Finance Your Car With BrightStar!

10 Reasons You Should Finance Your Car with BSCU

There are many advantages when it comes to having a credit union as your primary financial institution. Lower interest rates on loans, higher earnings on savings accounts and not to mention the personalized attention you receive from a community-based business.

As a not-for-profit business we offer lower rates on our auto loans, which means you will be paying much less than if you finance with a dealership. It’s important to do your research before you make such a huge decision, so why not discover benefits of financing your vehicle with BrightStar Credit Union.

  1. Earn Cash Back

You may qualify for a cash rebate just for re-financing your existing loan from elsewhere to BrightStar. Cash that can go towards paying down debts, home renovation, or your savings.

  1. Skip-A-Pay

Now this is a great perk to have. Take a vacation from your loan payment. Members may qualify to “skip” up to 2 payments per loan account in a twelve month period. Does your other lender offer this benefit?

  1. Take a 90-Day Break

You may qualify to make no payments for up to 90 days on your new loan.

  1. Super Low Loan rates

Save money with a lower interest rate from your Credit Union. Our loan rates often beat the competition. Consider this: Datatrac.com has certified that BrightStar’s auto loan interest rates are substantially lower than the average rates in South Florida. Plus, a recent Credit Union National Association (CUNA) report shows that credit union members save an average of $950* when they finance their auto loan with their credit union versus a bank.

  1. No hidden fees on your loan

No pre-payment penalties, just a straightforward loan with no gotchas.

  1. FREE Auto Advisors Service

Our Auto Advisors can locate your next new or used vehicle and eliminate the stress from the car buying process. We may be able to get you a better price and more for your trade-in. Tell us what vehicle you want, and we’ll do the rest.

  1. Save Even More Money

We offer lower pricing on GAP Insurance, Extended Vehicle Warranties and Payment Protection Plans. Some GAP policies cost $1,000 or more. BrightStar policies are as low as $499. Ask us for details.

  1. E-Sign Your Loan Documents

If you prefer, we may be able to close your loan online, saving you gas and time!

  1. Payments made easy

Easily make your payments online via automatic transfers from your BrightStar account, at a BrightStar branch, or at thousands of credit union shared branches nationwide.

  1. We’re your Credit Union

We listen to your needs. Need a shorter term? Need a lower payment? We’re happy to discuss a variety of terms and options to suit your individual needs.

So stop by a branch, give us as a call at 954-486-2728, or apply online today at BSCU.org. Our loan officers are happy to answer any question you have.


Drive your dream car today!

9 Steps to Getting the Car You Want

Drive your dream car today!
Drive your dream car at a lower rate!

Unless you are going to start collecting 400-foot mega yachts, a vehicle is likely to be one of the largest purchases you will make in your life. By taking the time to properly plan and prepare for buying a car, you can save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars. Check out these steps to set yourself up for a more secure financial future:

1. Figure out what you can afford.
Complete a spending plan. As you create your spending plan you can adjust the numbers to see how different transportation expenses would fit into your monthly expenses. You can then plug that monthly number into an auto payment calculator to see how much of a total vehicle price you can afford.

2. Monitor your credit.
Review your credit reports. To ensure the accuracy of the reports and pinpoint areas that may need work, use the credit bureaus’ annual credit report service to get free copies of your reports at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228. If you would like a certified credit coach to review your reports with you, call BALANCE at 888-456-2227.

3. Find the right car for you.
Think about how you will use the vehicle. Will you be using it to cross snow-covered mountain passes with hairpin turns and thousand foot drops, or will you be using your vehicle for something more challenging, like chauffeuring your children?

Pay special attention to the safety and reliability ratings. No car meets your needs when it’s up on blocks next to the garage or puts you at personal risk of harm.

Check with your insurance provider. That cherry-red sports car might sound like the key to your eternal happiness, but you might not be as thrilled when you get your car insurance bill.

4. Consider new vs. used, buying vs. leasing and down payment amount.
Decide whether you will buy a new or used vehicle. Do you prefer the negligible wear-and-tear and increased reliability of a new vehicle, even if it means the value may drop sharply in the first few years? Or would you rather let someone else take on that depreciation by going with a used vehicle, but take the risk of not fully knowing the condition and history of the vehicle?

Figure out if you would rather buy or lease the vehicle. If the idea of always driving a new car matters more to you than likely saving money in the long-run, leasing might be an option to consider.

Think about how large of a down payment you can make. Making a down payment can help you get qualified for a loan, get a better interest rate, get a lower monthly payment, get a more expensive car for the same monthly payment, or build equity (owing less on the vehicle than it is worth) more quickly.

