First Time Auto Buyer Guide

Are you ready? If so, let’s get started. First, review our infographic with suggestions about preparing to purchase your first car. This loan is designed for those who have little to no credit and are ready to buy their first vehicle. To make it even easier, we’ve teamed up with Automotive Avenues to help you find the vehicle that best suits your needs at a great price!

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Planning is important to prevent surprises when you buy your first vehicle. Automotive Avenues provides a friendly and educational environment for first time borrowers.

Below you will find reasons we have been recommending Automotive Avenues to our members since 1987.

Benefits to our Smart Buying Experience:

Credit Union of Denver offers:

  • Up to 85% Financing
  • Up to 72 month terms
  • Easy Payment options
  • Quick and easy application
  • Apply at Automotive Avenues or online
  • Get Pre-Approved prior to shopping

Automotive Avenues, Inc. offers:

  • Work w/Non-Commissioned Consultants
  • One Price Shopping
  • Find the right vehicle at the right price
  • Trades welcome
  • Direct C·U·D loans onsite
  • Access to all makes and models
  • New and Used vehicle inventory**

Why should you use this C∙U∙D | Automotive Avenues collaboration?

  • Building credit and gaining independence
  • Auto Aves have worked with our members since 1987
  • Free Trusted Auto Buying Service – Automotive Avenues
    • Where it’s all about YOU and your transportation needs
    • Free online search and inventory exploration
  • They provide a personal consultant to walk you through the process
  • You’ll SAVE  1/2% off your approved annual percentage rate when using Auto Aves
  • Flexible payment terms – easy options with Auto Pay
  • Low down payment – (this is based on book value less the amount of approved financing)
  • Contact C∙U∙D for a possible rate reduction after 12 months of on-time payments

Your loan repayment will depend on how long of a loan term, the amount borrowed and interest rate that is approved for the collateral selected. As an example: If you borrow $8,500 for 60 months at 3.92%Annual Percentage Rate, your payment will be $153.26 each month. Rate and terms subject to underwriting guidelines.

Beyond these reasons and to help you make an informed decision, it helps to do a little homework.
Beyond “Google-ing” your favorite set of wheels, below we have provided several tips to take into consideration when shopping for your first Auto/Truck/SUV.

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  • Research the type of vehicle you would like using these questions to narrow your search:
    • What type of driving do I need to accommodate?
    • Do I need good gas mileage or AWD? Can I get both?
    • Do I need extra room inside the vehicle for carrying around people or stuff?
    • Is the vehicle I want reliable and won’t break down a lot?
  • Go to and to research your selection choices. They will help you narrow down the information and help you to make a wise decision when selecting your next vehicle.
  • An understanding of the cost of owning a vehicle
    • Get Pre-approved to avoid guessing.
    • Price of Vehicle: figure out a price range that fits your budget – as an initial guide, use our website calculator to estimate your payment with these guidelines. Don’t forget to calculate taxes into the price when you figure out your payment.
    • Tax on Purchase – this is based on where you live (use the average of 8%)
    • Down Payment of 20% is recommended.
    • License Plates – (example: $25 for each $1,000 of value, paid per year)
    • Maintenance: tires, brakes, fluids, regular oil changes, etc.
      • Average spend per year, according to AAA, is $8,469 based on 15,000 miles driven each year.
    • Fuel Cost – this cost will depend upon fuel economy of the vehicle you choose and the average miles you drive. Use this calculator for expense consideration to your budget.
  • Insurance – full coverage required with no more than $1,000 deductible. Check with your agent PRIOR to purchasing the vehicle as this could make a huge impact on your budget.

What you need to know before you go!

  • Must be at least 18 years of age (to be on a contract)
  • Have a Valid Driver’s License
  • Maximum Auto Loan amount is normally $10,000 – $14,000.
  • Requires Proof of Income – Must have independent means of repaying the auto loan
  • Time on job of at least 12 months, can be multiple employers, but in the same field would be good.
  • Rates will be determined based on credit, money down, term and age of vehicle.
  • We have teamed up with Automotive Avenues as a trusted resource for quality used and new vehicles for our members. They have the knowledge about so many different makes and models of vehicles and will help you select the best one for your needs. We know they will take care of you, our member, and provide the service you would expect.
  • Alternatives to an independent auto loan could be one of these options:
    • Have a qualified co-borrower.
    • Use your savings account or certificate of deposit at the credit union to secure the loan amount request.