Tag Archives: credit unions

woman shopping for auto loans

How to Get a Low Rate on a Used Car Loan

Shopping for cars is fun. Shopping for car loans – not so much. The good news is that you are in a stronger negotiating position when you shop for auto loans in advance. Many people don’t do this until they find a vehicle, but at this point, you’re at the mercy of the banks. 

Below are the steps to take to get the best rates on a used car loan. 

Shop in the Right Places 

Don’t wait to look for financing until you’ve won your bid. The best way to get lower interest rates is by shopping for car loans ahead of time. This way, you can compare shop and take advantage of available discounts and incentives. 

Where can you shop? Consider large national banks like Chase or Bank of America, as they tend to have special promotions and automated processes. Also try credit unions and community banks. Credit unions usually have lower interest rates than banks, whereas community banks tend to be more flexible and easier to communicate with. Other options worth looking into are online lenders and financial companies. 

Get Pre-Approved on Your Auto Loan 

Once you have shopped around for quotes, take the next steps to get pre-approved. Having a pre-approval in place shows the seller that you are qualified to purchase the vehicle. And, if you choose to use the seller’s financing services, they’ll know what rates they have to beat, which can result in an ever lower rate for you. 

If you find that you’re not approved for a car loan, be wary of dealers that say they can finance your purchase regardless of your credit. You could end up paying very high interest rates. In this case, it’s better to work on building your credit and trying again for a loan at a later date. 

Know Your Credit Score

Speaking of credit scores, it’s important to know how these numbers affect your ability to get a loan and their influence on your interest rates. Credit scores are important because they tell lenders how likely you are to pay back the loan. Having a high credit number is a good sign, resulting in faster approvals and lower rates. 

According to Experian, buyers with bad credit pay four times more than those with excellent credit. Again, if your credit isn’t good, it may be best to wait on a vehicle and work on improving your score. This way, you can get better rates and loan options when it comes time to buy a repo. 

Manage Your Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The loan-to-value ratio is the value of the vehicle you’re buying compared to the amount you’re borrowing. For the best interest rates, you’ll need an LTV of 80% or less. If you have an LTV that is greater than 100%, this means that you’re underwater or have negative equity. If something happens to your car, your auto insurance carrier won’t pay for the total loss, which means you’ll still be on the hook for the rest of the loan balance. 

When shopping around for a repo, be sure to check out your options for financing in advance. This way, you’ll have everything ready to go when you start bidding on vehicles. For a full selection of repo lists from local banks and credit unions, visit RepoFinder.com

red pickup truck

Is it Safe to Buy a Repo Car or Truck?

A repossessed car or truck is a great way to save money on your vehicle purchase. Not only can you get a great car at an affordable price, but you can also lower your monthly insurance costs and registration fees.

But, some people worry about the safety and reliability of these vehicles. If the previous owner failed to make their payments, they probably didn’t take the car in for routine maintenance. So, how safe can these cars and trucks be? 

When it comes to repo vehicles, each situation is unique. Some repos were maintained relatively well, but the owner fell on hard times. Others need basic maintenance like an oil change and new set of tires. And, there are vehicles that require too much work to be reliable. 

Bottom line: It is possible to find safe, dependable repo cars and trucks. Here are some tips to help you find one of your own. 

Know the Laws in Your State 

It helps to know the repossession laws in your state. Some states allow banks to take back a vehicle if the payment is late by just a few days. That said, most states enforce a grace period before allowing lenders to repo the vehicle. Also, because banks make money off interest, most try to work with the customer before taking away the vehicle. 

Nevertheless, if you live in a state that works quickly on repossessions, you may have a bigger selection of vehicles in decent condition to choose from. The longer your state takes to collect vehicles, the more time they have to sit there. 

Buy Directly from the Lender 

You can find very good deals by shopping through a lender. Dealerships sell repossessed vehicles, but they end up buying them from auctions and fixing them up. At least you know you’re getting a car that has been inspected by a mechanic, but it also means you’ll be paying just as much as you would for a used car. So, buy directly from the lender to save money. 

Most lenders are very good about supplying prospective buyers with information and photos of the vehicle. If you use a repo listing site like RepoFinder.com, you can look through all of the banks and credit unions in your state that are selling top-quality vehicles, as well as items like boats, RVs and ATVs. 

Ask to View the Repo Vehicle 

Many sellers will allow you to view the repo before signing anything. Typically, you’ll place your bid first, and if you win, you’ll have the chance to look at the car or truck. We always recommend bringing along someone who knows about cars so that you can identify potential red flags. 

