Shopping for a new vehicle can be stressful to say the least. That’s why it’s important to take the time to get pre-approved for an auto loan before you start car shopping. There are many advantages to car loan pre-approval. Don’t confuse pre-approval with getting prequalified. Pre-approval means you are approved for a loan of up to a certain amount at a certain rate for a specific period of time. The lender has already reviewed your credit report and other information and giving you a firm approval offer. That's what you are looking for to gain the benefits we will discuss below. A pre-qualification on the other hand is a soft offer that may change once a lender thoroughly reviews your credit history and other factors. Pre-approval is always best.

Benefits to getting pre-approved for your auto loan

1.     Auto loan pre-approval helps you to get the best interest rate you qualify for.

If you wait until you get to the dealership to discuss a loan you may face an interest rate mark up and buckle to accept a high rate offer under pressure. You will never know if the loan you are being offered is the best financing deal you can get. Pre-approval can help you to avoid this situation.

2.     Car loan pre-approval helps you to understand just how much you can afford.

It provides you with a realistic budget for your new vehicle purchase. You can then concentrate on searching for vehicles in your pre-approved price range.

3.     Auto loan pre-approval helps you to compare interest rates.

You can shop around and get more than one pre-approval if you’d like.

4.     Getting pre-approved for an auto loan can give you greater negotiating power.

It will also help you to know what rate you qualify for. When you’ve already been pre-approved for a car loan, you’re like a cash buyer. This gives you a big advantage when negotiating a price and can also help you to avoid upsells. You will also have the freedom to go to any dealer you choose and can check out several different dealers. They know this and will be more apt to negotiate a better price with you. Pre-approval helps give you the upper hand when car shopping.

5.     Auto loan pre-approval helps make the entire car-buying experience easier.

Once pre-approved for an auto loan with your credit union, you no longer have to worry about negotiating loan terms or interest rates with the dealer. It helps you save valuable time and energy. This is especially true if you use our online car shopping tool, CarShop365 for pre-approval. You can read more about CarShop365 below. After all, buying a new auto is complicated enough without adding to the paperwork.  

Finally, getting pre-approved for an auto loan at Spirit Financial Credit Union or your local credit union can lessen the stress of a new auto purchase. Shopping around and getting various quotes can help you ensure you are getting the best interest rate and terms you can. Keep in mind that pre-approvals are only good for a limited period of time. If you haven’t purchased the vehicle by the time your pre-approval expires, you will need to reapply.  

Get pre-approved for an auto loan with CarShop365

Getting car loan pre-approval is quick and uncomplicated! In fact, at Spirit Financial Credit Union, we make the auto loan pre-approval process even easier and more worthwhile. For a limited time, you can apply for a pre-approval and get $250* when the loan is booked. Visit Spirit Financial’s online car shopping tool, CarShop365 to search for a car, find a dealer and get your auto loan pre-approval.  

Learn more about Spirit Financial Credit Union auto loans and pre-approval on our website.

* You will be eligible for $150 cash back upon funding of the loan. Once the loan is booked, $150 will be deposited into your Spirit Financial CU account. Loan must be at least $5,000 and the minimum term is 36 months. To be eligible for the $100 cash back, you must register for CarShop365 and apply for pre-approval through Spirit Financial Credit Union on our CarShop365 page. Once the loan is booked, $100 will be deposited into your Spirit Financial CU account. Loan must be at least $5,000 and the minimum term is 36 months. Speak to a credit union representative for additional details.