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Auto Loan FAQ

Car Loan FAQs

BEFORE YOU APPLY

What information do I need to apply?

  • your personal information such as name, address, social security number, employment information, income, e-mail address and your vehicle make, model, trim and the details of your requested financing. If you are applying via our online banking or mobile app, your personal information will be pre-filled, saving you time.
  • your vehicle information such as make, model, year, VIN, and mileage (but this data is not required for prequalification).
  • the details of your requested financing and term. If you are refinancing an existing auto loan, you will be asked to provide information about the current financial institution. Keep in mind, we may ask for additional information based on your auto finance application.

What information do I need to provide for a refinance from another finance company?

We will need to know the vehicle year, make, model, VIN, exact mileage, lender contact information and payoff amount.

Do you offer car loans in all 50 states?

Currently Selfreliance FCU offers financing for members residing in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin.

Can I buy a car from a private party? What is the process?

Yes, as long as the vehicle does not have an outstanding lien on it and the seller has a clean title. The process is the same as with any other vehicle loan except for the final step: both buyer and seller must be present when the check is issued, so that the seller can immediately sign over the title.

What are the credit requirements?

We use a number of factors when making credit decisions, including the information you provide in your application and the information in your credit bureau report.

I have limited credit history; can I still get a loan?

Yes, but a co-borrower or co-signer may be required.

What is the difference between a co-borrower and a co-signer?

A co-borrower is a joint applicant who is also on the title and agrees to be equally responsible for repayment of the loan. Both applicants' income and credit profiles are used for approval of the loan.

A co-signer agrees to take responsibility for repaying the loan if the primary borrower misses a payment. The co-signer's income and credit profiles are used for approval of the loan, who typically has better credit or a higher income than the primary borrower, who might otherwise not get a loan approved without the help of a co-signer.

Do I need to know the specific car I want to buy when I apply for financing?

Not necessarily, however if you want to get more accurate credit decision and rate, you will need to provide us with more detailed vehicle information.

What if I don’t know exactly how much money I need to borrow?

Your exact amount may change as you work out the details with your dealer. It's best to be as accurate as possible because changes can affect your approval and terms.

What interest rates do you offer?

Please visit our Rates page for information on our current interest rates.

What interest will I get?

Your actual annual percentage rate (APR) will be based on your specific situation. At SFCU, rates are determined using several variables, including, but not limited to:
  • Your Credit Score
  • Value of the vehicle relative to the amount of the loan
  • Age and type of vehicle being financed
  • Purchase from a private party/dealer
  • Loan term

What are the available loan terms?

SFCU offers a wide range of loan repayment options with terms up to 60 months. You will be assigned a Member Service Representative who will work with you to find the right repayment option for your needs.

How much will I get approved for?

Approvals are based on variables within each applicant scenario. A loan application must be submitted to an underwriter for review to determine an accurate approval amount. Variables include, but not limited to, your credit score and history, income, debt ratio, loan type, vehicle mileage and the value of the vehicle relative to the amount of the loan (Loan-to-Value). Currently, Selfreliance FCU finances vehicle loans of up to $50,000.

What is Loan-to-Value (LTV)?

Loan-to-Value refers to the amount of the loan in relation to the retail value of the vehicle being financed.

Example 1: Vehicle with a retail value of $10,000, and a loan amount of $9,000 has a 90% LTV.

Example 2: Vehicle with a retail value of $10,000, and a loan amount of $11,000 has a 110% LTV.

What will my monthly payment be?

Your monthly payment will change depending on several factors, including your amount financed, term and APR. To see an estimated monthly payment, please use our Payment Calculator.

What requirements must a vehicle meet to be financed by Selfreliance FCU?

The vehicle being financed must be within 6 model years, or 100,000 miles or less to be considered for financing (exceptions may be considered on a case-by case basis.) Maximum Vehicle Weight Class of 1 and 2 (less than 10,000 lbs.). If you are uncertain if your vehicle qualifies, please contact us with your VIN and mileage.

Are there any vehicles Selfreliance FCU does not finance?

We do not currently offer financing for antique, classic or collectable cars, commercial trucks, RVs, motorcycles, boats or trailers. We also do not provide vehicle loans for business entities.

