Get the Best Auto Loan Rates with First Community Credit Union

What is First Community Credit Union?

First Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative founded in 1936 to serve the local community. Over its 85+ year history, it has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the state, with over 200,000 members and $3 billion in assets.

First Community’s mission is to provide affordable banking services and financial education to help improve its members’ financial well-being. It is a member-owned institution, with profits going back to members in the form of better rates, lower fees, and improved services.

Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in certain counties. First Community has over 20 branch locations and 100+ ATMs across the region, making banking convenient for its members. The credit union prides itself on personal service and tailoring products like auto loans to each member’s unique needs.

Car Loan Options at First Community CU

First Community Credit Union offers a range of auto loan options to meet your needs, whether you’re purchasing a new or used vehicle, or looking to refinance an existing loan.

New Car Loans

For those in the market for a brand-new car, First Community CU provides competitive rates and flexible terms. You can finance up to 100% of the vehicle’s value, including taxes and fees, with loan terms ranging from 24 to 84 months.

Used Car Loans

If you prefer a pre-owned vehicle, First Community CU also offers attractive rates on used car loans. You can finance up to 100% of the vehicle’s value, with loan terms ranging from 24 to 72 months, depending on the age and mileage of the car.

Refinancing Options

If you’re looking to save money on your existing auto loan, First Community CU’s refinancing options may be the solution. You can potentially lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, or adjust your loan term to better suit your financial situation.

Loan Terms and Amounts

First Community CU provides auto loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, with loan terms varying from 24 to 84 months for new cars and 24 to 72 months for used vehicles. The exact terms and rates will depend on factors such as your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio.

Current Car Loan Rates

First Community Credit Union offers competitive rates on both new and used auto loans. For new vehicles, the current APR ranges from 3.99% to 6.99%, depending on your credit score and loan term. Used vehicle loans have slightly higher rates, starting at 4.49% APR.

There are several discounts available that can help lower your rate even further. Members can get a 0.25% rate discount for setting up automatic payments from a First Community checking account. There’s also a 0.50% discount for hybrid or electric vehicles to promote eco-friendly driving.

To give you an idea, here are some example monthly payments based on First Community’s current rates:

  • New Car: $25,000 loan at 4.24% APR for 60 months = $463/month
  • Used Car: $18,000 loan at 4.74% APR for 48 months = $412/month

These assume an excellent credit score. Higher rates will apply for lower credit tiers. First Community Credit Union rate discounts and longer loan terms can make your monthly payments even more affordable.

Rate Comparison vs Banks/Other Lenders

First Community Credit Union’s auto loan rates are highly competitive when compared to rates from major banks, captive lenders (lenders affiliated with auto manufacturers), and online lenders. On average, credit unions tend to offer lower interest rates on car loans due to their not-for-profit structure and focus on serving members rather than generating profits for shareholders.

For example, First Community CU’s rates for new car loans currently start at 3.99% APR for well-qualified borrowers. In contrast, many major banks charge rates starting around 5-6% APR for similar loan terms.

Beat Credit Union Rates

Online lenders can sometimes match or beat credit union rates, but they may have more stringent credit requirements or lack the personalized service of a local credit union. Additionally, some online lenders charge higher fees or lack flexible repayment options that credit unions often provide.

Factors Impacting Your Auto Loan Rate

Your auto loan rate at First Community Credit Union is influenced by several key factors:

Credit Score: A higher credit score generally qualifies you for lower interest rates, as it demonstrates a strong history of responsible borrowing and repayment. Individuals with excellent credit (scores above 750) typically receive the most competitive rates.

Loan Term: Shorter loan terms, such as 36 or 48 months, tend to have lower interest rates compared to longer terms like 60 or 72 months. This is because the lender assumes less risk over a shorter repayment period.

Down Payment: A larger down payment can help secure a lower interest rate. It shows the lender you have more financial commitment to the vehicle purchase and reduces the overall amount borrowed.

Vehicle Age and Mileage: Newer vehicles with lower mileage tend to qualify for better rates, as they hold their value better and pose less risk to the lender in case of default.

Member Relationship: As a credit union, First Community CU may offer preferential rates to long-standing members or those with multiple accounts and services. A stronger relationship can demonstrate loyalty and stability.

By understanding these factors, you can position yourself for the most favorable auto loan rate at First Community Credit Union. Maintaining a good credit score, making a sizable down payment, and choosing a newer vehicle can all contribute to securing a competitive rate on your next car purchase.

