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Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Review

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Consumers Credit Union offers auto loans starting at just 2.49%. While based in Illinois, Consumers Credit Union has open membership, meaning access to its excellent rates is available nationwide after paying a membership fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.

For Illinois customers, the credit union has more than 15 branches in the Chicago area, and a shared banking network opens up in-person banking to customers nationwide. However, there are many other credit unions that go by the same, or similar, names and have different membership requirements, so double check you’re looking for the right one before initiating any transactions.

Consumers Credit Union auto loans at a glance

Loan typeAPRTermsAmountMin. credit score
New carStarting at 2.49% APR12-84 months$500-$150,000None
Used car model years 2016-2019Starting at 2.74% APR12-84 months$500-$150,000None
Used car model years 2015 and olderStarting at 5.24% APR12-84 months$500-$150,000None
RefinanceSame rates as new and used financing depending on model year.12-84 months$500-$150,000None

*Rates include 0.25% automatic payment discount.

Consumers Credit Union auto loans pros and cons

ProsCons

 Extremely competitive APRs.

 APR discount for setting up automatic payments.

 Variety of loan terms.

 You can join the credit union to secure a loan regardless of where you live. 

 No minimum credit score requirements – though you will pay higher rates with a lower credit score.

  You will need to provide five references to apply for your loan.

  You will need to pay a nominal fee when you apply for membership with the credit union 

  You will want to be savvy about potential upsells like mechanical repair coverage.

A closer look at Consumers Credit Union auto loans

Consumers Credit Union offers new vehicle financing, used vehicle financing and auto loan refinancing. You’ll find the lowest interest rates on new vehicles, which include model years 2020 and newer. Used vehicle loans are available for model years 2019 and older.

The listed rates include an auto pay discount of 0.25%. You can get this discount by setting up automatic payments through a Consumers Credit Union deposit account or an outside financial institution.

According to the company, Consumer Credit Union auto loans come with no minimum credit score requirement, and they’ll try to work with you even if you have a less-than-perfect credit history. However, you must have excellent credit to qualify for the lowest rates.

Consumer Credit Union also offers borrowers mechanical repair coverage with 24-hour emergency service. This coverage typically comes with a premium, but covers things like:

  • Engine and transmission problems
  • Front and rear wheel drive
  • Steering
  • Front suspension
  • Brakes, including anti-lock brake systems depending on your level of coverage
  • Electrical systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Power seats, windows and door locks
  • Heating system
  • Radiator
  • Power sunroof
  • Convertible motor
  • Electronic rear view mirrors
  • Entertainment systems
  • Hybrid components
  • Safety and security systems

It does not cover:

  • Normal maintenance, like brake pads, wheels and wiper blades
  • Problems caused by not performing regular maintenance on your vehicle
  • Vehicle body structure
  • Parts like light bulbs, trim and upholstery
  • Aftermarket components and systems

The level of coverage you get determines which repairs are covered and which aren’t.

It’s important to note that this type of product can be considered an upsell. Many of these things may be covered under manufacturer warranty. And the included bonus of 24-hour emergency service coverage may already be covered under your existing auto insurance policy, depending on your policy and insurer.

How to join Consumers Credit Union and apply for an auto loan

Consumers Credit Union does offer loans at identical rates through select dealerships in Lake, Cook, and McHenry Counties in Illinois. You can also apply directly through Consumers Credit Union if it’s not offered at a dealership near you.

You don’t have to be a credit union member to get approved for an auto loan. But if you want to actually accept the offer, you will need to become a member before your loan is funded.

To become a member, all you have to do is pay a one-time $5 fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association. Then, you will have access to a Member Share/Savings account where you’ll deposit another $5. You will need to maintain a balance of at least $5 in order to maintain your membership.

You must be 18 years or older to become a member, and will need to provide the following information:

  • Your Social Security number or individual tax identification number
  • A government-issued ID
  • Routing and account number from the bank account you’re using to fund your membership
  • If you don’t use a bank account to fund your membership, you will need to do so with a debit or credit card

The account or credit card you use to fund your membership must be held in your own name. You cannot fund someone else’s membership.

When you apply for your loan, you will need to provide some additional information:

  • Last two pay stubs
  • Tax returns from the past two years
  • Five references, complete with phone numbers and addresses
  • Two utility bills showing your home address

This is all pretty standard except for the reference requirement. That’s a step further than most other lenders go (unless you have a poor credit history, in which case it’s more common).

You can apply for membership online. To apply for a loan, you can visit your local Consumer Credit Union branch to start the application process. Or, if you don’t live near one of the Illinois branches, you can get your loan application started by calling 847-837-7938.

How Consumers Credit Union auto loans compare

Credit unions tend to offer lower rates than larger banks. Even among credit unions, Consumers is extremely competitive. Two financial institutions that get close include PenFed Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union.

PenFed membership is open to anyone. Just like Consumers Credit Union, you will need to make a nominal minimum deposit into your member savings account. But to join the Navy Federal Credit Union, you will need some type of military affiliation.

Consumers Credit UnionPenFed Credit UnionNavy Federal Credit Union
APRStarting at 2.49% APR2.99%-17.99% APR2.29%-17.99% APR
Terms12-84 months36-84 monthsUp to 96 months
Amount$500-$150,000Starting at $500 on shorter terms Up to 125% of the value of new vehiclesUp to 100% of the value of the vehicle
Min. credit scoreNone610No minimum, but you will need a score of 700+ to qualify for the lowest rates

You can prequalify for an auto loan from Consumers Credit Union, meaning you can get a rate estimate without dinging your credit. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best deal between lenders. However, remember that prequalification isn’t the same as preapproval; a preapproval provides a firm offer because it involves a hard credit pull.

Is a Consumers Credit Union auto loan right for you?

Consumers Credit Union offers some of the best rates on the market for auto loans. There are no minimum credit score requirements, and you can secure even lower rates by setting up automatic payments.

You will need to go through the process of joining the credit union, though this process is fairly straightforward. Assuming you qualify for the lowest rates, you’ll have a hard time finding a better offer from any competitors. But it’s still always wise to shop around.

 

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