Tag Archives: repos

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! 

man looking at vin in car

Buying a Repo: What Does a VIN Lookup Tell You?

If you’re interested in buying a repo car or truck, you can learn a lot of information from the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). A VIN is a unique code given to every vehicle when it’s manufactured. It contains 17 letters and numbers that can be found on the vehicle’s dashboard on the driver’s side. The numbers may seem random, but each section gives information on the vehicle’s origin.

Here at RepoFinder, we always remind car shoppers to inspect the vehicles they plan on purchasing. There are many great repos out there, but you have to do your research! The VIN is a good place to start. You can use this free tool from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check if the car is subject to a recall. 

Breaking Down a VIN 

VIN information is organized into groups. By looking at each section, you can get a lot of information on a vehicle. For detailed charts breaking down the meaning of each digit and letter, visit driving-tests.org

  • First letter or digit. The first letter identifies the country of origin. For example, cars made in the U.S. start with a 1, 4 or 5, whereas cars made in Canada begin with a 2. Letters may also be used to indicate a country, as is the case with England (“S”), Germany (“W”) and South Korea (“K”). 
  • Second letter. The next letter tells you about the manufacturer. In some cases, the letter stands for the manufacturer’s name – “A” for Audi, “B” for BMW and “G” for General Motors. However, this isn’t always consistent because the letter “A” can also refer to Jaguar or Mitsubishi. 
  • Third digit. The third number, when combined with the first two letters and numbers, tells you the vehicle’s type. 
  • Numbers 4-9. The next set of numbers describes the vehicle’s model, body type, restraint system, transmission type and engine code. 
  • Number 9. This number is the check digit, which is used to detect invalid VINs. 
  • Numbers 10-17. The next group of numbers indicates the vehicle identifier section. For example, Number 10 is the model year, Number 11 is the manufacturing plant and the last six numbers are the production sequence numbers. 

VIN Checks are Free

Now that you have the basics on what a VIN stands for, you can get to work checking the VINs of the repos you’re looking at. You can run a VIN check for free, but this will only provide you with basic information on the car. We still recommend talking to the bank or credit union that has possession of the vehicle and doing a thorough inspection. For a full list of bank repos in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

RV sitting on campground

Can You Really Save Thousands on a Bank Repo RV?

Are you drawn to RV living? You certainly aren’t alone. The RV industry has seen tremendous growth over the years because it’s an affordable way to see the country. Plus, if you’re handy, you can purchase an inexpensive bank repo RV and transform it into a classy and cozy home for you and your family. 

So, can you really save thousands by choosing a bank repo RV? The short answer – yes. In order to save as much money as possible, it’s important to know what to look for. Below are some tips for saving thousands of dollars on your next RV purchase. 

Lenders Have the Lowest Prices  

Start with lenders and find out how they manage their repossessions. This is better than searching online for repo RVs, as you’re more likely to come across dealerships selling them than lenders and credit unions. While there’s nothing wrong with buying a previous repo from a dealership, you will pay a lot more for it. For the best deals, stick to lenders, banks and credit unions in your area. Find a full list on RepoFinder.com

Negotiate with the Banks 

Banks and lenders will try to get what they can for repossessions, so they may be willing to go below the listing price. The only way you’ll know is by asking. Sometimes, the listing will say, “Prices negotiable. All reasonable offers considered.” Other times, it won’t be as clear. You don’t want a low-ball offer to prevent you from getting the RV, so arm yourself with solid information, make a compelling offer and have a counteroffer. 

Choose RVs with Good Resale Value 

Now, this is a bit of a personal suggestion. If you don’t mind these smells, you may not mind taking on an RV that has them. However, RVs that have strong pet or cigarette odors were probably used for long-term living, and it may be difficult to get the smell out. Plus, if you choose to sell the RV in the future, you may have a hard time doing so. Air out the RV for a few minutes during the inspection to see if it helps the problem. 

Always Inspect the RV Before Buying 

As with any repo purchase, we always recommend that buyers inspect the vehicle. On an RV, you should inspect the brakes, engine and radiator, as well as look for signs of leaks. As you know, there is more to RVs than the vehicle side. You’ll also need to inspect the toilets, showers, windows, awning, lighting, power ports and so on. Here’s a great article to refer to. 

For a full list of bank repo RVs in your state, visit RepoFinder.com.

cars in a flood

How to Look for Flood Damage in a Used Vehicle

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Every year, thousands of vehicles are damaged in floods. Some of them are expected to be sold on the used car market, putting consumers at risk. Floodwater damage can lead to safety risks because parts in the engine, transmission and drive train become damaged. This means that they won’t work properly, making cars unreliable and unsafe on the road. 

Fortunately, there are ways to look for flood damage in a repossession or used vehicle. Below we’ll teach you how to spot the signs of floodwater damage and how to keep you and your passengers safe. 

