fbpx Skip nav to main content. Start Video Call
Blog Auto

Buying a vehicle? Understand the car-buying process and get preapproved for your loan

Buying a vehicle? Understand the car-buying process and get preapproved for your loan

There is a lot that goes into buying a vehicle. You can’t just pick one you like and drive it off the lot.

If you are new to the process of buying a vehicle, these short videos produced by the FTC explain some of the main points you need to know before visiting a dealer, acquiring financing and purchasing add-ons.

Spotting Deceptive Car Ads

Buying a Used Car

Financing a Car

Understanding Car Add-ons

Get preapproved before buying a vehicle from a dealer

Before you visit a dealer, you can get preapproved for your loan at Arsenal. Stop by a branch or apply online.

Here’s why you should get preapproved

Know how much you can borrow and how much you’ll have to pay

An auto loan preapproval is a conditional approval we give to you with an estimated interest rate and terms. This lets you know just how much you can afford before you go shopping. You’ll also know how much your monthly payment is going to be, so you can plan out your future budget.

Keep the upper hand when negotiating with the dealer

Many dealers want you to get financing in-house. That’s not always the best idea. Check out how much money we’ve saved our members who’ve refinanced with us from other lenders.

Walking into the dealership with preapproval lets the salespeople know you’re serious about buying. They will have to cater to your needs because you can take your preapproval and purchase from another dealer.

Finish a lot of the work before you get to the dealer

Woman shopping for a car in a dealer parking lot
Auto shopping is a strenuous activity!

Even with a preapproval, you’re still going to do some negotiating. Signing all of your financial paperwork after this long process can set you up to purchase add-ons you don’t necessarily need. By taking care of your lending situation beforehand, you save yourself from spending too much money.

More about add-on products when buying a vehicle

As you probably know, there are many additional products and services you need to get on the road once you purchase a vehicle. Not only are you likely to get a better rate at Arsenal, you can save additional money by adding options that are less expensive at the credit union compared to what you will pay at the dealership.

Guaranteed auto protection

This covers the “gap” between the vehicle’s value and the amount you still owe if the vehicle gets totaled in an accident or is stolen. We offer a GAP Plus product that gives you an additional $1,000 towards your next loan when you finance with ACU within 90 days of the GAP settlement.

Vehicle service contract

This takes care of costly repairs with no deductible on covered parts or labor.

Debt Protection with Life Plus

Prepare for the unexpected, such as a loss of income, hospitalization or death. Learn more about Debt Protection with Life Plus.

Auto insurance

We offer exclusive discounts on both new and used vehicles through TruStage.

Exchanging insurance information after a crash
Accidents happen. We can help you prepare.