WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – On Friday Dec. 5, Dateline NBC dedicated its entire broadcast to the hidden costs and outright fraud engrained in the car buying process. The show also showed credit unions as the good guys. A Dateline NBC producer, using a hidden camera, documented the fraud and trickery a young woman encountered when trying to buy a Ford Mustang. One aspect dealt with the financing. She was pushed into a 10.9% loan by the dealer's finance manager, very high by today's rates. If that wasn't bad enough, the finance manager lied about her monthly income on her application, taking it from $1,000 to $1,800. Ford Motor Credit however wasn't fooled and rejected the application. The finance manager then found her a lower rate from another bank, which she was eligible for the first time around. The woman later went to dealers with a consumer car buying expert who warned that the financing is where dealers can make the most money on unsuspecting customers. He had the woman secure financing from her credit union at 4.9% before even visiting a dealer. In what was great PR for CUs everywhere, the woman said she felt the credit union was there to help her, not get the most money out of her.

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