Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Review
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A Consumers Credit Union auto loan starts at 2.49% APR for qualifying members nationwide. But that’s not the only benefit of the Illinois-based lender: There is no minimum required credit score to be approved for a car loan, and you could get up to 100% financing with terms as long as 84 months. Consumers Credit Union membership is open to those with a Social Security or taxpayer identification number who pay a $5 non-refundable fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.
Consumers CU auto loans at a glance
It’s important to note that there are many credit unions and banks named Consumers, including a Consumers Credit Union open to those who live, work or worship in Michigan’s lower peninsula. This review covers the Consumers Credit Union formerly known as Consumers Cooperative Credit Union. It may be found at myconsumers.org, and it has 10 public branches in Illinois and numerous shared branches nationwide. You don’t have to live in Illinois to qualify for a Consumers Credit Union auto loan — it’s open to borrowers nationwide.
|Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan|
|Available Terms||0 – 84 months|
|Amounts||$250 – $100,000|
|Requirements||$5 fee, minimum $5 deposit|
*Includes automatic payment discount.
Consumers CU offers one of the best auto loan rates available, especially for new-car buyers who have strong credit and do their banking with the credit union or might want to (we’ll take a closer look at rates by model year in a later section). The credit union also offers motorcycle loans and recreational vehicle loans, for vehicles including boats, ATVs and more.
Consumers’ lowest possible rate includes a 0.50 percentage point discount for members who set up automatic payments from one of its accounts. If you decide to make automatic payments from another financial institution, the discount is halved, for a 0.25 percentage point discount. If you mail in payments or make one-time payments, there is no discount.
Consumers CU offers up to 100% financing, meaning you may only have to cover fees out of pocket when you purchase a vehicle, rather than giving a larger down payment. However, a healthy down payment is usually a good idea: It could help you to qualify for the loan or get the lowest rate possible.
Is a Consumers Credit Union auto loan worth it?
Yes, Consumers CU has low rates and flexible membership requirements (more on that in a sec) when other credit unions limit criteria to where you live or work. You could even apply for an auto loan before becoming a member.
However, it’s still a good idea to apply to more than one lender. You may be able to find an equally low credit union car loan rate — or lower, if your credit is strong — with branches near you. You could also fill out a single online form at LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from all types of lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.
Consumers Credit Union auto loan rates: a closer look
Newer cars qualify for the best car loan rates offered by Consumers Credit Union. Rates are slightly higher for older cars.
|Starting APRs* for New, Used and Refinance Car Loans|
|Vehicle Age||0–60 months||61–72 months||73–84 months|
|2018 and newer||2.69%||3.34%||3.94%|
|2013 and older||5.49%-6.49%||6.99%||7.49%|
*Includes automatic payment discount.
How to join Consumers CU
To become a member of Consumers CU, you must pay a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association and deposit a minimum of $5 in a Membership Share/Savings Account. To remain a member, you must maintain that $5 minimum. You must also be 18 years of age or older and have a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Children can open a student checking account with a parent or legal guardian as a joint account holder.
You do not have to have a specific employer or live in a specific area to qualify for membership with Consumers CU, unlike some other credit unions. To apply for membership, go online or call 877-275-2228.
Pros and cons of a Consumers Credit Union car loan
Consumers CU auto loan pros
Low rates: Consumers had the lowest average APR for borrowers of all credit tiers on the LendingTree platform for the first half of 2020.
Prequalification available: If you want to get an idea of what APR you may receive without dinging your credit score, you could apply for an auto loan prequalification with Consumers. Keep in mind that prequalification isn’t the same as preapproval; preapproval provides a firm offer because it involves a hard credit pull.
Car-buying service: Members can shop for and finance a car all in one place, online. The advantages of a car-buying service are convenience and the possibility of price discounts, though it’s possible you could get as good or even better prices negotiating on your own at car dealerships of your choice.
Consumers CU auto loan cons
Membership required: However, anyone can join with a $5 donation and $5 deposit.
Rate discount requirements: The discounted rates go to new-car buyers who plan to make automatic payments from a Consumers account. If you don’t already bank with Consumers CU, this could be inconvenient, though you’ll still get a (smaller) rate discount for using autopay from another bank or credit union.
Few branches: If you prefer to apply for an auto loan in person, it’s going to be easiest for those who live near a Consumers or Andigo Credit Union branch in Illinois (Andigo has recently merged with Consumers).
How to apply for a Consumers Credit Union auto loan
To apply for a Consumers Credit Union car loan, go online or call 877-275-2228. You don’t need to be a member when you apply, as we said earlier, but you would need to become one if you ultimately decide to accept an auto loan offer from them. To apply for an auto loan, you ’ll need the following information handy:
- Personal details, such as name, address, government ID, phone number and email
- Employment information, including your income and how long you’ve been in your current position
- Loan type, amount and term
- Vehicle information, if available