First Community Credit Union Membership Benefits

One key advantage is access to lower interest rates on loans like auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards. Credit unions typically offer rates well below those of traditional banks. You’ll also find fee-free checking and savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.

Financial Benefits

Beyond the financial benefits, First Community CU is deeply involved in supporting local communities through fundraisers, scholarships, and volunteer initiatives. As a member, you become part of this community-focused mission.

Additionally, First Community CU offers a exclusive member rewards program. You can earn points for using First Community products and services, then redeem those points for cash back, merchandise, travel, and more. This rewards program provides extra value simply for banking with First Community.

Overall, a First Community CU membership connects you with better rates, lower fees, community support, and valuable rewards – advantages you simply won’t find at a for-profit bank. Joining is easy and unlocks a suite of financial and community benefits.

How to Apply for an Auto Loan

Applying for an auto loan at First Community Credit Union is a straightforward process that can be completed online, over the phone, or in-person at a local branch. Here are the typical steps:

  1. Get Pre-Approved: For a seamless car buying experience, it’s recommended to get pre-approved for your auto loan before you start shopping for a vehicle. Pre-approval gives you a better understanding of your budget and purchasing power. You can apply for pre-approval online or by visiting a branch.

  2. Gather Required Documents: To complete your loan application, you’ll need to provide some basic information and documentation, including:

    • Personal identification (driver’s license, social security number, etc.)
    • Proof of income (pay stubs, tax returns, etc.)
    • Information about the vehicle you wish to purchase (make, model, year, mileage, etc.)
    • Proof of insurance (if purchasing a new vehicle)
  3. Submit Your Application: Once you have all the necessary information and documents, you can submit your auto loan application online, over the phone, or in person at a branch. A loan officer will review your application and credit history to determine your eligibility and interest rate.

  4. Review and Accept Terms: If approved, you’ll receive a loan estimate outlining the terms, including the interest rate, monthly payment, and loan duration. Review the terms carefully and accept if you’re satisfied with the offer.

First Community Credit Union Car Buying Service

First Community Credit Union offers a comprehensive car buying service to its members, designed to make the process of purchasing a vehicle more convenient and cost-effective. Through partnerships with reputable dealerships and pricing tools, the credit union provides members with access to a wide selection of new and pre-owned vehicles at competitive prices.

One of the key features of the car buying service is the online vehicle pricing tool.

Credit Union Members

In addition to the pricing tool, First Community Credit Union has established relationships with a network of trusted dealerships. These dealerships offer exclusive pricing and incentives to credit union members, providing additional savings opportunities. Members can browse inventories, schedule test drives, and even complete the purchase process through the credit union’s car buying service.

The credit union also offers guidance and support throughout the car buying process. Dedicated automotive specialists are available to answer questions, provide advice, and assist with negotiations. This personalized service helps members navigate the often-complicated process of purchasing a vehicle, ensuring they make informed decisions and get the best value for their money.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

First Community Credit Union has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from members who have financed their vehicles through the credit union’s auto loans. Many customers rave about the low interest rates, easy application process, and excellent customer service they received.

“I was shopping around for the best deal on a car loan, and First Community blew the other lenders out of the water with their rates. The entire process from application to closing was smooth and hassle-free.” – Sarah M., Asheville

“I’ve had accounts with First Community for years, but this was my first auto loan with them. I’m so glad I went with the credit union – the rate was a full percentage point lower than what my bank offered. The loan officers were friendly and knowledgeable too.” – Miguel R., Greenville

“As a first-time car buyer, I was pretty nervous about the financing process. But the team at First Community held my hand every step of the way. They explained all my options clearly and made sure I understood everything before signing. 5 stars!” – Jaden T., Spartanburg

With a 4.8/5 average rating across major review platforms, it’s clear that First Community Credit Union’s members are extremely satisfied with their auto loan experience. From competitive rates to exceptional service, the credit union consistently delivers for its car-buying members.

Joining First Community Credit Union

 Membership eligibility is based on where you live, work, or attend school. First Community CU serves several counties in the region, so chances are you may already qualify.

Even if you don’t meet the basic eligibility criteria, there’s an easy workaround – you can join by making a small donation to the First Community Charitable Foundation. Once you’ve joined, simply open a savings account with as little as $5, and you’re an official member!

The account opening process is straightforward and can be completed online in just a few minutes. After your identity is verified, your new accounts will be created instantly.

This includes free checking accounts, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, and more. Their member-owned, not-for-profit structure allows them to return profits to members in the form of lower fees and better rates.

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