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VIENNA, Va. – The new and used car buying process can be an intimidating experience for most consumers no matter how much homework and research they do before they get to a dealership. Navy FCU has produced a car buying video to help its members make educated car buying decisions and to prepare them for what they should expect to face at the dealership. Navy FCU Public Relations spokesperson Susan Brooks said the credit union “noticed there’s a population of people who go to the car dealership to buy a new or used car who don’t realize what they’re getting into, so they wind up getting in over their heads, which of course affects their credit.” This is particularly the case with many of the $24.2 billion CU’s younger members. According to Brooks, of Navy’s 2,548,427 members, 443,000 or 17.4% are 18-24 years old; 251,000 or 9.8% are 18-24 and are on active military duty. She explained that many members think, for example, that if they have an extra $300 in their pocket and the monthly loan payment is $290, then they can afford the car. But they don’t consider the cost of things like insurance and gas. Or they think that they’re getting a better deal on a new car that has a lower APR than a used model, even though the former has a higher sticker price. One frame of the 11-minute video, for example, shows a side-by-side comparison for a $20,400 new model versus a $15,000 used one for the same 60-month financing term. The APR on the new vehicle is 4.9% and is 5.9% for the used one. Over the course of 60 months, the member will pay a total of $24,068 with monthly payments of $385. On the used vehicle they’d pay $17,380 with monthly payments of $290. Brooks said the 11-minute video is being marketed as an educational tool and has been sent to many Commanding officers, to all of the CU’s Member Service Centers, and to the Navy and Marine Corps reserves commanders. It can also be seen by members on Navy’s Web site – www.navyfcu.org – by clicking on “auto center.” Along with the video, Navy has also produced a car buying resource guide for members to refer to when planning to purchase a vehicle. The guide recaps material and recommendations featured in the video. It also provides the Internet addresses for carfax.com, the online car buying referral services, and the three credit reporting agencies. Lastly, the resource guide includes a sample expense sheet members should complete to help them budget for their car and helps them estimate their monthly costs. “We want our members to make educated decisions when purchasing a vehicle and not find themselves in the position where they can’t afford to make the monthly loan payments,” said Brooks. -

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