We also recommend only buying repos that have proper documentation. If you purchase a car that has no title, you could face serious issues down the road proving ownership. Technically, the original owner could come back and claim the vehicle, even if you have been paying on it. 

Find a Safe, Reliable Repo with RepoFinder.com 

RepoFinder.com lists the banks, lenders and credit unions in your state that are selling repo cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, RVs and more. It’s free to use, and you’ll find plenty of pictures and descriptions about the repos for sale. When you find something you like, do your research on the vehicle to identify safety issues or other common problems. This will help you place a strong and effective bid. 

parking lot

What Do Banks Do with Repossessed Vehicles?

Most people who buy cars and trucks borrow money from the bank to do so. This means that they don’t own the vehicle free and clear, even though it’s theirs to drive around and maintain. If they stop making their monthly payments, the lender can take the vehicle away from them. This is often done without warning. Lenders might send a driver to get the car or take it away with a tow truck. 

Even though lenders don’t tell people when they’re coming to pick up the car, it’s not a surprise. When borrowing money from a lender, you have to agree to specific terms. This includes making your payments on time and maintaining insurance. If you don’t meet these requirements, the bank has the right to take the vehicle away. 

So, where do these vehicles go once they are taken by the bank? Surely they don’t sit in the parking lot! Let’s learn more about where repossessions go and how people like you can benefit from them. 

Where Repo Cars and Trucks Go 

When the bank comes to collect a car, truck, boat, etc. that is behind on payments, they often bring them to third-party storage facilities. These facilities specialize in managing the repossession and storage of repos. In some cases, however, the banks provide their own storage. 

Regardless of where the repo is being stored, the banks will hold it there until they list it for sale. In the meantime, they hope that the original owner makes payments and takes back the vehicle. If the owner cannot do that, the car is listed for sale. Lenders might sell the car to a dealership, while others organize auctions or list the vehicles on their website where private sellers can place a bid. 

How Repos Benefit the General Public 

The goal for the lender is to recoup some of their losses. This isn’t always possible, though, because repos are sold for a heavily reduced price. If the lender wants to recoup more of their losses, they will try to collect payment from the original owner – this “loss” does not get passed onto the new buyer. That said, the lender is responsible for selling the car at a reasonable market price. 

Here are some of the ways that repossessed vehicles help out the general public:

  • Affordable prices. Cars are expensive and not everyone can afford a new car payment. Repos are sold at low prices, allowing people to get a good vehicle at an affordable price. The affordability of these vehicles also makes them great for teens and college students and older adults who don’t drive much. 
  • Safe, reliable cars. There is a stigma that repo cars aren’t good cars, but this isn’t the case. Older vehicles are often paid off. It’s the newer vehicles that people have trouble affording and end up defaulting on their loan (average car loans are between 2 and 6 years). In reality, repos are often newer cars that are in good condition. 
  • Less waste. Rather than abandoning repossessed vehicles, they are sold through auction sites and dealerships to people who need them. Furthermore, it may be more environmentally friendly to drive a used car because it has less carbon dioxide emissions. 

Ready to check out the repossessions in your area? Visit RepoFinder.com, click on your state and find the banks, lenders and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles at great prices! 

driving a repo car from a credit union

Is it Smart to Buy a Repo from a Credit Union?

If you’re thinking about buying a repossessed car, truck or recreational vehicle, you’ll find a number of ways to make this purchase. However, not all are created equal. For example, if you buy a repo from a dealership, you are going to pay more because the dealership has taken some time to fix and clean the vehicle. For the best prices and freedom in negotiations, it’s smart to buy a repo from a credit union.

What is a Credit Union? 

A credit union is a financial cooperative that is owned by its members. It exists to serve its members, allowing them a safe place to save and borrow money at affordable rates. Like banks, credit unions also accept deposits and make loans. They also repossess things when their borrowers don’t pay. 

Compared to banks, credit unions don’t have various departments and teams to manage repossessions. This means that in a short amount of time, they can start looking like used car lots. The solution to this problem is to get rid of repossessions as quickly as possible. It’s a win for the credit unions because they get vehicles off their lots, and it’s a win for buyers because they have safe vehicles to choose from. 

What are the Benefits of Buying from a Credit Union? 

Because credit unions are operated independently, there are different procedures that they follow. So, before buying a vehicle from a credit union in your area, ask about their process for listing repossessions. Gathering all the information you can will increase your chances of finding a safe and reliable repo car. 

