Slash Your Auto Loan Interest With Summit Credit Union’s Competitive Rates

Slash Your Auto Loan Summit Credit Union is a full-service financial institution based in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded in 1935, Summit has grown to serve over 200,000 members across southern Wisconsin, offering a complete range of financial products and services.

When it comes to auto loans, Summit has competitive rates and flexible terms to help members finance the vehicle they want and need. Whether purchasing a new or used car, refinancing an existing auto loan, or buying out a lease, Summit aims to make the process easy and affordable.

Summit offers a variety of auto loan terms, ranging from 12 to 84 months. This allows members to find the right monthly payment and loan length for their budget and goals. Auto loans can be used for cars, trucks, SUVs, and more from dealerships or private parties.

Rates start as low as 2.49% APR for highly qualified applicants. Summit also regularly runs special discounted rates that can save borrowers even more.

Current Auto Loan Rates at Summit

Summit Credit Union currently offers competitive auto loan rates to members looking to finance a new or used vehicle. The exact rate will depend on a variety of factors, but in general, rates start as low as:

  • 2.49% APR for new vehicles
  • 2.99% APR for used vehicles

These rates assume excellent credit and certain term lengths. Shorter term loans usually have lower rates. Rates are also based on the vehicle make, model, year, mileage and value. Lower loan amounts and newer vehicles often qualify for the lowest rates.

While the rates above reflect current base rates, your actual rate from Summit Credit Union may be higher or lower depending on your credit score, chosen loan term, age of the vehicle and other factors. Work with a Summit loan officer to get a customized rate quote based on your specific loan details.

Rates are subject to change at any time but are currently near historic lows, making now a good time to finance with Summit Credit Union. Compare our current auto loan rates to those from other lenders to see how we stack up.

Factors That Influence Rates

Your credit score, loan term, down payment percentage, and whether you are purchasing new or used will all impact the auto loan rate you can qualify for from Summit Credit Union.

Credit Score

Your credit score gives lenders an idea of how reliably you have repaid debts in the past. The higher your score, the lower the rate you will typically qualify for, as you are seen as less risky. Summit’s best rates are offered to borrowers with good to excellent credit (scores of 720 or higher). Those with fair credit in the low 600s will pay more, while those with poor credit below 600 may not qualify.

Loan Term

The loan term refers to the length of the loan, such as 36 months, 48 months, 60 months, etc. Shorter terms often have lower rates, as the lender’s money is at risk for less time. Those who opt for longer terms like 72-84 months to lower their monthly payment typically get higher rates.

Down Payment Percentage

The down payment is the portion you pay upfront, reducing the amount you have to finance. Larger down payments lower the rate because you are borrowing less money. A 20% down payment often unlocks the best rates, while little or no money down results in a higher rate.

New vs. Used

New vehicles tend to qualify for lower rates because they hold their value better than used cars. This reduces the depreciation risk to the lender if they have to repossess the vehicle. Used car loans beyond 3-5 years old often have rates 1-2% higher than new.

Getting the Best Rate

When shopping for an auto loan, your goal should be getting the lowest interest rate possible. This helps minimize the total cost of your loan over time. Here are some tips for securing the best rate from Summit Credit Union:

  • Improve your credit score. Your credit score is one of the biggest factors lenders use to determine your interest rate. The higher your score, the lower your rate will likely be. Make sure to check your credit report for errors, pay bills on time, and lower credit utilization to boost your score. Generally you’ll need a score of 720 or higher to qualify for the lowest rates.

  • Make a larger down payment. The more money you put down upfront, the lower your loan amount will be. This presents less risk to the lender, allowing them to offer better rates. Try to put down at least 20% if you want the very best rates.

  • Choose a shorter loan term. Opting for a 36-month loan instead of 60 or 72 months means you’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan. This can offset a slightly higher rate. Just be sure the monthly payment fits comfortably within your budget.

  • Bring a co-signer. Adding a creditworthy co-signer with good income and credit can help you qualify for better loan terms. Make sure the co-signer understands they are equally responsible for repaying the loan.

  • Build your relationship with the lender. Establishing accounts like savings and checking at Summit can help strengthen your application. Existing members who the credit union knows well may have access to lower rates.

Taking these proactive steps before you apply for an auto loan can set you up for success in landing the most competitive financing rate from Summit. Monitoring your credit, saving for a larger down payment, and choosing the right loan terms are key to maximizing savings.

Loan Terms Offered

Summit Credit Union offers flexible loan terms for both new and used auto loans. Here are some of the key details:

New Auto Loans

For new auto loans, Summit offers loan terms up to 84 months (7 years). The longer the term, the lower the monthly payment will be, but you’ll end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Some of the most common new car loan terms are:

  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months
  • 72 months

New car loans tend to have lower interest rates than used cars, so you may be able to get a longer loan term while keeping the monthly payment affordable.

Used Auto Loans

For used cars, Summit offers loan terms up to 72 months (6 years). The condition and age of the vehicle will impact the maximum loan term allowed.

Some common used car loan terms are:

  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months

The interest rates on used car loans are typically higher than new cars. Opting for a shorter loan term can help keep your monthly payments lower.

Whether you choose a new or used car, Summit’s loan officers can help you select the right loan term based on the vehicle, your budget, and your financial goals. Their goal is to set you up for success in repaying the auto loan.

Auto Loan Calculator

Summit Credit Union offers an auto loan calculator on their website to help members estimate potential monthly payments. This handy tool allows you to input details like the vehicle price, down payment amount, loan term, and interest rate to see projected monthly payments.

