Boeing Employees Credit Union auto loans review: Potential for a lower rate if your credit scores improve over time

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In a Nutshell

Boeing Employees Credit Union (now known as BECU) auto loans offer members the potential for a rate decrease on qualifying loans if their credit scores improve. And through its partnership with AutoSMART, BECU makes it easy to shop for a car at partner dealerships and lock in a price right from your computer. But in order to apply for an auto loan, you’ll need to be eligible for membership.

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Pros Cons
Opportunity for a lower rate on qualifying loans if your credit improves Limited membership eligibility
Ability to shop online for a car at a partner dealership Must be a member to apply for an auto loan
Finances vehicles with up to 150,000 miles

What you need to know about BECU auto loans

BECU is a not-for-profit credit union that returns its profits to members in the form of fewer fees, lower rates and free financial education. If you’re a member, you can apply for a BECU auto loan directly through the credit union’s website or through a participating dealership.

Variety of loan options

BECU offers a range of auto finance options. Here are a few.

  • New-car loans
  • Used-car loans
  • Motorcycle, boat, recreational vehicle and sport vehicle loans

BECU doesn’t offer loans for refinancing a car — so if that’s what you need, you’ll have to look at other lenders.

Improved credit scores may get you a lower auto loan rate

When you first take out a BECU auto loan, your interest rate will be based in part on your existing credit history. But through BECU’s Loan Reprice Program, you have a chance to get a better rate on qualifying loans if your credit scores improve over time.

BECU says it periodically reviews its members’ credit scores. If your scores have gotten sufficiently better, your account is in good standing and you have a history of consistent, on-time payments, you may qualify for a better rate. But keep in mind that if you originally qualified for BECU’s lowest rate, you won’t be eligible for a rate decrease.

You must be a BECU member

BECU auto loans are only available to its members. And while it’s free to join, you must meet at least one of the following criteria for membership:

  • You live or run a business in Washington state or certain parts of Oregon or Idaho.
  • You’re a current or retired Boeing, BECU or credit union employee, volunteer or a family member.
  • You have an association with the University of Washington Alumni Association or NW Credit Union Foundation.

A closer look at BECU auto loans

If you’re trying to decide if a BECU auto loan is right for you, here are a few more things to consider.

  • BECU will finance vehicles with up to 150,000 miles on the odometer. This mileage is high — some other lenders cap mileage at 125,000 or even less.
  • BECU offers loan terms of up to 84 months. Keep in mind that while a longer loan term will reduce your monthly payment, you’ll likely pay more in interest over the life of your loan.
  • Through BECU’s partnership with AutoSMART, car-buying may be a little easier. You can search online for your next car at participating dealers and secure the car price before heading to the dealer.
  • You may be able to get the credit union’s new-car interest rates, which are lower than its used-car rates, for vehicles up to 2 years old.

Is a BECU auto loan right for you?

Assuming you can become a BECU member, a BECU auto loan could be a good option for someone who wants to finance a used vehicle with a significant amount of mileage. It could also be ideal if you think your credit will significantly improve in the near future, because you could qualify for a rate decrease down the road.

But if you want to refinance an existing auto loan, you’ll need to consider other auto lenders because there’s no refinance option.

How to apply for a BECU auto loan

To apply for a BECU auto loan online, you’ll need to either be a member of BECU or apply for membership first.

1. Click on “Apply Now” from the auto loans page.

2. If you’re already a member, you can log into your online banking account to apply for a loan. If you’re not a member, you’ll be prompted to apply for membership first, then a loan.

3. To complete the membership application, you’ll need to identify how you’re eligible for membership and provide some personal information, including your name, contact information such as your phone number, Social Security number and birthdate. You’ll also need to open a free checking or savings account.

4. Once your membership is confirmed, you can submit an auto loan application through your online banking account.

Auto loan alternatives to consider

If you aren’t sure if a BECU auto loan is right for you — or if you don’t qualify for membership —  here are some other lenders to consider.