WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Pacific Service Credit Union here has lowered auto rates and simplified its auto loan program, now allowing qualified borrowers to receive a rate of 5.79% APR for terms up to 66 months, and 6.79% APR for terms 67-84 months.
Vice President of Lending Bob Finnegan said the CU "went from a multitiered program to a one-tier program based on risk," to attract and reward more creditworthy borrowers. Finnegan said that Pacific Service's revamped the program to make it easier for those with good payment histories to get auto loans. Coming at a time when a credit score is inhibiting such loans at many institutions, the streamlined program may actually help more members than before, he said. "People with lower incomes that pay their bills shouldn't be shut out," he said. "The income just needs to suit the budget for what they're buying."
A lower credit score can be a deciding factor in a car loan rate, but a borrower's history tells more than just a credit score, which may reflect old information. The new rates apply to both new and used vehicles, including boats, motorcycles, and RVs. Pacific Service also offers a four-minute loan decision to members.
Steve Punch, president of Pacific Service CU said, "We know speed and simplicity are important to busy people, so we focus on making life easier for our members and participating dealerships. Our new vehicle loan program is designed to reduce confusion and get to a decision sooner."
Members can also refinance an existing vehicle loan from any other lender at the new rate. Up to 100% financing is available for qualified buyers and the credit union is paying a $100 incentive to consumers with an auto loan balance of $8,000 or more who refinance an existing auto loan from any other lender with the credit union. Pacific Service (www.pacificservice.org) has over $1 billion in assets and 70,000 members. It serves PG&E employees, 30 select employee groups and people who live or work in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Marin, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Finnegan said the transition in the program was made in April and early results are promising. "In April, we almost doubled our volume from the last six months. The prior six-month's average was $2 million and in April we did $3.2 million."
Pacific Service also works the CUDL program and has its own in-house programs as well, particularly for motorcycle sales, added Finnegan. And he noted that the CU enjoyed a 13% conversion rate for those indirect members, who take advantage of CU membership to save money on other financial products. In troubled financial times, he said, the value of membership and the savings it offers has taken on even greater importance.