Linden Buck II, Advia Credit Union Indirect Lending Manager

Many Advia members tell us they are new to the car buying experience, or just haven’t shopped for a vehicle in a long time. (The Washington Post recently reported that the average vehicle on American roads is nearly 12 years old, as many car owners now keep their cars longer than ever.) If you read our blog on Investing Wisely in Your Next Car, you know there are many advantages to using Advia’s loan specialists and Dealer Partners to help ensure a successful buying experience.

Still have questions? We’ve asked car buying expert Lin Buck, who is also our Indirect Lending Manager, to answer some of the most common questions we receive from members who are looking for their next new or new-to-you vehicle.

Q: HOW DO I KNOW IF THE STICKER PRICE THE DEALER IS ASKING IS A FAIR PRICE?

A: Trusted resources like EdmundsKelly Blue Book and NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) provide typical retail and wholesale prices for new and used vehicles by make, model and year. The wholesale price is sometimes called the trade-in value. It is the lower of the two prices. The retail price is what the seller may typically ask for the vehicle when reselling it. You will also want to factor in the vehicle’s age, mileage, condition, trim package and optional equipment. Knowing this information gives you a strong position for negotiating.

Q: WHAT IS THE LOAN-TO-VALUE RATIO AND HOW DOES IT PROTECT ME?

A: The loan-to-value-ratio is the amount you borrow (your loan value) compared to the actual value of the vehicle itself. Your loan will always be less than the vehicle’s value. This helps ensure that you don’t pay too much and end up “upside down” (owing more than you could get for the car if you sold it, or more than its insurance value in the case of an accident.)

Q: ARE THERE HIDDEN COSTS I SHOULD FACTOR INTO MY BUDGET?

Costs aren’t hidden, but won’t be included in the car’s sticker price because they aren’t dealer costs. They include items such as sales tax, license and title fees. You should also consider the cost of insuring your vehicle, which may vary based on the make, model and year, as well as your age and driving history. A qualified auto insurance company can provide estimates for the vehicle you’re considering before you make your purchase.

Q: WHY SHOULD I GET PRE-APPROVED FOR AN AUTO LOAN?

An Advia loan specialist can help address questions specific to your budget, credit history, and purchase desires. When you’re pre-qualified for an Advia auto loan, you can negotiate your vehicle purchase with confidence, knowing there will be no surprises when it comes to financing.

Q: WHAT IF MY CREDIT IS NOT PERFECT?

Imperfect credit doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for an auto loan. This is another reason why you should speak with an Advia Loan Specialist. Our team of experts will work with you to explain all your options, based on your individual needs. For instance, you may want to save longer for a larger down payment, borrow less, or use a co-signer to guarantee your loan. The right Advia auto loan can even help you build your credit history — or improve it.

As Advia’s Indirect Lending Manager, it’s Lin job to build and manage relationships with automotive and recreational vehicle dealerships. Before joining Advia, he spent 25 years working in automotive sales, which means he knows how to build partnerships that work for everyone — especially Advia members. What does he love most about his work? “Ensuring that every member receives Advia’s financial advantages and enjoys an excellent automotive and recreational vehicle shopping experience.”