Space Coast ‘Exposes the Truth’ About Rate Markups
Space Coast Credit Union has created a campaign to help educate consumers about the auto lending practice known as rate markups.
The $3 billion credit union in Melbourne, Fla., launched its “Expose the Truth” effort June 9 in several South Florida markets.
The ads featured blindfolded members and the message, “only 21% know the truth, do you?”
María Valdés, Space Coast express sales manager, kicked off the consumer advocacy campaign June 19 in Doral, Fla., where she explained rate markups and shared advice on how consumers can protect themselves from becoming victims.
“We are our members’ watchdog, and keeping them safe from rate markups is one way we watch out for them,” Valdés said. “SCCU has never engaged in rate markups, and our goal is to save members $30 million in rate markups this year.”
The credit union’s campaign also leveraged social media elements, including a Facebook page, and Twitter hashtag, #ExposeTheTruth.
A video went live on SCCU’s Youtube channel June 23. In it, consumers’ reactions are compared to being taken advantage of in a sales transaction to how car buyers feel when they’re victims of a rate markup.
Space Coast said the Expose the Truth campaign will run through Aug. 31 using the same blindfolded members who will share their testimony of how SCCU protected them from rate markups.
The average rate markup according to the Center for Responsible Lending is 2.5%, costing consumers billions of dollars each year, SCCU said.
In June, SCCU also recognized three auto dealers with its 2013 Watchdog of the Year Award.
The awards are based on SCCU member survey ratings throughout the year in addition to the total loan volume they generated for the credit union, according to SCCU. This year’s winners included Rosner Chevrolet of Melbourne, AutoNation Chevrolet of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and AutoNation Ford of Miami.
Space Coast said it started the Watchdog award program in 2009.