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VyStar Credit Union Auto Loan Review

VyStar Credit Union offers reasonable starting car loan rates, though residents of northern Florida and parts of southern Georgia will most likely find it easier to qualify for them. While VyStar auto loan rates are competitive, they aren’t the best on the market. However, this credit union does routinely offer financing to those with credit scores on the lower end of prime, making it worth a look.

How do VyStar Credit Union auto loans work?

VyStar auto loan rates aren’t sky-high, but they’re also not as low as you may expect from a credit union. VyStar does offer more than 100% financing on vehicles for qualified borrowers, though the credit union declined to share its exact loan to value ratio, along with other details of its auto loans. VyStar car loan rates come in tiers with the lowest rates going to those who buy the newest cars.

Auto loans at a glance

Vehicles 2019 or Newer
Term Starting APR Loan Amounts
Up to 48 Months 2.74% No listed min/max
49–60 Months 3.04% No listed min/max
61–72 Months 3.29% $14,000 minimum
73–84 Months 4.79% $25,000 minimum
Vehicles 2013-2018
Term Starting APR Loan Amounts
Up to 48 Months 3.24% No listed min/max
49–60  Months 3.44% No listed min/max
61–72 Months 3.69% $14,000 minimum
Vehicles 2012 or Older
Term Starting APR Loan Amounts
Up to 60 Months 6.65% No listed min/max
Classic Cars 
Term Starting APR Loan Amounts
Up to 48 Months 6.75% No listed min/max
49–60 Months 7.00% No listed min/max
61–72 Months 7.25% $14,000 minimum

 

You can also finance other new and used vehicles with VyStar Credit Union:

  • Boats
  • RVs
  • Scooters
  • Motorcycles
  • New ATVs
Credit requirements

About 70% of VyStar’s auto loans are issued to those with credit scores at or above 700, according to a September 2019 interview with Credit Union Times. The remaining 30% of loans were largely issued to those with credit scores between 600 and 700.

Membership requirements

In order to apply for a VyStar car loan, you must first be a VyStar member. You qualify for membership if you live, work, worship or volunteer in one of the following counties, the majority of which are in Florida:

Florida counties
Alachua Baker Bay Bradford Brevard Calhoun
Citrus Clay Columbia Dixie Duval Escambia
Flagler Franklin Gadsden Gilchrist Gulf Hamilton
Hernando Hillsborough Holmes Jackson Jefferson Lafayette
Lake Leon Levy Liberty Madison Marion
Nassau Okaloosa Orange Osceola Pasco Pinellas
Polk Putnam Santa Rosa Seminole St. Johns Sumter
Suwannee Taylor Union Volusia Wakulla Walton
Washington
Georgia counties
Camden Charlton Glynn Ware

You are also eligible if you are related to someone who is eligible because of where they live, work or worship. The eligible person doesn’t necessarily have to be a member, just qualified to be one based on where they’re located.

How to apply for a VyStar Credit Union auto loan

As we mentioned earlier, before you apply for a VyStar car loan, you will need to become a member. This involves setting up a savings account with an initial opening deposit of $5 and verifying your identity.

Apply to become a VyStar member

You can apply for membership online, at a VyStar branch or via mail. In addition to the initial deposit, you’ll need the following before you apply:

  • Government issued ID such as passport, driver’s license or other state ID.
  • A scanner, to scan that ID with if you’re applying online.
  • Citizenship or residency status.
  • Social Security number.
  • Mailing address/phone number.
  • Email address.
  • Birthdate.
  • Employment information (if you will be the owner of the account).
  • Any desired beneficiary information for your savings account.

When you apply via mail, you’ll have to send your deposit via check or money order and have your membership application notarized. You will also need to get copies of your bills and ID notarized to verify address.

If you apply at a branch, you can fill out the entire application in advance, print it and bring it with you. Just be sure not to sign and date it until you’ve reviewed it with one of VyStar’s relationship specialists in person.

Apply for a VyStar auto loan

When you apply for a VyStar car loan, you can start the process online, in the VyStar mobile app, in a physical branch or over the phone at (904) 777-6000 or (800) 445-6289. You can also apply at a participating dealer.

Before you apply, you will need:

  • Your VyStar member number
  • The amount you want to borrow
  • Desired loan term
  • Employment information
  • Income information
  • Year, make and model of the vehicle, if you’re purchasing from an individual (if you’re buying from a dealership, they’ll already have this information)
  • Personal information for any co-applicants
Preapproval

Alternatively, if you don’t have a vehicle picked out but still want to know the max you could potentially borrow, you can apply for preapproval online or at a branch. An auto loan preapproval is always a smart idea, as you can see the amount and rate for which you qualify before you start car shopping. If you qualify, you’ll get a check from VyStar up to your preapproval amount that you can take with you to any dealership or individual seller.

Pros and cons of VyStar Credit Union auto loans

While VyStar auto loan rates are competitive compared to what you might find at banks, they’re not the lowest you’ll find at other credit unions you may be eligible for, or ones with broader eligibility criteria. There are some other positives of taking out an auto loan with VyStar, though, such as its history of approving borrowers with credit scores in the low 600s.

If you qualify for and are looking for better rates — or don’t live in the northern Florida region — you might want to shop around.

Pros

More than 100% financing available. For those who qualify, this can be helpful, especially if you don’t have a large down payment or want to finance fees. Just be careful not to end up upside-down on your loan.

Mobile app. Like many financial institutions, VyStar has a mobile app — but unlike some other financial institutions, you can actually use that app to apply for an auto loan.

Cons

Starting rates are just OK. VyStar’s auto loan rates are competitive when you look at the larger market, but credit unions in particular are known for offering lower-than-market APRs. VyStar isn’t currently living up to that reputation in the fullest.

Fairly restrictive membership requirements. Unless you have ties to someone in northern Florida or certain Georgia counties, or live in the region yourself, it may be difficult to secure credit union membership.

Must be a member before you apply. Some credit unions allow prospective members to see rates before deciding to apply for membership. You cannot apply for an auto loan with VyStar before becoming a member.

Who is a VyStar Credit Union auto loan best for?

VyStar’s auto loan rates make it a worthy choice for those who qualify for membership, even if those rates aren’t the lowest on the market. Those with credit scores in the lower 600s who are having trouble getting approved elsewhere may stand a better chance with VyStar’s underwriting criteria, though they likely won’t qualify for the lowest rates.

 

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