Here are some benefits to purchasing a repo from a local credit union: 

  • Competitive prices. Credit unions want to get the cars off their lots and recoup their losses. You can find lower-than-average rates on plenty of great cars by browsing lender inventories. 
  • Ability to negotiate. Most of the time, credit unions are open to negotiations. Be sure to do your research so that you can make a compelling offer that’s hard to refuse! 
  • Option for financing. It’s possible that you can get financing directly from the credit union. Typically, credit unions have lower interest rates and fees, too.  
  • Inspect the vehicle. As long as you limit your search to local credit unions, you should be able to inspect the vehicle on their lot. If you find a vehicle in another state, you can have it shipped to you. 

Bottom line: Buying a repossession from a credit union is a great option, especially when you’re shopping for a vehicle on a budget. To browse a full list of repossessions in your area from local banks and credit unions, visit RepoFinder.com. It’s free! 

BMO Harris car repo

Purchasing a Repo Car from BMO Harris

BMO Harris has more than 12 million customers that count on them for personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment services. They are the 8th largest bank in North America, based on assets. The bank takes great pride in helping customers make the most of their money. 

With millions of customers, there will always be some who default on their loans. This sometimes happens with auto loans. 

BMO Harris Auto Loans 

When purchasing a car, a buyer may have to put some money down to cover the down payment and title fees, but they can finance the rest of their purchase. What some people don’t realize is how expensive car payments can be, especially once the interest rates are added on. 

Here is some basic information on BMO Harris auto loans. 

  • BMO Harris will finance cars, motorcycles, boats and RVs. 
  • Auto loan amounts start at $5,000 and go up to $30,000.
  • All loan products have fixed APRs that range from 4.8% to 7.11%.
  • Maximum loan terms are 72 months.
  • Loan origination fees are up to 1% of the loan amount.
  • Borrowers are charged late fees. 

When Auto Loan Borrowers Default 

When taking out a loan, the borrower agrees to pay it back according to the loan agreement. If, at any time, they can’t make the loan payments, the loan will go into default and the car can be repossessed. Usually, it only takes a few months for this to happen, as the bank isn’t going to continue losing money every month. 

Once the vehicle is repossessed, it is usually sold at an auction. Everyday people can bid on the vehicle, though dealerships are good at picking up decent cars and reselling them at a higher price. This is why it’s best to buy repossessions directly from the bank, as you don’t want to buy a repo with a price markup. 

Where to Find BMO Harris Repo Cars 

The best way to find repossessions from BMO Harris is by visiting their site directly. Being a large bank, their inventory changes often. Visit RepoFinder.com and click on the state you live in. You can then search for BMO Harris’ inventory of repo vehicles. Also, because BMO Harris provides financing for motorcycles, boats and RVs, you can also find these vehicles for auction. 

Currently, BMO Harris is only in ten states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin, so do keep this in mind. You always want to be able to see the car before buying, so shop only as far as you’re willing to drive. 

repo car bought direct from a lender

Buying a Repo? Make Sure it’s Direct from a Lender

There are different ways to buy a repossession, such as through a physical auction house, an online auction service or a lender. At RepoFinder.com, we always recommend buying repos direct from lenders, banks and credit unions. You can find a better deal this way because lenders are motivated to sell. Also, they rarely put money into repos, so you’re not paying for things you can do yourself, like cleaning the vehicle or making minor repairs. 

It’s not always clear cut who you are buying from when purchasing a repossession. For example, some dealerships advertise repo cars and trucks. They aren’t lying – the vehicles really were repossessed. However, the dealership most likely put money into cleaning up and restoring the vehicle, which means the vehicle has a markup to it. 

So, how can you make sure that you’re buying a repo directly from the lender? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Go Straight to the Source – Lender Websites 

If you do a general search for repossessions, advertisements and sponsored content will pop up first. This content is dominated by dealerships and auction sites that are trying to sell repos for a profit. They’ve likely taken the repos off the hands of lenders and credit unions, then prepped, repaired and added their markup to it. 

The better option is to look for repossessions directly on the websites of lenders, banks and credit unions. This means that you have to visit each site independently, which will take more time. But at least you know that you’re looking at true repos.  

Not sure which lenders and banks to start with? No worries! RepoFinder.com has taken care of the sorting for you. Visit our site, choose the state you live in and that’s it! You’ll be given a list of the banks and credit unions in your area that sell repos. Their inventory changes often, so be sure to check back frequently for newly added repossessions. 

Be Patient in Your Research 

While some people have landed a great repo car right away, this isn’t the norm. It usually takes time and patience to find a decent car at the right price. This is why we recommend starting early and taking your time finding a repossession. 