5. Get financing.
Get pre-approved before you go to the dealership. You will have a lot to think about when you are at the dealership looking at cars: different vehicles available, test-driving, negotiating a price, etc. Just like you shop around for a good deal on a car, shop around for the best deal on financing.

6. Determine favorites, contact dealers and check quality.
Find the vehicles that best fit your needs. Websites like cars.com, CNBC, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and Yahoo Autos regularly publish articles on the best vehicles to meet particular needs, so take advantage of these free resources. Create a comparison chart to keep track of all the attributes that matter most to you and how each vehicle stacks up.

Use the Internet or trips to dealerships to comparison shop. Once you know which vehicle will suit you best, start looking at particular models and add the prices of each to your comparison chart. Also, do test drives and check vehicle histories. During the test drive, pay special attention to the transmission, shocks, brakes and alignment. If you aren’t sure what to look or listen for, invite a more experienced driver along on the test drive. Write down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and use it to get a vehicle history report from a company like AutoCheck or CARFAX if you are shopping for a used vehicle.

7.  Get the best price on the car.

Negotiate each piece of the deal separately. Beware of salespeople who roll the different components of the transaction (purchase price, financing, trade-in, extras) into one deal or who make an offer in one area of the deal that sounds too good to be true. Take advantage of our Auto Advisors and they will do the negotiation for you.

Walk away if you are not happy with the deal. You know what you can afford and ultimately you control this transaction, so let the salesperson know you know where the door is and that you won’t hesitate to use it if they can’t meet your number.

8 Know your legal responsibilities.
Find out the insurance necessary for your state. The Insurance Information Institute’s website at www.iii.org has a list of the minimum insurance requirement for each state.

Learn what the DMV requirements are for your area. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to make sure you have the proper license plate stickers or any other items that might be necessary to register your vehicle.

Know what to do if you can’t make your car payment. If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to make a car payment, the worst possible thing you can do is to avoid your lender. Instead, work to avoid repossession by staying in contact and asking about hardship programs.

9 Put yourself in position to succeed long-term.
Establish an emergency savings account. Unexpected expenses have a way of popping up in life and vehicles can be a major source of these.

Save on gas. Consider ways you can get more out of the gas you buy, like using the air conditioning sparingly and removing heavy items from the trunk.

Save on your insurance. Shopping for the best insurance deal is always a good idea, but think about all the ways you could get a better deal, like improving your credit score, buying a used car instead of a new one and avoiding 4-wheel drive and high performance cars.


Buying Vs. Leasing

Buying Vs. Leasing a Car

Buying Vs. Leasing

 

There are big differences between buying and leasing. Typically, if you were to purchase a new car, you would make a down payment and finance the remaining cost. At the end of the term, the car would be yours. Leasing is essentially renting, with your payment going towards the car’s depreciation. If the lease includes a purchase option, you may buy it at the end of a specific time period.

So which is better? That depends on your individual situation and needs. You will have to decide for yourself by analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Leasing Advantages 
There are short-term cost advantages to leasing. The monthly payments on a leased car are usually far less than on a loan – even for a luxury model. The down payment usually works out to be less than what you would pay for a bought car as well. Because the typical lease is for three years, most repairs are covered by factory warranty. Sales tax is cheaper too, as you only pay it on the financed portion.

An attractive feature of leasing is the ability to drive a new car every few years. You never have to go through the hassle of selling it; you just turn it in at the end of the term.

Leasing Disadvantages 
While the payments are often reasonable, you never gain equity in the car. If you were to buy it at the end of your contract, it would cost you a lot more than if you had just bought it in the first place.

Leases are restrictive. If you exceed the yearly mileage limit you can be assessed an extra charge. You must take good care of the car as well, as any nicks or dings can be considered “wear and tear” and could cost you.

Comparing lease offers can be very confusing, making it hard to know if you got a good deal. And you will find it difficult to get out of your lease early if you want to – a problem if your driving needs or financial circumstances change.

Buying Advantages 
When you buy a car, it’s yours. You can customize it and drive it as hard and far as you want, penalty-free. Rather than having infinite payments, buying means you will eventually pay the car off. Once paid off, if you want to sell it you can do so at any time, as Erik Fortier you are not locked into a contract.

Buying Disadvantages 
Down payments on bought cars can be substantial. Monthly payments are usually higher than a leased car, and once your warranty expires, you will be responsible for the maintenance costs. When you want to sell it (or trade it in) you will have to go through the hassle of doing so. And, as an investment, new cars depreciate rather than appreciate.