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What Is an Auto Loan Express Draft?

By: Jillianne West, Director of Consumer Loan Operations

Posted on 5/18/2022 1:39:20 PM

View inside open automobile driver’s side window of a smiling young man and woman who just purchased their new car with an auto loan express draft

As the name suggests, an Auto Loan Express Draft is ultimately a vehicle financing option. It’s essentially a pre-approved loan that allows you to purchase a vehicle from a franchise dealership. In the past, this loan disbursement was made via physical check. However, in the modern era of digital banking, automatic electronic bank drafts are the typical method for funding the purchase. Hence the change from express check to express draft.

Unlike a car dealership loan, an auto loan express draft lets you shop for the vehicle you want, as long as it falls within a given price range. Once you have completed the purchase with your draft, the annual percentage rate (APR) will reflect in the final loan product you have chosen with our credit union. An auto loan express draft comes with low rates and offers more negotiating power since the financing is already secured.

Things to consider when buying a car or truck from an auto dealer

Whether you are buying a new or used vehicle, there are certain factors you always want to consider. This is especially true if you are financing your car through an auto loan. Start by thinking about what your affordable payment would be. Next, think about the financing sources, and choose a convenient, affordable option that meets your needs. Remember to keep these things in mind before you buy:

  • The price the dealer offers for the vehicle. Compare local and online prices, weighing them with the amount you can afford to spend on a car or truck. 
  • How much the dealer offers for a trade-in. If you have a used car that you want to trade in for another used or new vehicle, compare prices before you sell. Most dealers will charge slightly higher for a trade-in because they are not making an instant profit from the deal.
  • The financing the dealer offers for the purchase. Dealership financing is often more expensive compared to an auto loan express draft. Compare the rates, then calculate the cost of the loan. Then you’ll know how much you are saving by bringing your own draft to the table.

Auto dealers also charge extra fees for add-on services such as nitrogen in tires, anti-theft devices, chrome-plated wheels, splash guards, alarm systems, and floor mats. These add-ons boost the auto dealer's income and increase your overall cost to buy the vehicle. So it’s a good idea to see which items are standard on the car you want before applying for a pre-approved auto loan.

Your buying experience with an auto loan express draft vs. a buyer with no draft

Buyers who use an auto loan express draft enjoy better rates, customized to suit their unique financial needs. You have better control and flexibility with the vehicles you want to purchase since you are shopping just like a cash buyer. You also have greater peace of mind knowing just how much vehicle you can afford. This helps streamline decision-making and ensures you can buy what you want—not just what's available.

Buyers who do not have an auto loan express draft, or who opt for car dealership loans or other financing, often incur higher rates. These buyers also face limited vehicle options, plus poor control over the loan terms. This can mean paying a lot more in fees and interest for a car that may not even be the preferred choice.

Man standing in automobile show room looking under the hood of a large SUV he wants to buy

Here’s how to use your auto loan express draft

Once you are pre-approved for the auto loan with Community First Credit Union, we will give you an auto loan express draft. Auto rates vary based on the loan amount and repayment period, but you’ll know all that up-front before you visit the dealership. You can then choose from any make or model, new or used in their inventory, based on your budget and personal preferences. For the purchase to be valid, the vehicle you select must have a title. Also, if it is a used car or truck, make sure the manufactured year is between 2015 and 2022.

Now, simply take this draft to purchase the vehicle you choose from any authorized dealership. Complete the purchase, sign the draft authorization, and you are good to go!

Put yourself in a new driver's seat with our auto loan express draft.

At Community First Credit Union, we strive to offer our clients the best auto loan financing options that are flexible, affordable, and convenient. Gather the necessary documentation and apply for a pre-approved auto loan today. You can also call 904.354.8537 if you have additional questions before applying. We will guide you through the application process to ensure you get the vehicle you want and deserve.

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