Expert Auto Loan Tips from Jeff Smrcka, SVP – Director of Consumer Lending

Meet Our Expert, Jeff Smrcka

As TruStone Financial’s Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending, Jeff Smrcka oversees the consumer lending division which includes auto, home equity and personal loans along with our credit card programs. Jeff strives to meet members’ lending needs by providing the best products with competitive rates and terms. Jeff joined TruStone Financial six years ago and has over 20 years of financial industry experience.

Expert Auto Loan Tips

Purchasing a brand new or new-to-you vehicle is a big decision. Not only do you have to decide which model best meets your needs, but you also have to consider how to finance your next big purchase. Before visiting the dealer for a test drive, weigh your financing options with TruStone Financial to make sure you’re getting the best deal and setting yourself up for a smooth purchase transaction.

Financing Options:

Financing options vary for new and gently-used vehicles. The low rates advertised by vehicle dealerships often do not apply to used vehicles. However, TruStone Financial offers low rates and a variety of term options for new and used vehicles. Get pre-approved before you visit the dealership and purchase your vehicle with confidence.

Be Cautious of Dealership Offers:

Dealership offers may seem enticing but they could cost you more in the long-run. It’s important to understand how each of these offers, whether zero percent, low-interest financing or cash back impact your short and long term payments.

Often times, zero percent or low-interest options leave less room for negotiation on price. A loan for $1,000 more, even at a zero percent interest rate, means a higher monthly payment and potentially shorter financing terms. When you inquire about a cash back offer at the dealership, ask whether the offer is applied as a discount or received as a rebate after the purchase. Note, most dealerships do not allow you to combine offers. Weigh the options and choose what best fits your budget.

Know the Impact of Your Interest Rate and Term:

Research financing options and how they fit your budget and financial goals. Often, the lowest advertised rate is only offered for 24 or 36 month terms, leaving you with a larger payment that may not fit your lifestyle.  Working with TruStone Financial to structure an affordable monthly payment as you begin the purchase process will help ensure you’re receiving the best financing option.