Ask about the Vehicle’s History

The first thing you can do is ask about the history of the vehicle. A dealer can verify that there is no damage, as they must report the car’s condition back to the consumer accurately. However, in the case of repossessions, there may be no way to tell where the vehicle came from. Lenders and banks often have no history on repossessions, which means you’ll have to do some more investigating. 

Check the VIN 

Always check the VIN before buying a used car. There are a number of sites you can use, such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck or Experian’s Auto Check. These reports provide a detailed history report. You can find out if flood damage was reported or the vehicle was given a salvage title. Additionally, pay attention to where the vehicle was from. Were there recent hurricanes or storms in the area? 

Inspect the Interior 

The next step is to check the interior of the vehicle. Responsible sellers will allow you to do this before placing a bid on the repo. Here is what we recommend paying attention to: 

  • Damp, musty odors 
  • Dirt buildup in unusual places
  • Sludge or debris in unusual places
  • Excessive use of deodorizers
  • Unusual aesthetic upgrades, like brand new interior fabric 
  • Rusted or corroded electrical wiring 

Look at the Exterior 

It’s normal for repossessions to have some exterior damage, especially as many sit outside for extended periods of time. But, there are a few things to pay attention to. First, look for moisture beads or fog in the light fixtures. This is hard to remove, so a car with water damage will often have foggy lights. 

Second, check for signs of rust. Corrosion is not common in vehicles that are new or owned in warmer climates. Lastly, there are rubber drain plugs located under the vehicle and doors. If they look like they were messed with, it’s possible they were used to drain water. 

Conclusion 

Make sure to always bring a trusted expert with you when inspecting the repo. There are many great cars out there, and you want to be sure that you walk away with one. To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com today. 

college student

5 Reasons Why Repo Cars are Great for College Students

Do you have a college student who’s begging to have a car? With the increasing costs of college tuition and everything that comes with it, it’s no wonder why buying a vehicle is the last thing you want to do. But, there are practical reasons why some college students need a vehicle, such as getting to and from work or sports practice. 

Fortunately, there is a solution to your dilemma: a repossessed vehicle. These used cars are a great pick for college students and other young drivers. Here are five reasons why. 

  1. Repos are reasonably priced. 

Repossessions have been taken away by the lender or bank. They want to recoup their losses as quickly as possible, which allows you to land a great deal on a used car. Use RepoFinder.com to find repossessions in your area. We recommend buying directly from the lender – not a dealership or third party. Buying direct is cheapest, and you may even be able to purchase the vehicle without financing. 

  1. You won’t mind leaving it parked on campus. 

If your student comes to college with a car, they won’t get a heated, covered parking space. The vehicle will be left out in various parking lots or on the sides of streets. It may be borrowed or used to transport friends. Repos are not always in poor condition, but many of them have been well-loved. You won’t mind if it gets a few dings along the way. 

  1. …Or they sit in your driveway.

Perhaps you want to purchase a used vehicle for your student to use when they come home. If the car will be sitting on your driveway while your child is away at college, a repossession is a great option. Again, the used car will probably already have some dents and dings, so it can sit outside without you worrying. When your child does come home from college, they’ll have a safe car to drive.

  1. Your insurance rates will be lower. 

Car insurance rates are typically lower with repossessions. Because these cars aren’t new, they are cheaper to insure. And, if you choose to buy the vehicle without financing, you don’t have to get full coverage. You can get the basic insurance in your state and save money on your monthly premiums. 

  1. They’re not beaters. 

Lastly, repossessed vehicles are not beaters. In fact, many are new and in great condition! This means that your college student can have a car that they’re proud of and start working toward more responsibility by making monthly payments, paying for oil changes, etc. It’s a win-win for everyone in the household.

To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com. It’s free and updated regularly, so check back often for new repos that you can bid on.

retired woman on bench

Why Retirees Should Consider Repo Cars

Each year, thousands of people buy repossessed trucks, cars and recreational vehicles because of their affordability. Many repos are in good condition and sold at a fair price, allowing buyers to pay in full for the vehicle or finance a small amount. But, repos are not just reserved for young people with little to put down or car enthusiasts who love getting a good deal. They are also a great option for retirees.

Once retired and living off savings, people have a different perspective when making purchase decisions. If you’re currently retired and living off a fixed income, you may want to consider a repo for your primary or second vehicle. Here are the reasons why these used vehicles make a great option for retirees. 

Affordable Monthly Payments 

The most obvious benefit to repos is that they are affordable. How much they cost depends on the condition they are in and what the previous owner owed on their loan. Banks and lenders try to recoup their losses, but there is always room for negotiation. That’s why it’s important to do your homework, look up Kelley Blue Book prices and know what you should be paying for a particular vehicle. 

In general, repos sell for 25 to 40 percent of a similar car’s value. This means that you can walk away with a lower car payment than if you were to buy new or lease. And, if you choose to buy the car outright, you won’t have a car payment at all. This usually isn’t an option with new and used cars, but it can be with a repo. 

