The San Francisco Fire Credit Union is currently offering an auto loan rate of 2.24 percent, which is at least a half point to a full point lower than most banks (http://www.sffirecu.org/loans/vehicles/auto). The rate is eligible for purchases up to 130 percent of vehicle value, the loan can be for as long as 60 months, a borrower can pay it off early without a charge, and purchases cover both dealership sales as well as private auto sales. Further, eligible borrowers can use the same offer to refinance existing auto loans with other banks or lenders, shifting their loan to the Credit Union. Longer loans can be arranged for as long as 84 months, but the rate offered does creep up to as much as 3.24 percent instead.
The SF Fire Credit Union was originally established in 1951 to help the financial needs of San Francisco Firefighters and their family members. The first office, no surprise, was located inside a San Francisco operating fire house. However, since that time, the Credit Union has been able to expand its market to a far greater base. While the institution still serves firefighters, their family members, firefighters associated with the state firefighters’ association, and firefighters who live in the Bay Area, the institution can also include non-firefighter members who simply live in the San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo county areas.
The Credit Union has offices available within the Bay Area region but with the Internet platform the institution can be reached electronically and by phone from just about anywhere. The assets and accounts of the Credit Union are backed up by the American Share Insurance, or ASI, up to $500,000 per account, which is more than the standard $250,000 that consumers would realize in most national banks. So while considering a loan, those with large savings needs might want to consider the SF Fire Credit Union as a savings location as well with the added protection.