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EECU Auto Loan Review

If you qualify for an auto loan from Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU), you may secure one of the competitive rates credit unions are known for — but first, you must be an EECU member. That, plus the fact that its auto loans are restricted to vehicles registered in California, means a large portion of the U.S. population is out of the running.

How do Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) auto loans work?

EECU offers a wide array of loans for new and used vehicles, plus refinance loans, all at the same rates. It also offers loans for motorcycles, boats, RVs and off-road vehicles, but for the purposes of this review, we’ll focus on traditional auto loans. The best rates go to those who buy the newest cars for the shortest loan term and make automatic payments, but students have access to those same rates, albeit for lower amounts, as long as their grades are good. Here’s a closer look at EECU’s rates and terms:

Loan Type Vehicle Model Year APR Range* Loan Amounts Term (Months)
New 2017 & Newer 2.49%–12.99% Up to $100,000 36 or 48
New 2017 & Newer 2.49%–12.99% $5,000–$100,000 60
New 2017 & Newer 2.49%–12.99% $15,000–$100,000 72
New 2017 & Newer 3.49%–12.99% $25,000–$100,000 84
Used 2014-2016 3.97%–13.97% Up to $100,000 36 or 48
Used 2014-2016 3.97%–13.97% $5,000–$100,000 60
Used 2014-2016 3.97%–13.97% $15,000–$100,000 72
Used 2014-2016 4.97%–13.97% $25,000–$100,000 84
Golden 2000-2013 6.24%–16.94% Up to $100,000 36
Golden 2000-2013 6.74%–16.94% $5,000–$100,000 48
Golden 2000-2013 6.94%–16.94% $10,000–$100,000 60
Golden 2000-2013 6.94%–16.94% $15,000–$100,000 72
Classic 2010 or older collectibles 7.94%–17.94% $5,000–$50,000 60

*All APRs include a 0.50% discount for setting up automatic payments from your EECU checking account.

Students may qualify for their own APRs or terms:

Loan Type Vehicle Model Year Starting APR* Loan Amounts Terms (Months) GPA requirement
New 2017 & Newer 2.49% Up to $20,000 36–72 3.50+
New 2017 & Newer 4.49% Up to $20,000 36–72 3.0-3.49
New 2017 & Newer 6.99% Up to $20,000 36–72 2.5-2.99
New 2017 & Newer 12.99% Up to $20,000 36–72 2.49 or less
Used 2014-2016 3.97% Up to $20,000 36–60 3.5+
Used 2014-2016 5.47% Up to $20,000 36–60 3.0-3.49
Used 2014-2016 7.97% Up to $20,000 36–60 2.5-2.99
Used 2014-2016 13.97% Up to $20,000 36–60 2.49 or less

*All APRs include a 0.50% discount for setting up automatic payments from your EECU checking account.

EECU membership requirements

Most employees, students or members of a school organization at any level from pre-kindergarten to college in one of the following California counties, located in the center of the state, may qualify for EECU membership:

  • Fresno
  • Inyo
  • Kern
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Monterey
  • San Benito
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare

Additionally, if you have a family member who qualifies for membership, so do you. You are also likely to qualify if you work for St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno, or at any of these businesses.

How to apply for an auto loan at EECU

While you will have to become a member to accept an auto loan with EECU, you do not have to be a member to apply. Simply leave the membership number blank on your loan application form and fill everything else out like normal. Your loan officer will then help you through the membership process, should you decide to go through with the loan.

You can also apply by calling 1-800-538-3328 or visiting one of EECU’s 19 branches.

If you’re a member and would like to check out the EECU auto loan rate you may be preapproved for, you can fill out an interest form to receive an offer. If you receive an offer for preapproval in the mail, you can use the same form; call or visit a branch in person in order to follow up.

Is an auto loan from EECU worth it?

Membership is required, but joining EECU could be worth the effort. Credit unions typically offer lower rates and more lenient credit requirements than banks. A benefit of EECU is the ability to check rates without membership, which is helpful as you conduct your research for the best auto loan for you.

It’s always a good idea to apply directly to more than one lender before heading to the dealership. You could fill out a single form on LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

Here are some of the upsides and drawbacks to EECU:

Pros

  • Low rates. EECU has competitive rates, but you may qualify for a credit union with even lower ones. Shop around for the best APR.
  • Loans for most model years. With its wide array of loans, including its Golden and Classic auto loans, EECU provides financing for vehicles of nearly all model years.
  • You don’t have to be a member to apply. You can apply for an EECU auto loan without jumping through the hoops of applying for membership first. Later, your loan officer will help you through the membership process if you choose to move forward with the loan offer.

Cons

  • Membership required. In order to accept an auto loan, you’ll have to qualify for membership, which is generally limited to a specific region of California.
  • Limited availability. If the vehicle you want to buy or refinance isn’t registered in California, you will not qualify.
  • Automatic payments must be from an EECU checking account. In order to qualify for the 0.50% APR discount, you must pull your payments from an EECU checking account. EECU does offer a fee-free checking account, but it doesn’t pay much in the way of interest. If this isn’t where you do your primary banking, you’ll either miss out on the 0.50% APR discount or have to make regular transfers to your EECU checking account.

Who is an EECU auto loan best for?

Before you can qualify for EECU’s low auto loan rates, you have to qualify for membership. For that reason, the best candidates for an EECU auto loan are current members or those affiliated with schools in one of the 12 counties EECU serves or work at one of EECU’s affiliated employers. Family members of those individuals will also qualify and therefore potentially benefit.

 

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