Big Money on Home and Car Loans
Go to Credit Union for Auto Financing
By ELISABETH LEAMY, ABC News Consumer
This week I shot another one of my savings
makeovers based on the strategies in my book
SAVE BIG. For this makeover, I worked with
the McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union to help
a New Jersey family save big money on their
home loan and their car loan. I was once
again reminded what phenomenal resources
credit unions are. In fact, if you are in
the market for a car, you have GOT to find a
way to join a credit union, if you're not
already a member. You can find one you are
eligible for at
Credit union auto financing is generally
such a great deal that I'm going to issue a
rule here: never shop for a used car at a
dealership without first getting outside
financing quotes, especially from a credit
union. The loan is one more factor the
dealership can play around with in the messy
math equation of buying a car. The process
is torturous enough. Don't add to the angst.
When I checked car loan rates at a credit
union and some other non-dealer sources,
here's what I found: Car Loan Interest Rates
from Different Sources:
My credit union: 4.25% A small bank in my
area: 7% Online Quote: 9.14% Bank where I
have my checking account: 11.22%
As you can see, by shopping around for an
auto loan, I found a low interest rate of
4.25 percent at the credit union, almost a
third the size of the highest quote of 11.22
percent. Now let's see how that helps us
SAVE BIG on a $25,000 car loan, the national
24-month, $25,000 Auto Loan: The rate at the
Bank was 11.22%. The amount owed? $28,032.
But at the credit union at a rate of 4.25%
the amount owed is $26,112. BIG SAVINGS=
There you have it. Close to $2,000 in
savings achieved through half an hour's
worth of work comparing interest rates. I
love it when such a small effort yields such
Auto Finance Tips - Refinancing Your Car
By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice
As interest rates drop, people's thoughts
turn to refinancing - refinancing their home
loan, that is. What they don't know is that
refinancing an auto loan is easier to do,
and it can save you some serious money.
How much? Say you bought a new car six
months ago. And say there were a few dings
on your credit so the dealer told you that
your auto loan would be 11 percent on a
five-year loan for a $23,000 car. Your
monthly payments are $500.
Now let's say that you surf the Web until
you find a company that offers auto
refinancing. You could refinance the balance
of your car loan and lower your payments to
about $400 a month. That's a savings of
nearly $6,000 over the life of the loan.
Other examples could well be more dramatic.
In some cases, a new-car buyer could wind up
with an auto loan based on an 18-percent
interest rate. By refinancing at a
competitive rate, the monthly payments would
be slashed, and all it takes is about 10
minutes to fill out the application.
CU Efficiencies Drive Dividends
By Marygrace Murphy, Credit Union Times
Credit unions often differentiate themselves
from banks by offering year-end bonus
dividends to members. A number of credit
unions are finding ways to operate more
efficiently so that members can enjoy their
portion of excess earnings this year.
Midland, MI-based Dow Chemical Employees'
Credit Union returned $9 million in year-end
rebates and rewards to members who used the
credit union to borrow or save money in
2008. On the other hand, Las Vegas-based
Clark County Credit Union is not expecting
to offer a bonus dividend at the end of this
This news comes in marked contrast to CCCU's
January announcement of a $2.9 million
dividend for 2008, the ninth year in a row
it had distributed such a dividend.
When Lender Says NO, Turn To CUs
By States News Service, Boston Globe
The following information was released by
the Credit Union National Association -CUNA:
Credit unions are a good alternative to
traditional mortgage financing as credit
markets overall have tightened up, the
Boston Globe said in a Tuesday article.
Credit unions were listed as the No. 1
alternative of five options mentioned by the
newspaper. "Unlike banks and mortgage
companies that sell their loans on the
secondary market, many credit unions
actually keep the loans they make in their
own portfolio," the article said.
"The secondary money market purchases
bundles of loans from lenders. These loans
must meet specific guidelines such as those
set by [the Federal Housing Administration],
Freddie Mac and/or Fannie Mae.
Once the primary lender sells the loan, the
lender is now in the position to make
another loan to a new borrower," the article
said. Credit unions that don't sell the loan
on the secondary money market can set their
own loan requirements.