In the Market for a Car? 3 Reasons Credit Unions Are Better Auto Lenders

3:19 PM, Apr 04, 2019
1:59 PM, Jun 12, 2019

Buying a new vehicle involves a lot more than deciding what car company you prefer. Life can easily influence what make and model you choose, but what about the financial decisions? Do you know how much money you should put down? What about finding the best rate — do you go with a traditional bank or a credit union? If you are in the market for a car, here are three reasons credit unions are the best auto lenders.

1. The loan process is quicker

The mere idea of a tedious loan application process can discourage many consumers from seeking financial help. The good news is, the process does not have to be painful, according to Jeremy Garza, President and CEO of Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union. Credit unions typically have loan underwriters and processors in-house, so they can efficiently handle applications as they come in. “At all of our branches,” Garza says, “when anyone applies, either online or in-person, within seconds their application is hitting one of our loan underwriter’s desks.” He stresses that if you have a purchase order, or even just an estimated amount of what you’re looking to spend, and your most recent paycheck stub, their team can make a fast decision on the spot because the loan underwriters and originators are on-site.

2. Credit union interest rates are typically at least 1% lower than banks

What many people may not know is that credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned solely by their members, meaning they do not have to answer to corporate boards or shareholders. Members directly benefit from the profits earned in the way of lower interest rates on loans and higher dividend rates paid out for CDs and deposits. Credit unions hold true to that promise by typically offering interest rates at least 1% lower than banks, making their auto loan interest rates very hard to beat. Garza says this is because credit unions keep their community in mind: “The decisions made on behalf of our membership are made with the needs and income levels of the cities we serve in mind. We know who borrows here in Nueces, San Patricio, or Jim Wells Counties and we tailor our lending procedures accordingly. Because credit unions are community-based and member-owned,” he continues, “we understand exactly what the local market is for credit scores and we can make local decisions on credit thresholds. We make sure we lend locally, and we do it quite well.”

3. The customer service is unparalleled

Many big banks boast close ties to the communities they serve, but credit unions live up to that promise without even trying. Because they were formed to assist consumers, not commercial buyers, they pay close attention to what their customers want and need. “But that’s not all,” Garza says, “with an indirect auto lending program at participating car dealerships, customers who aren’t members and even live in different counties can take advantage of the lower auto loan rates offered by GCFCU.” Devoted to their customers, GCFCU wants to help you find interest rates you can afford. Garza stresses that his team has years of experience helping borrowers. “My staff and GCFCU members know very well that they have a president who is local to the community with 16 years of experience in lending. If they have any questions, they’re welcome to speak with any of the knowledgeable senior staff here at GCFCU, who are also all local, or even me. That’s a big difference between us and big banks.” That kind of customer service just can’t be beaten.

When you’re ready to buy your next new or used car, the professionals at GCFCU can help you. They’ve been in the Coastal Bend community for over 80 years. They will do everything they can to make sure your auto loan is right for you and you’re set up for financial success. If you’re interested in learning more about their products, visit them online at to find your nearest branch.

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2633 Rodd Field Rd.

Corpus Christi, TX 78414
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