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  Home & Family Finance Resource Center

Preapprove Your Way to a Better Car Deal

Erienne Andvik / February 5th, 2018

Before you set foot on the car lot, get preapproved for an auto loan at your credit union. Getting preapproved for a car loan means you'll know what kind of rate you'll pay, and what size loan you're qualified for.

If you have questions about how much car you can afford, or how financing works, a loan officer will be happy to help.

To apply for preapproval, you'll need to show:

  • Name and address
  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number
  • Employer information (name, hire date, gross income)
  • Current housing information—monthly payment, time in current residence
  • Debt obligations—current credit card debt, home association dues, auto insurance

Certain financial institutions also may require you to list a reference or other information.

Once you're preapproved, you'll receive a preapproval letter that you can take car shopping showing the amount you're approved for.

Getting preapproved is a big advantage, as it shows car sales staff that you're a serious buyer. It also removes the pressure of negotiating financing contracts at the dealership, and allows you to focus your attention on finding the right vehicle. And, if you need another incentive, our low auto loan rates can get you on a faster track toward making your dream car a reality.

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