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When you’re in the market to buy a car, paying cash is the ideal way to get the best deal. While that’s not always practical, you can get the next best thing — pre-approval for a loan. Why is this such a good idea? Here are a few reasons.

1. No credit surprises. Unless you’ve been actively monitoring your credit, it’s highly possible that you might run into a hiccup at the dealership when they run the numbers. Getting pre-approved means you’ll know exactly where you stand — you won’t end up with a basic 2-door when you’re eyeing that luxury SUV, for example.

2. Better money management. This is one of the biggest benefits of getting pre-approval before your trip to the dealer. You’ll know exactly how much money you have and what you can afford, which means there won’t be any surprises in budgeting or monthly payments. Knowing how much you can afford will allow you to focus on getting the best car for your money — something that meets your needs as well as having a few of the options you’d like to have! Getting your loan before you go to the dealership also lets you find the best interest rate you can get, which means you’ll end up paying less overall.

3. Less stress. Going into negotiations with a loan already approved gives you a huge bargaining chip in the car buying process. You’ll save time, the paperwork will go a lot smoother, and you’ll be able to shut down any of the ‘bad’ salesmen trying to take advantage of you. This isn’t as common as you might think — most dealerships would rather you be able to make your payments instead of selling you a car you can’t afford, but there are always exceptions to every rule.

4. Buy when YOU want. Just because you’ve gone and gotten pre-approved for a loan doesn’t mean you have to go out right that minute and buy a car. You can think of it as simply another step in the research for your perfect vehicle, if you like. Having this information allows you to shop around at different dealerships to see where you can get the best deal, and you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a model you could ‘afford’ instead of a model you ‘wanted.’ This also doesn’t mean that you have to go with that lender — don’t be afraid to check with different lenders. Who knows, you might be able to get more money with a different option!

Don’t forget about the dealerships themselves, either. Compare your pre-approval with whatever loans they have to offer you — sometimes they’ll be able to offer you something better than what your bank or lender has. Even if they don’t have a better deal, you can still use your offered loan to try to negotiate a better deal. You may just get lucky!

There’s a sense of confidence you can gain from going into the buying process already knowing where you stand. You don’t have to worry about your payment being inflated with options and costs you don’t really want or need. You won’t have to feel like you’re being forced or pushed into buying a car you aren’t sure about. Knowing that you can get up and go somewhere else if you’re not happy can give you peace of mind — and when the dealer knows you can get up and leave anytime you want, they’re more inclined to work with you and keep you there.

Getting your loan pre-approved before you go shopping just flat-out makes the buying process simpler — and more enjoyable! While it would be nice if you could walk into the dealer and buy the car you want outright with a chunk of cash, going in with that loan letter is the next best thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to find out if you could afford more than you thought you could?

Apply today and receive a 24-hour approval! 

Financing with TOPCU 

Here is what you can expect when you apply for a pre-approval today:

  • Complete your pre-approval application in less than 10 minutes.  
  • Fill out the pre-approval application, we only need some basic information that gives us an idea on what kind of vehicle you’re looking for.

Apply today by calling our Consumer Loan department at (520) 881-6262, option 4, or stop into your nearest branch


Use our auto loan calculator

 We have a variety of benefits and resources for you too – from insurance discounts to protections for you and your loan. 

With great rates and fast approvals on auto loans, breeze through the loan process and drive away in the ride you’ve been wanting—be it a car, motorcycle, RV or boat.

 Or, if you prefer to take care of financing when you’re ready to buy, just visit a participating dealer and ask to finance through TOPCU.

Current rates