle can be exciting. It opens the door to independence, endless activities and the ability to accomplish all the little tasks of everyday life. If you take the time to find the right vehicle — whether it’s brand-new or simply new to you — you’ll have reliable transportation for years. A vehicle is a big investment, though, so it’s important to find the right car without demolishing your budget. Here are nine ways to improve your car-buying experience.
- Figure out how much car you can afford before you start looking. This prevents the heartache that can come from falling in love with a vehicle only to discover it’s out of your price range. If you don’t have any money set aside, try saving up for a down payment before shopping. Check the NADAguides for pricing of cars that pique your interest. Values are affected by the make and model, year, options, mileage and overall condition.
- Weigh buying new versus pre-owned. A shiny new car is more exciting than a used model, but it’s also more expensive. Look at your budget. An auto loan from a financial institution such as Harris County Federal Credit Union can make buying a reliable vehicle more doable. Make sure to consider such factors as fuel economy and insurance when figuring out the cost to own the car or truck you have in mind.
- Make sure what you buy fits your needs. To find the right ride, think about how you’ll probably use it. Who’ll be the primary driver? If ownership is to be shared, choose a model that’s comfortable for everyone. Expecting to take a lot of road trips? Find a car with lower mileage to lessen the frequency of breakdowns and repairs.
- Choose a vehicle that balances comfort and safety. Factor in how many passengers you’ll have on a regular basis. If you have kids, look for a vehicle where passenger space and air bag structure are practical for child safety seats.
- Buy from a reputable seller. Get references from friends and family. Be careful about buying from an individual, and make sure a used vehicle is mechanically sound. If you don’t know your way around an engine, bring along a friend or relative who does, or ask to have a mechanic look over the car. Never buy a car without a title.
- Be prepared to negotiate the price. Do your homework, and never pay the sticker price. Each vehicle costs the dealer the invoice price minus any sales incentives. The company needs to make at least some profit to stay in business, but you can avoid overpaying by being an educated consumer. Rather than just pay the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, work within the NADAguides’ suggested value range. If you can’t reach an agreement on a particular vehicle, find something else.
- Go for a test drive. Part of the fun of getting a new ride is the test drive. Don’t make a purchase without one. Bring a friend if it makes you more comfortable. The owner or salesperson may wish to come along to offer hints, tips and even supervision. Make sure you have your driver’s license with you.
- Keep in mind the extra costs associated with buying a car. These can include title transfer fees, license plate tags and registration fees, sales and use taxes, smog check fees and auto inspection fees.
- Walk away from the deal if you’re uncomfortable with the car, the seller or the price. Getting it home probably won’t make you feel any better about it.
A new car is more enjoyable when it really suits your needs. Take your time to find the right one, and you’ll enjoy driving it for years.
MJ Knoblock, NerdWallet