Buying a Car

On the Road to New Wheels

We're here to make it easy to shop for and finance your new car!

Use our car buying information to save time and money. Still have questions? Give us a call. We'll be happy to help.

Good luck with your car shopping!

Apply Online or by Phone

Purchasing a vehicle?

Apply Now — Purchase or Pre-Approval

You can apply online — just use the button above — whether or not you've found your new car. If you're still shopping, we'll let you know the maximum loan amount for which you qualify. Shop with confidence knowing that your financing is ready when you are!

Refinancing an auto loan?

Apply Now — Refinance

Use the button above or check out our Refinance page for more information.

Prefer to apply over the phone?

Apply Now — Call our Loan Phone

To apply for or discuss an auto loan, please call our Loan Phone at 866-80-LOANS from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Mondays through Fridays, or 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. We’ll take your application right over the phone.

Special Services for NEFCU Car Buyers

Increase your negotiating power at the dealership

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I am buying on Craig's list?

    We cannot give you advice about the integrity of items sold on Craig’s list. We can tell you the transaction from our point of view is the same as a used auto sale.

Basics

  • Don't Go on Emotion
    Take your time to find out the exact car you want and research the available options. You can find all the model information online, including feature packages, reliability ratings and more. Try to create a short list of cars you’re considering so you can you use your visit to the dealership to compare specific models and features. This strategy signals to the salesperson that you know what you’re doing.

  • Learn What Others are Paying
    Before you go into the dealership, find out what other people have paid for similar models. This information is available (usually for a fee) from several websites, including Edmunds.com and ConsumerReports.org. You can also get an approximate idea for free from TrueCar. If you are a serious researcher, there are online forums where other shoppers share the details of the deals they’ve gotten.

  • Pricing -- "Invoice" vs. "Internet" vs. MSRP
    For new cars, "invoice price" is what the dealer pays to get the car onto the lot. This is the cost the dealer has to cover, plus profit, and it's always lower than the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) shown on the vehicle. You can find the invoice price online for a modest fee, and some dealers will tell you if you ask. It's perfectly reasonable to use this price as your starting point for negotiations.

    Many dealers offer "Internet" pricing. This number is often closer to their best price because it's based on working with buyers online, which reduces dealer overhead costs. A good strategy can be to contact several dealers by email and ask for their "best internet price" on the make and model you want. This is a good way to find the "no-nonsense" dealers that will negotiate in a straightforward fashion.

  • Break The Deal Down
    Dealers have several profit centers in each car deal: price, rebates, trade-in value, interest/lease rate, bank fee, maintenance, warranties, extra features, and any other products the dealer is offering. By separating each of these costs, you can drive down the overall price by eliminating any "padding" the dealer may try to tuck into the deal.

Negotiation Tips

  • Don't Fall for False Urgency
    Nine times out of 10, a deal the salesman quotes you will be available the next day (unless it's the last day of a special program). Prepare yourself to walk out of the dealership if you are being pressured and are uncomfortable.

  • End of the Month Is Good, But...
    The end of the month is not the only time to get a great deal. Dealerships are always motivated to sell cars. If you do want to take advantage of the dealer's urgency to meet his monthly goal or quota, start your negotiation a few days before.

  • Don't Waste Your Time
    Before you start negotiating, make sure the dealer has the particular car you want in stock. If he doesn't, he can usually trade for it with another dealer. This can take a few days, and there is no guarantee that the dealer that can get the car for you. If not, you've wasted your time. Moreover, dealers typically offer better deals on cars they have in stock.

  • Check the Switch
    If a dealer proposes to switch you from a new car to a used car, or vice versa, get all the information on the second car. Then go home and research its market value. Take any false urgency such as, "This pre-owned car is a very special, rare, low-mileage car that may be impossible to replace," with two grains of salt.

    Sometimes these pitches are at least partially true. If you feel that the car the dealer is showing you really is special, leave and gather your information quickly. You can always ask the dealer to hold the car for a while.

  • Lower Payment Isn't Lower Price
    If a salesman offers to lower your monthly payment by changing the terms of a loan or lease, he may not be offering much of anything. This is a common way to present a more comfortable payment for you without having to lower his price and profit.

  • The Early Bird Gets Rolled
    If you're the type who has to be the first on your block with the new Mustang, fine, but you probably won't get a good deal. The hype surrounding a new model (or a new version of an existing model) tilts the supply-demand ratio in the dealers' favor, allowing them to charge retail or even more when the new car hits the showroom. If you wait a few months for the actual inventory to arrive at the dealer, you'll usually get a better price.

  • Set yourself up to be in a good position to get your next car
    If you are going to purchase a car with little or no money down and you plan to replace it within 36 months, you will likely end up owing more money on the car than it's worth. This could create a cycle of taking negative equity from one car to another, further burying yourself in a negative trade cycle.

    Instead, lease it for a 36-month term, and you'll end up with a paid contract at the end of the lease.

  • Call Ahead
    Call the dealership before going there and ask the salesman to have the car you want to drive ready. If you don't, it could have a dead battery, be buried behind other cars or even be stored off-site.