Smart car buying tips

Oregon State Credit Union’s auto loans are helping members get their dream vehicles. If you’re in the market, be sure to combine that great rate with these money saving steps.

Start smart – get pre-approved

  • Go to any branch or call 800-732-0173.
  • We’ll help you estimate what you can afford, what a loan will cost, monthly payment, loan rate and the overall cost.
  • You’ll get a loan pre-approval so you’re ready to shop based on what you can afford.

Research and shop

After you’ve been pre-approved, decide what your “must have” features are, then:

  • Research which models are rated safe and reliable by checking with various sources, which may include the tools on our website, or consumer resources like Consumer Reports or Edmunds.
  • Next, contact dealers or private sellers to learn the details about vehicles that meet your criteria.
  • Now, knowing your target vehicles, call Oregon State Credit Union to get loan values.

Test drive

Set appointments for test drives and verify that titles are clear.

  • If buying from a private party, have the car checked out by a reputable mechanic and get maintenance records, if possible.
  • If buying from a dealer, see if the car is certified with a mechanical inspection.

Negotiate and seal your best deal

Based on your research, and contingent on a clear title and mechanical inspection, discuss details.

  • Don’t reveal the price you’re willing to pay.
  • Keep the discussion focused on the absolute best selling price.
  • Don’t get sidetracked on the monthly payment.


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