Service and Warranty Plans May Be Intact 

Many repossessions are in good working condition, as they were being used and driven up until they were taken away. If you can land a repo that’s new, the service and warranty plans may still be intact. While you won’t get a warranty with the bank or lender, the existing warranties that came with the vehicle can transfer to a new owner. 

Greater Flexibility with Car Choices 

When you were working, driving the kids around, etc., you may have been limited on the types of vehicles you could drive. Today, you probably don’t need that minivan with built-in tablets and sliding doors. You may only need a vehicle for practical purposes – getting from Point A to Point B. This opens up many possibilities. For example, you can buy a repo that’s in good condition but has a lot of miles. 

As you can see, repo cars are worth considering for retirees. They are affordable and do the job of providing you with reliable transportation. Before buying a repo, always do your research and inspect the car. We recommend bringing along someone who knows cars if you don’t. To browse the repo vehicles in your state, visit RepoFinder.com today. 

checking for used car problems

Used Car Problems You’ll Want to Avoid

Buying a used vehicle can be a stressful experience, especially when you’re not sure what to look for. Things get even more complicated with repossessions because they do not come with a warranty. Whatever problems the repo has will become yours to fix. Many issues can be fixed but there are some you’ll want to avoid. 

To ensure you are making a good decision, always inspect the vehicle you’re going to bid on and take a friend with you, preferably someone who understands cars. This way, you have a second set of eyes and ears picking up on things you might miss. Below are used car problems we recommend avoiding. 

Inoperative Gauges or Warning Lights 

Make sure the warning lights and gauges work properly. You’ll need these lights to tell you if something in the car needs immediate attention. If you see the lights come on, this means they’re working, though you probably need to address an issue like low tire pressure, low oil pressure or power steering problems. 

Major Structural Damage 

Minor body damage that has been professionally repaired shouldn’t be a big deal. But major body damage is a different issue. Damage from car accidents that bend the frame or structure can be difficult and expensive to repair. Even if you were to get them fixed, there’s a possibility that you and your passengers wouldn’t be properly protected in a car crash. Bottom line: avoid repos with major body damage. 

Flood Damage 

Another type of damage to avoid is flood damage. Rising water can be just as damaging as a severe crash because it can create rust and mold in the interior. Aside from damaging the carpeting, insulation and upholstery, water can also cause corrosion in the electrical connections. Some signs to look for include mold, rust and mud in unlikely places.

Missing Titles 

As long as you purchase the repo from a reputable seller, you should have no problem getting the title. The bank, lender or credit union that owns the vehicle will release the title once you pay for the vehicle. However, we do not recommend buying a repo without the title, even if it seems like a good deal. Otherwise, there’s always a chance that the true owner could come back and claim the car. 

The best way to avoid bringing home a used car with lots of problems is by inspecting it before buying it. Bring along a mechanic, or at least someone who knows a lot about cars. This way, you can look over the vehicle and make sure nothing obvious stands out. To shop for repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

cheap repo truck

The Best Way to Get Cheap Trucks for Sale

There is no such thing as an affordable pickup anymore. Truck prices are skyrocketing, and it has forced some people to leave their favorite vehicles behind. Pickups are steadily getting bigger and more expensive, pushing them out of reach for average consumers. Some trucks sell for over $100,000! 

If you love trucks but have a limited budget, you don’t have to give up your passion. Repossessed trucks offer the best of both worlds – a great selection of pickups at affordable prices. 

Benefits of Repo Trucks 

Repossessions happen all the time, especially when it comes to trucks. Many truck owners pay $40K or more for their vehicle, and it ends up being too much to afford. Their payments might be too high or their loan too long. Once they stop making payments, it takes just a couple months for the truck to be repossessed. When the vehicle is in the hands of its bank or lender, it’s sold at a discounted rate. In other words, their loss is your gain. 

Some people assume that repo trucks are in poor condition and need a lot of work. Sometimes, this is true. But many times, it is not. Consider that someone who has almost paid off their loan wants to make the truck theirs. On the other hand, a person who has just purchased a truck but can’t afford it will cut their losses and stop paying. After all, they’d still owe on their loan. 

Do be aware that many repossessions require light maintenance, such as cleaning, oil changes, new tires, etc. If the person wasn’t paying their loan, they probably weren’t keeping up with the maintenance. To ensure you are buying a reliable repo truck, always inspect the vehicle before placing a bid. 

How to Find Repossessed Trucks 

The best way to find repossessed trucks is through a lender, bank or credit union. You always want to go straight to the source, otherwise other people get involved and put their markup on the vehicle. 

If you do a Google search, you’ll probably find car dealerships and auction sites selling trucks, so visit lender sites directly. By using RepoFinder.com, you can get a breakdown of the banks and credit unions in your area that are selling repo trucks. Be sure to check back often, as inventory changes regularly. 

Bottom line: Repossessed trucks are a great option when you’re looking for a cheap truck. Be patient, as it can take time to find the right fit, and always inspect the vehicle before buying. Other than that, have fun!

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 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