Saint Louis Banking Rates

5 Ways Arsenal Credit Union Is Keeping Car Buying Affordable in St. Louis

Affordable car buying in St. Louis

Credit unions are an excellent option for auto loan financing in St. Louis because not-for-profit financial institutions often offer the lowest rates, regardless of whether the vehicle is new or used, and are more likely to work with first-time buyers than larger banks. Arsenal Credit Union wants to make car buying in St. Louis a simple process, so here are five ways to save money and keep car buying affordable.

1. Interest-Refund Auto Loans

If you pay off the auto loan according to the regular schedule, Arsenal will return all of the interest you paid during the last year of your loan and will deposit the funds into your Arsenal savings account. In order to qualify, you must have a checking account with Arsenal Credit Union and enroll in electronic statements. More than half of its 25,000 members already have a checking account with the credit union, however, borrowers who don’t have a checking relationship set up can open one of three accounts. You can gain an entire 12 months of interest back from your 48-month or longer auto loan to use to pay off other bills or reward yourself.

2. Low Interest Rates

To keep car buying affordable in St. Louis, Arsenal’s low interest rates start at just 2.30% APR for up to 72 months. This rate covers new and used vehicles from 2007 to 2014. Older models before 2006 can be financed for up 36 months. Making sure all your costs are covered, new and used cars can be financed for up to 125 percent of the purchase price and NADA retail value, respectively, to include taxes and miscellaneous fees. Older models are available for financing up to 75 percent of current NADA retail value.

3. Financial Resources and Calculators

Arsenal provides a wealth of information and tools to help car buyers through every step of the process. Figure out if it’s better to take the rebate or opt for the lower interest rate, estimate your monthly payments and figure out how much you will save making biweekly versus monthly payments. The St. Louis credit union offers online car buying resources on how to manage debt, your credit score and to determine the real price of a used car so you won’t be fooled into overpaying.

4. Buy a Used Vehicle Through Enterprise

Arsenal has a partnership with local St. Louis-area Enterprise lots to match members with certified pre-owned vehicles sold through Enterprise. The rental car company offers a Perfect Used Car Package with each vehicle, which means each vehicle must pass a 109-point inspection performed by an ASE-Certified technician before it is cleared for sale. Vehicle prices are set to sell, so you won’t have to worry about haggling with the salesperson since many are priced at $13,500 or less. Arsenal works with specific Enterprise representatives to ensure members receive personalized treatment along with the best deal.

5. Buy Energy Efficient to Save $4,500 in 5 Years

Drivers save around $4,500 for driving a vehicle with 40 MPG after five years compared to an average new vehicle. Fueleconomy.gov compares electric and hybrid fuel efficiency, and estimates newer electric vehicle models, such as the 2014 BMW i3 BEV, could save drivers up to $9,000 in fuel costs after five years. Arsenal provides loan terms and affordable rates to keep your energy-efficient ride cost effective.

Arsenal Credit Union is a GOBankingRates client.

Photo credit: emilio labrador