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First Time Auto Buyer Program

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Car?

If so, we can help with our First Time Auto Buyer Program. This loan type is designed for those who have little to no credit and are ready to embark on the purchase of their first automobile. This loan comes with low rates, manageable terms and is an excellent way to establish a credit history.

Apply Online current rates 

First Time Auto Buyer Qualifications

  • At least 18 years of age
  • 1 year on job, or 2 years in same line of work (no seasonal or temporary employment)
  • Minimum $1,500 gross base income (with proof of income)
  • No derogatory credit and previous auto trade line

Loan Terms

  • Maximum loan amount $15,000. Max term 60 months.
  • Total amount financed not to exceed 90% of retail KBB or MSRP
  • 10% of purchase price required for down payment (cash or trade)
  • 10 years old vehicles or newer. Under 100k mileage. 

Please note, to apply for the First Time Auto Buyer Program, you must be an Oregonians CU member (or Eligible for Membership).
Click here for eligibility information.

Tips For First-Time Car Buyers

  • Talk to us before you shop.
  • Take your time. Research your options.
  • Review the list of lending definitions
  • Slow Down! Don't think you have to spend a fortune to get a good car.
  • Never buy a used car without having it checked out by a mechanic.
  • Never buy a vehicle without checking out the cost insurance before you buy it.

Auto Calculators

Lending Definitions

There is a lot to think about when buying a car. How do you finance it? What does all the terminology like “lienholder” and collateral” mean? The terminology below will help to explain certain definitions used in the lending proces­s­ so that you can be fully informed about your auto buying decision before you buy.
Credit Score:Typically referred to as your “FICO” (Fair Isaac Credit Organization). A credit score is typically between 500 and 800 (the higher the number the better the score). A variety of factors go into your credit score, including if you pay your bills late, how many loans you have paid off, how long your loans have been open, etc. A good rule of thumb for building credit is to just make your payments on time!
Interest: Interest is the cost you pay to BORROW MONEY. The lower the interest rate, the less you pay back. Interest rates are determined by several factors, including the government, economy, the financial institution giving the loan, and your credit score.
Finance Charge: This is how you will pay in interest and fees over the life of the loan. A car might be priced at $10,000 but if you pay 7% for 60 months the total amount you will have paid back will be $11,883. Your finance charge would be $11,883 – $10,000 = $1883.
Collateral: This describes what property you are offering your financial institution to secure the loan with, in case you don’t pay back the money you borrow. In this case it will be a car.
Lienholder: The lienholder is the lender whose name is on your collateral during the term of the loan. For instance, if you take out a car loan from Oregonians Credit Union, until you pay off your loan, your car is the collateral and Oregonians Credit Union is the lienholder.
Debt Ratio: How much money you owe each month (your debt) compared to how much income you receive. For example, if you owed 3 loans totaling $850 dollars each month, and your income was $2500 per month, you would take $850 divided by $2500 to figure out your Debt to Income ratio. In this case, it would be 34% (the lower the number the better).
Loan Term: This is how long it will be before your loan is paid off. A good range for car loans is anywhere from 36 – 60 months.
Pre-Approval: When you have finally found the car you have been looking for, it’s easy to get pre-approved, you can even apply online to save time! With a pre-approved auto loan, you know how much you’ll qualify for, before you visit the dealership. Plus, you’ll eliminate the expense and pressure of dealer financing.