Re: New Car Loan - Not Current Bank Customer[ Edited ]
10-01-2012 05:21 AM - edited 10-01-2012 05:23 AM
The way a bank gets in and out of a type of product (loans are a product) is by changing their underwriting criteria, including the interest rate.
It sounds like your bank is not encouranging auto loans at the moment.
You can get a auto loan anywhere and you don't have to be a previous customer of the bank before you apply for the loan - especially with your scores.
Find a lender you can do business with at a rate you like and get your approval before you go to the dealership to buy. If the dealership can beat the rate - great. If not, then you have a good one in hand. Personally I have purchased both ways, with approval in hand, and using the dealership. It is much easier to purchase with the approval in hand and you avoid all the gamesmenship that the F&I guy likes to try when you get to his office (adding gap, warranty's etc).
If you haven't purchased a vehicle in 15 years from a dealership that part of the sale is the same. Make sure you do your shopping online first - there is a great difference in price between online pricing and pricing in the showroom. (Showroom is substantially more). I find it helps to have everything lined up in advance before going. Bring your smartphone with you so you can check everything they say right there - it will save you a great deal of money by making sure you get the mfg incentives and that sort of thing.