In some cases, you might find that a car you really like is going for more than its NADA or Kelley Blue Book value. This usually happens because more is owed to the bank than what the vehicle is worth. You should have some negotiating power in these instances, but it’s also possible that the bank will be firm. So, give yourself time to find the right vehicle. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to find repossessions directly from banks and credit unions. Browse our site today to find a repo car or truck that fits your needs and budget. 

buying a repossessed boat

5 Tips for Buying a Repossessed Boat

If you love the idea of spending your weekends on the water, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on a boat, you should consider repossessed boats for sale. These boats are cheaper than buying from a dealer, and you can get a great boat out of the deal. 

It’s important to know that repossessions are sold “as-is,” which means you are responsible for all repairs. You’ll want to do your research and ensure you’re getting a dependable repossessed boat at a fair price. 

Below are five tips for buying a repo boat that will allow you to spend your free time on the water. 

1. Check out repossessed boats from bank lenders.

You can find repo boats at auctions or through banks, lenders and credit unions. We recommend working with banks and lenders, as they are motivated to sell. They want to get the boats off their books, allowing you to get a great deal on them. Plus, if you need financing, the banks will put together attractive financing for you. The same rules apply – good credit scores lead to lower rates. 

2. Be prepared to act fast – repo boats go quick.

Repossessed boats don’t stay on the market long. These watercraft are in high demand, especially at decreased prices. Don’t be surprised if a boat you’re interested in has multiple bids, which will drive the price up. 

Knowing how competitive repo boats are, it’s important to act fast when you’ve found a boat that you like. Waiting just a few days can cause you to lose the boat to another bidder. If you do miss out, don’t worry. There are plenty of other repo boats in the sea! 

3. Know what the boat is appraised at.

When a boat is listed as a repossession, it sometimes gets more attention because shoppers know it may be open to negotiation. However, it’s hard to know how low banks are willing to go. Before making a bid, know what the NADA Marine Appraisal and BUC boat appraisal guides say. Lenders usually use these guides as a benchmark when pricing boats. 

4. Be ready to clean and tidy up the boat.

Buying a repossession does not mean that you are compromising quality. A lot of repossessed boats are in decent condition – their owners just couldn’t afford them anymore. However, be prepared to give the boat a good cleaning and some basic maintenance. Most owners don’t tidy up their boats before a repossession. It’s also possible the boat hasn’t received maintenance in a while. 

5. Ask to do a survey and sea trial.

It’s strongly recommended to have the boat inspected before placing a bid. Ideally, you’ll want to do a thorough survey and make sure the boat is sea-worthy, though you’ll have to ask the bank. Also, if the boat has diesel engines, consider bringing along a diesel engine specialist who can take a look. You’re inheriting all of the boat’s problems when you purchase it, so you want to do your research. 

Want to own a boat without spending a fortune? Check out RepoFinder.com for a full list of banks, lenders and credit unions in your area that are selling repossessed boats and other vehicles. 

buying an as-is car

Buying a Used Vehicle: What Does “As-is” Mean?

When you purchase a used vehicle that is marked in “as-is” condition, it means you are agreeing to buy the car in its current condition. If there are repairs that need to be made, you will be responsible for them. Repossessed cars are typically sold in “as-is” condition. If you are considering a repo car, it’s important to understand this term in its entirety. Repos can be great purchases as long as you know what you’re getting into. 

Let’s learn more about what “as-is” means and protective steps you can take. 

What You Get with an As-Is Car Purchase

When buying a car “as-is,” you get the vehicle in the condition that it’s currently in. Usually, the seller will sell the car “as-is” with no warranty. This lets the buyer know they are buying the vehicle without any warranty coverage. So, if you are driving home and the transmission fails, the seller is under no obligation to take back the repo or make repairs. 

Not having this peace of mind makes some people uncomfortable with a repo purchase, but “as-is” doesn’t mean that the vehicle is in poor condition. In fact, many repos are high-quality cars in great condition – their owners just couldn’t afford them anymore. As long as you have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic, don’t let “as-is” scare you away. 

Buying an As-Is Repo Car 

In order to buy an “as-is” repossession, you should take a few steps to protect yourself. It may be harder to get a history report on the vehicle, and it’s possible that the lender won’t know anything about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Any information about the repo is helpful in knowing what work may be needed. 

Before making an offer, ask the lender if you can see the vehicle. Reputable sellers encourage this. Bring along a mechanic who will inspect the vehicle to uncover unknown problems. If there are issues found, you can either pass on the repo or negotiate a lower price. 

