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Comparison finds best car loan rates at Stanford Federal Credit Union
The Stanford Federal Credit Union is currently offering automobile loan interest rates lower than the lowest cited in a recent newspaper survey, the credit union reports.
In a survey published in the San Jose Mercury News on March 2 and March 9, representatives of 28 area banks, saving and loans, and credit unions were asked to quote the lowest annual percentage rate (APR) they would charge a new customer for a four- year loan of $12,000 with 20 percent down, secured by a new automobile.
Quotes ranged from Commonwealth Credit Union's 7.9 percent to Fremont Bank's 11.92 percent. The Stanford Federal Credit Union, which was not included in the survey, offers the same loan at 7.75 percent, and is also making variable-rate, three-year loans that start at 7.5 percent
The Stanford Federal Credit Union (SFCU) does not charge a loan fee and is guaranteeing the current rates through May. To qualify for the lowest rates, borrowers must have loan payments made automatically from checking, savings or money market accounts. The loans are available, upon credit approval, to any member of the Stanford community who joins the credit union.
The credit union is also offering, through May 29, the same rates to car owners who want to refinance 1991 and 1992 vehicles that have fewer than 24,000 miles and no significant damage.
Rhett Thompson, SFCU's vice president of lending, said many people are paying between 10 and 13 percent on loans for cars bought in the last two years. By refinancing, a borrower can save as much as $2,300 in interest on a five-year $15,000 loan, Thompson said.
SFCU is a non-profit cooperative, co-owned by more than 26,000 members of the Stanford community, including faculty, staff, students and alumni. For more information, call 694-1000.
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