2023 Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Review
Consumers Credit Union auto loans at a glance
|New auto loans||Used auto loans||Refinance auto loans|
|Starting APR||5.94%*||6.19%*||5.94%* (new) |
|Loan terms||36 - 84 months||36 - 84 months||36 - 84 months|
|Loan amounts||$250 - $250,000||$250 - $250,000||$250 - $250,000|
|See auto loan rates||See auto loan rates||See refinance rates|
*Rates include 0.25% autopay discount
Consumers Credit Union (CCU) offers auto loans starting at just 5.94%. And though it is a credit union, CCU does have open membership, meaning access to its competitive rates is available nationwide after paying a membership fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.
If you live north of Chicago, you may be able to take advantage of one of the credit union’s 15 branches, but you can access in-person services almost anywhere thanks to Consumer Credit Union’s participation in shared branching — a network of more than 5,000 credit unions worldwide that allow consumers to make financial transactions at any participating credit union branch.
- Anyone can join: There are no affiliation or geographic requirements to join Consumers Credit Union. You don’t even have to be a member to apply for an auto loan, though you will have to join before accepting your loan funds. Membership only costs $5, and you’ll just have to make a minimum deposit of $5 into your CCU account.
- Competitive interest rates: Starting rates at Consumers Credit Union are in line with other credit union auto loan rates, which typically have some of the lowest rates available on the market.
- Dealership purchases only: This lender doesn’t provide private-party auto loans or financing for cars purchased at online dealers like Carvana.
- Low minimum loan amount: You can take out an auto loan for as little as $250, but good luck finding even a used vehicle at that price point in 2023.
- Best for borrowers with bad credit: Consumers Credit Union may approve loans for borrowers with credit scores as low as 550, making this lender a solid option if your credit needs some work. Plus, CCU allows joint applications, so you can apply with a trusted friend or family member who has a stronger credit profile if you can’t qualify on your own.
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Consumers Credit Union pros and cons
Consumers Credit Union offers competitive rates and a wide range of loan amounts. Unlike some credit unions, anyone can join, but you’ll have to become a member in order to finalize your loan.
Rate discount for enrolling in autopay
No vehicle restrictions mentioned
Available to borrowers with bad credit
Loans for model years 2016 and older come with higher starting rates and require collateral
No financing for private-party purchases or online car buying sites like Carvana
When you begin your auto loan application with CCU, you can prequalify without impacting your credit. If you choose to move forward, a hard pull will be performed. Borrowers who enroll in automatic payments will secure the lowest rates, but expect to pay a higher rate if you’re buying an older car. The best rates and terms are reserved for borrowers with excellent credit, though you may be approved for a Consumers Credit Union auto loan with a credit score as low as 550.
A closer look at Consumers Credit Union auto loans
Consumers Credit Union auto loans have starting rates of 5.94% APR if the vehicle is model year 2021 or newer, while vehicles that are model years 2017 to 2020 have a starting APR of 6.19%. Older cars come with higher rates — starting at 7.04% — and may require additional collateral.
Terms can be anywhere from 36 to 84 months, with minimum loan amounts of only $250. Consumers Credit Union’s official maximum loan amount is $250,000; however, as long as you’re purchasing a vehicle for personal use rather than business, the lender may approve you for up to $500,000.
Auto loan refinancing is available for both CCU auto loans and loans from other institutions. Unfortunately, CCU doesn’t offer lease buyout loans, private party loans or financing for cars purchased at online car buying websites. If you want to buy a specialty vehicle, Consumers Credit Union also offers financing for the following vehicle types:
In addition to loan products, Consumers Credit Union offers a car buying service with special member pricing, GAP coverage and mechanical repair coverage through ForeverCar. The repair coverage, which comes with a monthly payment and deductible, is similar to an extended warranty and covers components like brakes, suspension, steering, transmission and A/C. However, it doesn’t cover normal maintenance or aftermarket components.
How to get a loan with Consumers Credit Union
You don’t have to be a Consumers Credit Union member to apply for a loan, but you will need to join if you’re approved and want to accept the loan. Luckily, joining CCU is inexpensive — you can become a member by paying a one-time $5 membership fee and making a minimum deposit of $5 into your CCU account.
The loan application process is fairly standard and straightforward. Here’s what to expect:
Check your rates
First, you’ll be asked for the following information:
- Email and phone number
- Social security number
- Birth date
- Vehicle type
- Model year
Consumers Credit Union will use this information to do a soft pull on your credit, which won’t affect your credit score. Then, the lender will provide you with possible terms and rate estimates.
Provide more information to get an offer
If the rates offered are agreeable, you can choose to continue on with your application. You’ll be asked for more information like:
- Your government-issued ID
- Your employment and income information
- Your housing information, including rent or mortgage payments
- Vehicle’s estimated value
- Vehicle’s VIN
- Vehicle’s estimated mileage
At this stage, Consumers Credit Union will do a hard pull on your credit, which could affect your credit score (though likely only marginally).
If your loan request is approved, a customer service representative will contact you to review the final terms and rates.
Take your loan information with you to the dealership
If you accept the loan terms and sign the contract, the final step is to get the purchase agreement from the dealership for processing. Consumers Credit Union will send loan funds directly to the dealership and you can hit the road in your new car.
How Consumers Credit Union auto loans compare
Credit unions are known for offering some of the lowest auto loan rates on the market. Both Navy Federal Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union offer lower starting rates than Consumers Credit Union, but to join Navy Federal Credit Union, you’ll need to have to be affiliated with the military.
|Consumers Credit Union||PenFed Credit Union||Navy Federal Credit Union|
|Terms||36 - 84 months||36 - 84 months||36 - 96 months|
|Amount||$250 - $250,000||$500 - $150,000||Not disclosed|
|Min. credit score||550||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
Is a Consumers Credit Union loan right for you?
Consumers Credit Union is a decent option if you can meet minimum credit score requirements and qualify for the lowest rates. Even if your credit history has a few blemishes, you may still be eligible for an auto loan from CCU. And while it may not offer the lowest rates when compared to other credit unions, it does still beat out most large, for-profit banks.
However, other credit unions do offer lower starting rates, which means that before you sign on the dotted line, you’ll likely want to shop around with other financial institutions. By filling out a single form with LendingTree, you may receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders.