Consumers Credit Union Auto Loans Review for 2024

Consumers Credit Union is based in Illinois, operating 17 branches in the Chicago area. Founded in 1930, it offers members checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards, as well as a host of other loan products and more.

While Consumers Credit Union’s branches are only in Illinois, the credit union is open to customers across the country.

Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union Overview

Consumers Credit Union (CCU) offers members several loan products, including auto purchase and refinance loans. When it comes to auto lending CCU is particularly flexible, with little qualifying restrictions for vehicle age or mileage.

CCU’s current advertised rates are their lowest fixed rate available, starting at 5.24% APR for terms under 60 months. Keep in mind that this lowest advertised rate will only be available to those with excellent credit. As noted on the website, your rates will depend on your credit history.

Potential customers can avail of a free rate estimate on the credit union’s website without affecting their credit. However, you will initiate a hard credit pull if you apply for an auto loan, as is the norm.

CCU also offers customers access to an online car market for new and used vehicles in partnership with TrueCar. You can search for cars via ZIP code and avail of special customer pricing.

Get started with Consumers Credit Union on Consumers Credit Union’s secure website

Pros of Consumers Credit Union Auto Loans

Competitive Rates

Consumers Credit Union offers their members competitive auto loan rates. While the maximum rate isn’t published online, the minimum rates are strong compared to many of their competitors.

No Origination Fees

Origination fees are common with many lenders, and are used to cover administration fees. Consumers Credit Union doesn’t charge this fee, which means an automatic saving compared to most other lenders.

Allows Co-Signers

CCU allows co-signers for an auto loan, which isn’t always the case for auto lenders. This means you can improve your chances of qualifying for a loan and access better rates if you have a trusted co-signer to consider. 

Flexible Financing & Higher Loan Amounts

CCU offers new, used and refinancing auto loans to cover the needs of a majority of auto borrower’s needs. They also have no maximum loan amount listed for several of their auto loan products, including new loans.

Cons of Consumers Credit Union Auto Loans

Membership Required

Only members of the credit union can get a loan. While you can apply for a loan without being a member, you can’t actually receive the funds until you’ve officially joined. The good news is, signing up is easy and requires just a one-time $5 membership fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.

No Lease Buyouts

Unfortunately Consumers Credit Union doesn’t offer lease buyouts, which might be a dealbreaker for some.

Late Fees

Consumers Credit Union charges a $29 late fee for falling behind on your monthly payment. This penalty will be charged following a 10-day grace period.

Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Type

Consumers Credit Union offers their members auto loans for new car purchases, as well as for used vehicles and vehicle refinancing.

New and Used Vehicle Loans

CCU holds minimal vehicle requirements for new or used loans. However, you will need a good credit score to be approved. You can also benefit from additional savings if you choose to purchase a vehicle through their car buying service. But pre-qualification is available even if you don’t decide to use Consumers’ car-buying service.

Refinance Loans

You can find competitive refinancing options with CCU. Auto refinancing can be a great way to reduce the monthly payment of your current loan and secure a loan that works better for you.

You can contact a representative at CCU to discuss details and find a financing solution that works for you.

Consumers Credit Union’s Loan Application Process

You don’t have to be a credit union member to apply for and be approved for an auto loan. However, if you eventually decide to accept a loan offer, you’ll have to become a member before receiving the loan amount.

If you’re interested in an auto loan from CCU, the entire application process can be handled online. You can also apply over the phone, or in person if you visit one of their branches in the Chicago area.

Membership will require a one-off $5 fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.

Submit Application

To complete your application, you will need to provide certain information. Including personal identifying details such as your Social Security Number, you’ll need to provide basic details on your finances. This step involves a soft credit check. 

Review Details

If approved for a loan, you will be contacted by a CCU representative to discuss financing options. They will share the rates and terms available to you, and you can also use this time to discuss any other necessary details.  

Decide on a Vehicle

You’ve probably got a good idea of which vehicle you want to purchase with your auto loan. Once you’re approved and you have some clarity around your monthly payment, you can make a final decision.

Finalize Documentation

Once you’ve decided on a vehicle, you will then send the purchase agreement to Consumers Credit Union. Then you will sign off on the final documents either online or in person at a CCU branch. 

Funds Sent

The final step is for CCU to send the loan check directly to your chosen dealership, allowing you to purchase the vehicle.

Get started with Consumers Credit Union on Consumers Credit Union’s secure website

Qualification & Restrictions

While CCU doesn’t require borrowers to meet any minimum credit history or income requirements, there is a FICO credit score threshold of 620 for their auto loans.

This is higher than some competitors, and much higher than any bad credit lending loan rates. In terms of debt-to-income ratio, CCU generally looks for 50% or less for approved loans.

All loans require active membership, which itself requires a one-time payment of $5 in addition to a $5 account minimum requirement.

A major benefit of CCU’s auto loans is the flexibility around vehicle age and mileage. There are no maximum requirements here for the vehicle you want to finance. You do, however, have to purchase your vehicle directly from a dealership to qualify for a loan.

Furthermore, there is a loan amount minimum of $7,500 that borrowers must meet. There are no maximum loan amounts for new car purchases, however used car and refinance loans are capped at $500,000.

Finally, the maximum loan-to-value ratio is 125%, but ideally, you should aim for this no more than 80% to qualify for the best rates.

Comparing Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Rates

Credit unions tend to offer better rates than most banks. Consumers Credit Union is a competitive lender, even among credit unions. Two major competitors are PenFed Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union.

Membership with PenFed is open to anyone. Similarly to Consumers, you can set up and maintain an account with a small minimum deposit into a savings account. Membership with Navy Federal Credit Union is more exclusive – you’ll need a documented military connection to become a member there.

Get started with Consumers Credit Union on Consumers Credit Union’s secure website

Final Word

If you’re in the market for a credit union auto loan, Consumers Credit Union has some of the lowest interest rates on the market today. You can choose the loan type that suits your needs, and even avail of a rate discount if you choose to set up automatic payments.

To receive a loan from CCU, you will need to join the credit union, but the membership requirements are few. If you’ve got excellent credit, you may struggle to find a better deal from any competitors.

Consumers Credit Union Auto Loans FAQ

Who can join Consumers Credit Union?

Membership to Consumers Credit Union is open to all US citizens and permanent residents. Membership requires payment of a one-time $5 fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association. You’ll also need to deposit and maintain a minimum $5 balance in a share or savings account.

You can apply for an account with CCU online, and easily fund your account via bank transfer.

Is Consumers Credit Union trustworthy?

Yes. CCU has a great track record of customer service and professionalism. They also carry an accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with a rating of A+. The BBB rates companies by evaluating how they handle customer complaints and other details. As a consumer, you can be sure that Consumers Credit Union provides a legitimate and trustworthy service. 

Keep in mind, however, that a strong BBB grade isn’t a guarantee that you’ll enjoy a great relationship with any business. It simply indicates a strong track record generally in transparency and customer service.

Is Consumers Credit Union a good fit for me?

Most consumers will benefit from the competitive rates and higher loan amounts available at credit unions. However, CCU will be particularly beneficial if the following applies to you:

  • Good or great credit: The minimum credit score requirement for CCU auto loans is slightly higher than some of their competitors.
  • Flexible qualifying criteria: If you’re in need of some flexibility when it comes to qualifying criteria, CCU could be right for you. For example, there are no minimum income requirements for their loan products.
  • Appreciate CU membership: Those who appreciate and enjoy the benefits of community oriented banking will be best suited to CUU’s auto loan products.

How long does it take Consumers Credit Union to approve a loan?

Preapproval for loans with Consumers Credit Union can take as little as 20 minutes. Full payment of auto loan funds usually arrives within 48 hours.

Can a credit union car loan help your credit score?

In theory, yes. If you take out an auto loan with Consumers Credit Union, they will regularly report your payments to the three major credit bureaus. If you make your payments in full and on time consistently, this could increase your credit score.

On the other hand, late or missed payments will likely harm your credit score.

Does Consumer Credit Union offer extended warranties and guaranteed asset protection (GAP)?

Unfortunately, extended warranties are not something that Consumer Credit Union currently offers. However, CCU does offer affordable mechanical repair coverage to borrowers via their partnership with ForeverCar.

Borrowers do have the option of directly purchasing GAP coverage through the credit union if they wish.

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