Credit Infocenter

How to Refinance Your Auto Loan With a Credit Union

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: October 11, 2017

Are you thinking about refinancing your auto loan? If so, think outside the big bank box, as the best deal is likely to be found through a credit union. This is nothing you need to clear first through your current bank. You may refinance through any lender licensed to do business in your state, credit unions among them.

Going the non-profit credit union route means getting:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Lower fees
  • More flexible repayment terms
  • More personalized customer service

Plus, refinancing a car loan through a credit union could be just the beginning of a long, lucrative relationship with an organization that treats people like people, and makes lending decisions accordingly.

Determine Whether Refinancing is Right For You

Refinancing a car loan is probably in your best interest if:

  • Your credit score has improved since you took out the original loan.
  • You originally financed at a high interest rate.
  • Interest rates have fallen since you took out the original loan.
  • You need to lower your current monthly payments.

On the other hand, refinancing a car may not be in your best interest if:

  • Your credit score has fallen since you took out the original loan.
  • Interest rates have gone up since you took out the original loan.
  • You only have a year or two left on the original loan.

If you’re still not sure, it may be worth exploring through a credit union.

How to Join a Credit Union

Before you refinance an auto loan through a credit union, you first must be a member. The question is, how do you find one?

There are thousands of credit unions nationwide, and every one of them has a different set of criteria for joining. To find one that works for you, the National Credit Union Administration is a good place to start, where you can search credit unions by city and zip code.

Of course, don’t just settle on the first one for which you meet all of the criteria. Look for a handful from which you can choose the one that’s right for you. Comparison shop by looking carefully at the websites of the credit unions you are considering. And don’t be afraid to give them a call with questions.

Meet With a Credit Union Representative

Once you have a joined a credit union, set up an in-person meeting with a credit union representative who can advise you on the refinancing process. They will be able to help you determine whether refinancing your auto loan really does make good sense relative to your unique financial situation.