Buying a Car

Know Your Budget

How Much Can You Afford to Spend?

Sit down and make a list of all of your monthly bills and expenses, and see how much is left over for a buying a car. Don’t just consider your car payments. If this is your first car, keep in mind that owning a vehicle also requires budgeting for the cost of gas, auto insurance, and maintenance of the vehicle. Once you’ve added those new costs in, see how much is left over for your car payment.

How Can You Plan Ahead For Vehicle Maintenance?

Planning ahead to pay for your inspections, oil changes, new tires, and unexpected repairs that you may need for your vehicle is easy at Diamond. When you make a car payment each month, consider adding to that sum, by setting up an automatic transfer to a Customizable Club Savings Account. We suggest putting an extra $50 per month aside to pay for car maintenance.

Do Your Research

Know what kind of car you want. Ask yourself: What is going to be the primary use of the vehicle? What kind of gas mileage do you need? How many people will you need to comfortably transport? Do you want a new or used car?

Once you’ve determined what kind of features you need, choose your vehicle. We suggest doing your homework online before visiting the dealer.

Get a Diamond Pre-Approved for Your Auto Loan

Now that you know what you want and have considered the costs, you’re almost ready to visit a dealership. To be completely prepared, get pre-approved for your auto loan before you go. A pre-approval gives you leverage in the car buying process and makes it easier to shop, because you already know your budget. Plus, you may even qualify for Diamond’s Auto Express Loan which makes the buying process even quicker!

Is this your first auto loan?

Diamond’s First Time Auto Buying Program is an excellent choice for you. This program helps you build credit and get behind the wheel. Click here for details on the First Time Auto Buyer Program.

What kind of auto/motorcycle loans does Diamond offer?

View our auto/motorcycle loans page for complete details and to consider our competitive rates, click here.

Can I get pre-approval online?

You can apply online right now or give us a call at 800-593-1000. Be prepared to give your personal information, including your last 3 years of employment history. If you are under 21 and do not have a full-time job you will need a co-signer or co-borrower. Ask a trusted parent, family member, or friend with an established credit history if they would be willing to be your co-signer.

What is a co-signer?

In some cases, a borrower may have poor credit or no credit history. In these cases the credit union needs to have a person with a reliable credit report to ensure that the loan amount will be paid back in full. A co-signer is someone who accepts the responsibility of making loan payments if the borrower defaults on their loan payments. A co-signer is not an active borrower on the loan, and they will not get regular statements. A co-signer will only be notified about payments if the borrower defaults on the loan, and the credit union has to contact the co-signer to get payment. If you have a co-signer on your loan, it is important to remember that this person’s credit will be negatively affected if you make late payments or default on the loan. It is your responsibility to keep up with your loan payments or you would be hurting your co-signer, which is most likely a relative or good friend, if you do not take care of your loan.

What is a co-borrower?

A co-borrower is an active signer on the loan, so they may receive loan statements, review the loan details and make payments on NetBranch, and have access to the loan information if they contact a Diamond representative. If your parent wants to help you get your loan, and also wants the ability to monitor the account, this may be your best option.

Go Shopping

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to go shopping. If you opt not to go through the pre-approval process, here is a list of dealers that offer Diamond financing on-the-spot. The rates available at a dealer on-the-spot will be different (slightly higher) than the rates offered directly through Diamond.