Can I finance a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle? What are the LTV requirements?

We do loans on Rebuilt Titles, but not on Salvaged Titles. The maximum LTV for Rebuilt vehicle is 65%. Salvaged vehicles are not considered road worthy.

APPLY

How do I apply for an auto financing with Selfreliance FCU?

You choose how to apply:
  • Via digital banking: sign in to your Selfreliance digital account either online or on the mobile app, navigate to Additional Services, and choose Apply for a Loan. Follow simple steps to fill out the application.
  • Fill out an application here
  • Apply over the phone at 888-222-8571
  • Visit your local branch to apply in person

My joint account owner’s personal information pre-fills in my application, how can I remove their information?

Apply from account where you are a primary owner, or follow this link.

How old do I need to be to apply?

Generally, applicants must be 18 years or older to apply.

Do I need a down-payment?

A down payment is not required but providing one can reduce the rate for your loan.

Is there an application fee?

There's no fee to apply.

How long will it take to receive a credit decision?

We normally have a 24-to-48-hour turnaround time. In some cases, your loan may be approved the same day you apply. We understand that the vehicle buying process is urgent. Our Member Service Representatives will answer your questions and help expedite the simple application and approval process.

AFTER YOU APPLY

Can I make changes after I submit the application?

Please contact us if you need to make any changes to your application.

If you approve my application, am I obligated to finance with Selfreliance FCU?

You don't have to finance with Selfreliance FCU, even if we approve your application.

When do my credit decision and the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) expire?

Your auto loan pre-approval and interest rate are locked in for 30 calendar days from the date of the application.

My application was approved, what do I do next?

After you are approved, you will know the amount you are approved for, the rate and the terms. You should request a “Bill of Sale”, an official invoice from the dealer and either fax, email or bring it into your nearest branch. After that the loan paperwork can be signed in the office or electronically. Once that is done and insurance is provided, we can write a check to the dealer. If you haven’t found a car yet, but have been only pre-approved, you can go shopping knowing you have already secured financing. Once you find a vehicle, you can provide us VIN (from the official invoice/ purchase contract from the dealer) by fax, email, over the phone, or bring it into your nearest branch. The received vehicle information will be checked and if no issues found, that can cause the changes to the rate, the loan paperwork can be signed in the office or electronically. Once that is done and insurance is provided, we can write a check to the dealer.

What are the insurance requirements?

Insurance coverage must include full fire, theft and collision (physical damage) insurance coverage with a deductible of no more than $1,000. Please log in to your auto insurance account or call your insurance agent to change the Lienholder of your vehicle to Selfreliance Federal Credit Union.

What's a lien holder?

A lien holder is someone—usually a financial institution or lender—that has an enforceable right on an asset/property as security for a debt.

Can I include taxes, title fees, extended warranty, and other fees in the loan?

Yes, in most cases.

MANAGING YOUR LOAN

Can I pay off my car early?

Yes. At Selfreliance FCU we do not charge prepayment penalties for paying off your loan faster.

How do I make my car loan payments at Selfreliance FCU?

  • Transfer your loan payment automatically from your savings or checking account using SFCU’s digital banking
  • Call a member rep at 888-222-8571
  • Visit our branches for in-person assistance

How do I set up auto payments on my loan?

Sign in to your digital banking and select Transfers. Click on To/From My Accounts and set up your transfer details. Check the ‘Set up recurring transfer’ at the end of the form. Learn more about transfers.

How do I change the date and the amount of auto payments?

Sign in to you digital banking and select Transfers. Click on Scheduled Transfers and select Account number and Account type from which your transfers are scheduled. Press edit on the desired auto payment and follow the prompts. Please note that while you can choose the date of the payment, however, the loan payment due date cannot be modified.

How do I view monthly statements for my auto loan?

You can access your statements anytime by signing in to your online account. Find Statements and Tax Forms in the main menu and follow the prompts to select the statement you’d like to view. You can print or download your statements in pdf format.

How do I switch to paperless statements on my auto loan?

Switching to e-statements is easy: step-by-step instructions.
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