Get preapproved for your next auto loan
Be prepared and confident in your auto purchase.

Submitted by ltownsend on June 3, 2021

Shopping for a new car can be stressful and confusing. In addition to the sticker price, you may be unprepared to consider other markups and add-on costs. It adds up quickly and before you know it, you’re frustrated not knowing how much car you can really afford. Preapproval for a car loan is easy and helps eliminate that stress. It puts you in the driver’s seat, so to speak, at the dealership. An auto loan preapproval gives you help in securing the best rate possible and gives you confidence at the dealership. Car buyer

How does a preapproved car loan help?

Preapprovals set a realistic expectation for how much you can afford.
Knowing how much you qualify for, and at what interest rate, gives you an idea on what the price range to shop. Remember to calculate in taxes and fees (about 10% of the auto’s price) and any trade-in value or rebates available from the manufacturer to offset the total price. 

How much car can you afford? 
Using our car calculator will show you how much your monthly payments will be. You don’t want to commit to a car payment you can’t afford.
Practical Money Skills Calculator:  www.skywardcu.practicalmoneyskills.com/resources/financial_calculators/loans/auto_afford 

Preapprovals increase your ability to negotiate 

Knowing your loan amount will help you determine if you want or need additional markups and addons at the dealer. With a preapproved car loan, you are essentially a “cash buyer.” While dealers usually  want to talk about a car’s cost using monthly payments as a guide, having a preapproval will help you to focus on the car’s total price giving you the confidence to shop for the best value overall.

What is the difference between Preapproval and Prequalification?

These terms can be confusing.

Preapproval: The lender has reviewed your credit worthiness and determined a loan amount and interest rate you are likely to receive. Information is gathered from a hard-pull credit report. Criteria must be met by the car purchased (which can include total price, model year and mileage).  This makes you essentially a “cash buyer.”

Prequalification: This means you likely qualify for a loan at a given rate (or range of rates) based on some personal and financial information. It is not an offer to fund a loan, but an estimate on how much you might be approved for. This is often calculated with a soft-pull of your credit report, and the offered rate and loan amount could change with a full credit check.  

At Skyward, we always give you a preapproval (not a prequalification) for your auto loan.

How to get a preapproved car loan

Preapproval for a vehicle loan is easy at Skyward. Apply online, use AIM,  or visit in person at one of our branches.  Also, look at our preferred dealer list before you go car shopping. We work together with most area dealers so your buying experience will be trouble-free, and of course, you will get to take advantage of Skyward Credit Union’s great rates.  We also have member-only discount programs for select manufacturers, offering promotional pricing.