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FEFCU Guide to Automobile Purchasing

Buy Your Car at the Dealership...
Buy the Financing at your Credit Union

When shopping for a new vehicle, many buyers decide to obtain a loan through the dealership itself. It's the most convenient option, and the salesman promises you the best "available" rate. Here's the catch, don't assume they are providing you all the information you need to make an informed decision. The salesman is simply offering to arrange financing for you, they are not putting up the money themselves. With that said, we are pleased to present our FEFCU guide to vehicle purchasing. The financing is arranged through the people you trust at your credit union. Simply follow the easy step by step guide to car buying listed here and you will drive away hassle free. As a member of FE Family Credit Union, you and members of your family have access to many benefits not available at traditional financial institutions. Honest loan rates could save you and your family hundreds of dollars.

Rebates and "Special Financing"

Rebates and special financing are factory sponsored discounts intended to clear out slow-moving inventory, requiring qualifying buyers to choose one or the other. This is where getting your financing first can make a big difference. By opting for the rebate, applying it to your down payment and combining that with low rate, pre-approved financing through FEFCU, you'll get the maximum savings. Our honest loan rates could save you and your family hundreds of dollars.

FE Family Credit Union is Truly a Family Affair.

Our membership not only includes all current and retired FirstEnergy employees, but family members as well - Husband, Wife, Son, Daughter, Mother, Father, Grandparents, Grandchildren, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and Cousins.

"Great Deals"

We repeatedly hear from our members (after the fact, of course) that the "Great Deal" promised by the salesman didn't turn out to be so great! We've all seen ads offering 1.9% and 0% financing. But if you read the fine print at the bottom of the page, you'll see things like:
"Not in conjunction with any other offers" "In lieu of rebates" "Price includes all rebates and incentives" "Dealer contribution may affect consumer cost"

So you ask, "What do these 'disclosures' mean?" Simple definition - you may be paying the current market rate, one way or another. Fewer than 8% of the people who financed with finance companies during the 0% promotions actually received 0% financing. That means more than 90% of the people were switched to standard financing rates. There rarely is 1.9% or 0% financing. Your rebates and discounts make up for the savings you think you are receiving.

The chart illustrates that credit union auto loan rates may be lower than dealer financing, even at the promotional rates.

Rate Comparison Example:

Example Dealer A Financing Dealer B Financing FEFCU FINANCING
Term** 5 years 5 years 5 years
Rate** 1.9% 0.0% 1.99%
Vehicle Price $21,000.00 $21,000.00 $21,000.00
Rebate $0.00 $0.00 $ 500.00
Discount $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 1,500.00
Loan Amount $21,000.00 $21,000.00 $19,000.00
Payments $367.00 $350.00 $ 333.00
Finance Charge $ 1,030.41 $ 0.00 $ 977.00
Total Paid $22,030.41 $21,000.00 $19,977.00

**Rates and terms shown as examples and may vary.

You will discover that FEFCU has lower new vehicle rates than most other institutions. That's because we are "Member Owned and Not for Profit." Our only interest is to provide you with the best possible loan rates. The credit union belongs to you, the members, and any profit is returned to the members in the form of dividends. The credit union is here to help with the financing, but only you can get the fair price on your new car. If you already financed through the dealership, call us immediately and we can compare rates, we might be able to save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your loan by refinancing your loan with FEFCU.

Refinance option

Current dealer financing offers only release the rebate if you finance with the dealer at their rate. Check with the dealer, and after a certain time period, usually 3-6 months, you can refinance with the credit union for a better rate and save hundreds of dollars in financing costs.

Finance your vehicle or motorcycle loan through FEFCU

Join the thousands who have benefited from financing their new or used vehicle through FirstEnergy Family Credit Union.

  • Save money: Get the rates you deserve.
  • Save time: Apply online in five minutes and get approved in approximately 1 day.
  • Stay in control: You choose the vehicle and the dealer.

Step by Step Program to Hassle Free Car Ownership

  1. Get Your Credit Report.
    Before you go buying new cars, you should get your free credit report from In addition, you can purchase your credit score, usually under $10. Then you can correct or remove negative information before applying for a new car loan. Credit score greater then 700 usually receive the best rates.
    • Determining a fair price - research the dealer's invoice cost and determine how much you can afford. First you should decide on a year, make and model. Then, find out what options and features are available. Make a list of your desired options in the order of importance; it always helps when trying to negotiate. Different sources say the average dealer mark-up can vary from 10% to 18%, so get the facts and determine the dealer invoice cost or market value of the vehicle.
    • New vehicles - Check the dealer cost on the Kelley Blue Book web page to obtain current prices on cars and package options.
    • Trade-in - find the real value of your used car in the NADA Appraisal Guides.
    • Negotiate your trade in price - This is a tricky proposition. There are book prices, web sites, and computer printout services that provide this kind of information, but there is often wide disagreement among them on specific used car prices. Dealers have some very official-looking books that show low or high prices for vehicles, depending on whether they're talking selling price or trade-in allowance.
    • Never give the dealer the amount you owe on any existing vehicle loans. If you are trading in a vehicle, determine the value of your vehicle first, then negotiate a price to cover the cost of your trade in or more. Try to avoid the negative equity trap by trading in less than what you owe on your trade-in. This means if your vehicles trade-in value isn't enough to pay off the existing loan, you'll have to come up with the additional funds "cash" to pay off the loan and trade-in your old car. "WATCH OUT" if the salesman offers a new combined loan that pays off your old loan with your new vehicle loan. If you accept this loan, you'll own more on your new car then it's actually worth. Avoid this situation when possible, get a better value for your trade-in, walk away and find a better deal.
  2. For used vehicles, you can utilize the CarFax service.
    This database service contains over 2 billion records compiled from over 34,000 data sources, including motor vehicle departments in the U.S. and Canada, emissions inspection stations, auto auctions, fire and police departments and insurance companies. Vehicle History Reports reveal background information and unearth "hidden problems" in a car's past that may affect its resale value and safety.
  3. Check for any rebates
    Check for rebates available for your potential vehicle by visiting the manufacturer's website or our Auto Rebate/Incentive center or call the car manufacturers listed below:
  4. Obtain a pre-approved FEFCU loan application through our secure website.
  5. Read FEFCU's Car Buyers Rulebook.
  6. Be skeptical of dealer financing.
    Call us and we'll compare monthly payments for you. All we need is the approximate purchase price, dealer interest rate and term to compare rates and monthly payments for you.
  7. Negotiate and test drive.
    Negotiate and test drive - be fair but firm and don't feel rushed when negotiating your purchase. Don't believe "This is the only day this car will be offered at this price." Be ready to walk out the door and look for a better price.
  8. Sign the paperwork.
    Sign the paperwork - once you negotiate your best price with a preferred dealer, fax a copy of the dealer's order to FEFCU and set up an appointment to complete your loan documentation. At the time of the loan signing, you will be given a letter of credit which you return to the dealer in exchange for the keys to your new vehicle.
  9. Enjoy your new automobile.
    Enjoy your new automobile, feeling confident that you negotiated the best deal and received the benefits of free loan protection and honest loan rates from FE Family Credit Union.

Auto Rebate | Incentive Center

This rebate section is to help you locate any rebates manufacturers might be offering at the time of your purchase. Simply select the manufacturer you are considering and look for a rebate or incentive link on the manufacturer's web site.