How I upgraded my car with the credit union
02 Mar 2021
4WheelGuide: Your roadmap to buying a new or used car
As part of our 4-wheel guide series, we spoke to Sara, who recently upgraded her car with the help of her local credit union. We asked Sara about her experience, and why she decided a credit union car loan was the right option for her.
Firstly Sara, congratulations on the new wheels! We would love to hear about your experience in borrowing with the credit union. Can we start by asking about your experience in buying a car right now?
"I had been thinking about changing the car for a while, but with everything closed due to covid restrictions, hadn’t gotten around to it. After taking a while to research what I wanted, I was able to schedule appointments with a couple of car dealerships to take a test drive. I’d decided to trade my old car in, to avoid the hassle of a private sale. But I knew that I’d still need to look at borrowing some money to fund an upgrade".
What finance options did you consider?
"Having only ever taken a personal loan when buying a car, that was my intention at the outset. However, both dealers had mentioned finance was available directly with them. It wasn’t something I knew an awful lot about, so when I picked the car I wanted, it made sense to learn a bit more about it. When it came down to it though, there were just too many conditions attached to a PCP deal for me – I had to ensure I stayed within annual mileage limits for one. But most importantly, the car wouldn’t be mine until the end of the agreement, and only after I paid out a large final payment.
That brought me back to looking at my options for a personal loan".
In choosing a personal loan, what was important to you?
"Probably convenience and flexibility. When I started looking online for options one evening, I saw an ad promoting loans with the credit union. I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to lend me as much as I was looking for (£14,000) or how long it would take, but there was a button to send an enquiry so I did. My local credit union got in touch with me the following day, and I was pleased to hear I could apply for a loan as soon as I joined, and borrowing that amount or more was fine as long as I could afford it!"
Why did a loan with the credit union end up being your preferred option?
"There were a couple of things that appealed to me about a credit union loan. Firstly, how flexible the repayments are. When I agreed the loan repayments, I wanted to make sure I would have a monthly amount to repay that was manageable. But knowing I can pay off more at any time, and that reduces the overall amount I have to repay, was great. Secondly, was the service. The staff weren’t pushy, they talked through my repayment options, and the loan was approved really quickly".
If you’re planning to buy a new car, don’t get sucked into the first shiny-looking PCP offered by the dealership. Send an enquiry to your local credit union today about a flexible car loan or why not check out our handy loan calculator.
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