First-Time Car Buyer Program

First-Time Car Buyer Program

Are you ready to buy your first car? Our First-Time Car Buyer's Program is designed for those who have little to no credit and are ready to embark on the purchase of their first car. The loan comes with low rates, manageable terms and is an excellent way to establish a credit history.

Planning is important to prevent surprises when you buy your first car. We offer smart car buying resources, as well as our friendly loan professionals that are experienced in vehicle lending and can guide you through many of your auto buying considerations.

Get Started!

How do you qualify? (aka Program Details)

  • Must have never financed a car in your name before
  • Must have no credit score or if a credit score is established, must have no negative records including medical, student loans, collections, or public records
  • Must be employed 12-months or if less than 12 months have a qualified co-signer
  • Minimum down payment required = 10% of the purchase price
  • Maximum amount of loan: $15,000
  • Car must be less than 7 years old
  • Car must be purchased through a licensed dealer
  • Must take a First-Time Buyer Survey with the guidance of HV staff member
  • Must be a member of Heritage Valley FCU 

Common Car Buying Terms -  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 300 and 850 (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 HV, until you pay off your loan, your car is the collateral and Heritage Valley FCU 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 – 84 months (the majority are 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. Contact us to get pre-approved today!
There is one more thing we want you to be aware of. When you purchase a car and have a lien against it, most financial institutions require that you have full coverage insurance instead of just liability. Be prepared to pay a little more!
These lending definitions should give you a good start on understanding the different components of a loan. Please contact us if you have any questions (717) 840-4981 or (877) 214-1914

Car Buying Resources

Ready to get started? Complete our simple contact form and we'll be in touch!