>My Auto Loan Experience – Great Wisconsin Credit Union Rocks!

This entry was posted by Tuesday, 29 July, 2008
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>Last Saturday, the Morris household finally relented and bought a second car. We thought we could live on one car forever, but my oldest daughter is starting kindergarten in the fall (!) and her school happens to be in the opposite direction of CUNA.

I am not a car guy. I know how to take care of one, but that’s about it. I don’t salivate at auto shows or sports cars. The only car that I’d get excited about is the Batmobile, which says a lot.

Anyway, since I don’t change cars that often, I’m completely unfamiliar with the auto loan process (I don’t have thousands of dollars of cash on hand, so I need a loan). Where to start?

I called my credit union, Great Wisconsin Credit Union, and explained my situation. A Financial Services Representative (FSR or MSR in the biz) spent 30-45 minutes on the phone with me explaining everything and answered all of my inane questions. She then sent me a loan pre-approval letter within days to flash the dealerships and also explained how to buy from a private seller too.

I was all set. Now I just needed to find a car.

After a month of checking out cars in and around Madison, I found a wonderful Toyota Camry on Craigslist (a very special nod goes to Edmunds.com which proved to be essential in the search and evaluation of my new car). This was on a Friday night and I knew the car was going to sell quickly. The next morning, I rushed my two daughters into the nearest Great Wisconsin branch where they ran around the lobby (open from 9-12) while I explained my situation – we needed to wrap up the sale by noon. My kids were in rare form (they are 2 and 5), but staff there gave them each a bag of animal crackers which gave them something to do while I planned a closing strategy with the FSR.

There were some logistical snags because I didn’t have a copy of the title, but the credit union worked with me anyway and were able to set up a meeting in an hour with all of the paperwork ready for both my wife and I to sign along with the car seller. We met back up, signed the paperwork, gave him the check and voila! I had a car.

But here is the best part – the credit union has a partnership with the Wisconsin Dept. of Motor Vehicles, which meant that I left the credit union with license plates and registration! I was dreading taking a day off of work and standing in line at the local DMV to get all of that done, but someone in the credit union was smart enough at some point to establish that connection and make members’ lives easier. Icing on the cake.

Thank you Great Wisconsin Credit Union for making my auto loan easy and satisfying. I talk a lot about the credit union difference, but it’s always nice to experience it.

4 Responses to “>My Auto Loan Experience – Great Wisconsin Credit Union Rocks!”

  1. Bruce

    >Just curious – if you didn’t also shop a bank for your loan, how do you know you experienced “the credit union difference?” It has always surprised me that CU supporters inevitably assume that it’s always better at a credit union. As a long-time Madison resident who’s done business with multiple credit unions (including Great Wisconsin) and banks, I’ve never perceived a clear service difference between an average bank branch and an average CU branch, especially when comparing a commodity product like a car loan.

  2. Christopher

    >Bruce – point well taken.

    I’ve dealt with banks for the last 15 years (I didn’t even know what a credit union was until I worked at CUNA) and have my mortgage with one. My first car loan was with a bank. To be concise, I neglected to mention that I appreciated the credit union’s patience and responsiveness because the banks I’ve dealt with were the opposite.

    Also, before my youngest was born, I hated to take my other daughter to the bank I was a member of because it was like a library – I was “scolded” more than once because my kid was being a…kid.

    Self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. Either way it was good service and I didn’t feel like just another “client” or piece of profit meat.

  3. william

    >I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  4. Auto Finance

    >Thanks for sharing this information. This is really helpful for those who wants to buy a car.

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