At the end of the day, being open to “as-is” vehicles is a great way to get a good car at a decent price. You just have to be willing to do your homework and bring along a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection. For a full list of lenders, banks and credit unions selling repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

credit score before buying used car

What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Used Car?

Whether you buy a new car, used car or repossessed car, you’ll need to pay for the vehicle before you take it home. Unless you have the cash upfront, you’ll have to take out a car loan. One of the biggest predictors in the type of loan you get and the interest rate you pay is your credit score. Knowing how important this three-digit number is, what do you need to get a decent used-car loan? 

Average Credit Scores for New and Used Cars 

According to a 2017 Experian report, the average credit score for a new-car loan was 713 and 656 for a used-car loan. A repossession is no different than a used car in the eyes of a bank. But, it’s your responsibility to do your homework. A used car from a dealership might have a warranty, but a repossession will not (unless it’s from the manufacturer). If you take out a loan for a repo and it ends up not running, you are still responsible for paying back the loan. 

So, what happens if you don’t have the average 656 credit score? You can still get a loan, but you can expect to pay more in interest rates. Someone in the low 700s might see interest rates of 5%, while someone in the low 500s might see 15%. Also, the state you live in makes a difference, as some states give higher insurance rates to those with poor credit. 

To break things down, here is a chart of credit scores vs average APRs on new and used vehicles, courtesy of Experian. 

Credit score Average APR, new car Average APR, used car
Superprime: 781-850 3.68% 4.34% 
Prime: 661-780 4.56% 5.97%
Non Prime: 601-660 7.52% 10.34%
Subprime: 501-600 11.89% 16.14%
Deep subprime: 300-500 14.41% 19.98%

Before You Start Shopping

One of the benefits you have when buying a repo car is the financing. When you purchase a repo directly from a lender or credit union, they are willing to work with you on the financing. They are banks, after all, and they make money by lending money.

Because it can take time to find the perfect repo car, use this period to check your credit profile and make improvements. You can request a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – once a year. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. 

Once you know what your score is, you can get a realistic idea of what interest rates you will be paying. If you have to delay your repo car purchase, bring your credit score up by doing the following: 

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Avoid applying for new credit
  • Keep credit card balances low relative to your limits
  • Leave old accounts open 

For a complete list of repossessed cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats, etc., visit RepoFinder.com today. Our list includes banks, lenders and credit unions that have repossessed vehicles and are willing to work with the public to sell cars and provide financing.

buying repo from a bank

Why You Should Buy Repo Cars Directly from a Lender

When buying repossessed vehicles, you have a number of ways to purchase them, such as from a lender auction, used car dealer or reseller service. However, the best way to buy repo cars is directly from a bank or credit union. Lenders just want to recoup their losses, so they’re willing to work with buyers and give them a great deal. 

Below are a few reasons why it’s best to purchase repossessions from a bank or credit union

Banks are Motivated Sellers 

A car owner only needs to miss a few payments before their car is repossessed. Lenders rely on interest to make profits, so a car payment that isn’t being made is an immediate loss. If the bank can’t work with the owner to get paid, they will repossess the vehicle and recoup their losses. 

With this in mind, banks are very motivated sellers. Some will allow you to look at their repo file, which lists repo cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs and more. The lists are free, unlike resellers that often charge for this service. Also, the lender will not clean up the vehicle as the dealerships do, so you can keep your price tag to a minimum.

Financing is Easier (and Cheaper!) 

Another perk to buying a repossessed car or truck from a lender is that you can get quick financing, especially if you already have a relationship with the bank. Remember, the banks aren’t looking to make a profit. They just want to recoup their loss and move on. Banks make money by lending money, and this puts you in a great position. 

For example, banks often incentivize repo sales with longer loan terms and reduced interest rates. Additionally, there are no commissions or fees when buying directly from the bank. The transaction takes place between you and the bank – no middleman. 

The Selection is Higher Quality 

Trashed repossessions typically go straight to auction. The banks won’t waste their time with them. This means that the lender’s list of repos should be decent. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find nearly new repossessions on the list. Sometimes, brand-new car owners can’t afford their payments, and their shiny new car gets repossessed. 

Also, repossessions are not limited to cars and trucks only. You can also find a great selection of boats, airplanes, yachts, ATVs, RVs, farm equipment, airplanes and even homes! 

Are you ready to buy a repossession from a local bank or credit union? There’s no need to spend hours on the internet looking for repo lists. RepoFinder.com offers a directory of banks selling repossessions in all 50 states. The service is completely free for you to use – no fees, no commissions and no transaction costs. Check us out today and find a repossession that fits your needs and budget.