The auto loan calculator provides an easy way to get an idea of affordability before even applying for a loan. Members can adjust the inputs to see how factors like a larger down payment or shorter loan term impact the monthly payment amount.

Using the calculator is simple. To start, input the vehicle purchase price and down payment amount. Next, select your desired loan term, such as 36 months, 48 months, 60 months, or 72 months. Finally, Summit provides an estimated interest rate range based on your credit – you can enter a rate within this range to calculate payments.

Once all inputs are entered, the calculator immediately shows the estimated monthly payment amount. It also displays the total interest paid over the life of the loan.

This calculator is a handy planning tool to use before purchasing a vehicle, as it allows borrowers to set a monthly payment budget. Members can get pre-qualified for rates based on their credit score before ever setting foot in the dealership.

Overall, Summit’s auto loan calculator offers an easy way for members to estimate payments on a potential new or used car loan. Borrowers are encouraged to use this tool early in the shopping process.

Refinancing Options

Refinancing your auto loan with Summit Credit Union can be a smart financial move if you meet certain criteria. The main reasons to consider refinancing your auto loan include:

  • To lower your interest rate. If you originally financed with a lender that offered a higher rate, refinancing with Summit could significantly reduce your rate and monthly payments. Rates are near historic lows right now, so it’s a good time to refinance and lock in savings.

  • To shorten your loan term. Refinancing can allow you to pay off your loan faster if you choose a shorter term. This reduces the total interest paid over the life of the loan.

  • To lower your monthly payment. If you extend your loan term when refinancing, it can decrease your monthly payment and free up cash flow. This may be helpful if money is tight.

  • To get out of an upside down loan. If you owe more than your vehicle is worth, refinancing with Summit may allow you to lower the principal balance. This puts you in a better equity position.

The best time to refinance is when you can lower your rate by at least 2 percentage points. For example, refinancing from 5% down to 3% interest. Smaller rate differences may not justify the fees and hassle of refinancing.

To apply for an auto loan refinance, you’ll need:

  • Your vehicle’s make, model year, mileage
  • Your current auto loan terms
  • Proof of income
  • Driver’s license and insurance

Refinancing is easy with Summit’s online application and eSignature option. You can get pre-approved in minutes to see potential new rates and terms. There are no application fees or prepayment penalties. Overall, refinancing with Summit can help you save money each month and pay off your auto loan faster.

Additional Auto Loan Benefits

Summit Credit Union offers a few additional benefits and perks for members who finance their auto purchase through them. This can make getting a loan with Summit preferable over other lenders.

  • Rate Match Guarantee – If you find a lower rate elsewhere within 30 days of getting your Summit loan, they will match that rate. This ensures you always get the best possible rate.

  • Pre-approval – Summit offers pre-approval on auto loans which allows members to shop like a cash buyer. You’ll know your budget and rate ahead of time.

  • Easy online applications – Applying for a Summit auto loan can be done entirely online through their website in a quick and convenient process.

  • Local branches – With Summit branches available throughout the local community, you can meet in-person with a lending expert to discuss options.

  • Flexible terms – Summit provides flexible loan repayment terms from 12 to 84 months. You can choose the term length that best fits your budget.

  • No pre-payment penalties – If you pay your Summit auto loan off early, there are no pre-payment fees.

Getting pre-approved, shopping like a cash buyer, and benefiting from flexible policies and rate guarantees are big advantages of financing with Summit versus other lenders. Their local presence and easy application process are added benefits.

Membership Eligibility

Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative that offers a variety of banking products and services exclusively to its members. To qualify for membership and be eligible for an auto loan from Summit, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Live, work, worship, or attend school in one of the Wisconsin communities served by Summit. These include parts of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Jefferson, Dodge, Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties.

  • Be an immediate family member of someone who is already a Summit member. This includes spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren.

  • Work for one of Summit’s Select Employee Groups (SEGs). SEGs are businesses and organizations that have partnered with Summit to offer credit union membership as an employee benefit.

  • Belong to certain associations or organizations that have partnered with Summit. These include the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), Milwaukee Police Supervisors’ Organization, and more.

Becoming a Summit member is easy. Simply open a savings account with an initial $5 deposit. This establishes your membership and makes you eligible to apply for an auto loan, as well as take advantage of Summit’s other products like checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and more. Membership is open to almost anyone who lives or works in Summit’s service area, so most people can qualify.

How to Apply

Applying for an auto loan from Summit Credit Union is a straightforward process. Here’s an overview of what’s involved:


Before formally applying, it can be helpful to get pre-qualified to see what rates and terms you may qualify for. Pre-qualification is quick and doesn’t require a hard credit check. You’ll just need to provide some basic personal and financial information.

Formal Application

The formal application can be submitted online, over the phone, or in person at a Summit branch. You’ll need to provide:

  • Personal information like your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Income information such as your job, salary, and other sources of income
  • Information about the vehicle you wish to purchase including the VIN number, mileage, etc.
  • Any down payment amount you plan to make
  • Information about your employment history and residency

Supporting Documents

You’ll need to provide supporting documents like:

  • Proof of income – recent pay stubs, W2, tax returns
  • Proof of residency – utility bill, bank statement with your address
  • Proof of auto insurance if you already have coverage
  • Driver’s license

Credit Check

Summit will run a credit check as part of reviewing your application. Your credit score will impact the loan terms and rates you qualify for.

Loan Approval

You’ll receive a loan decision within 1-2 business days in most cases. If approved, you can move forward with purchasing your vehicle.

Applying with Summit Credit Union is easy and straightforward. With competitive rates and flexible terms, it’s a great option for financing your next auto purchase.

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