Thinking About a New Set of Wheels? By Sharon Cook, CMO, Mountain America Credit Union If you’re dreaming about a new car, or maybe a slightly used one, visit your local credit union and get pre-qualified. It’s simple to do and may save you a lot of money. Know before you go Getting pre-qualified can have several benefits—like becoming eligible for a lower interest rate and determining ahead of time how much money you qualify to borrow. Whether you use your credit union, or work with the dealers’ finance team, both will pull your credit score. This will not establish if you get the loan, but it will be a big factor in determining the interest rate you are offered. Avoid paying more interest than necessary While dealers generally have several lending options available, they don’t always give you the lowest-interest loan for which you qualify. Often the credit union can look at your overall financial picture and provide you with tips to improve your credit score. This could help you qualify for a lower rate or even improve your general financial health. Be comfortable with your monthly payments Getting pre-qualified before a trip to the dealership lets you find out ahead of time how a new loan will affect your financial situation. Do you need lower monthly payments? Or, would you rather pay the loan off more quickly to save money? Maybe you can afford a nicer car if you qualify for a lower interest rate. By thinking about your desires before you shop, you are less likely to get into a loan that will leave you with buyer’s remorse after only a few payments. Using an online calculator can help you understand how much your payments will be. Try this one from Mountain America Credit Union. Arrive with confidence Stop into your local credit union branch before you hit the road to sign your auto deal. This can help you arrive with confidence knowing that you are getting the best financing deal for your situation. What happens if you can’t qualify? Sometimes circumstances prevent you from qualifying for the loan. If you are working with Mountain America, our loan officers can help you identify what steps to take to change that. No one wants to hear that they don’t qualify, but Mountain America’s employees can help guide you to a better situation. Mountain America is here to guide you to your next financial destination.