Posts Tagged 'auto'

MBP adds ‘copper’ warranty plan for older vehicles

Good news: American 1’s Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP) warranty is adding coverage for vehicles up to 15 years, thanks to the new Copper plan.

This means that vehicles between 10 and 15 years old (which, today, covers vehicles from 1997) can get all the benefits of a quality, top-notch warranty.

The only restrictions on our new Copper MBP plan is the age of the vehicle. That means if your manufacturer’s warranty has run out, or even if you don’t have the vehicle financed with American 1, you can still get warranty protection on your vehicle.

We have two options: a two-year plan and a three-year plan, but even if those run out and your car is younger than 15 years, you can re-up the MBP Copper plan. Check out our MBP brochure to see what the Copper plan covers (it’s quite a bit!).

The same company that covers our other levels of vehicle warranty, Mercury, is launching this Copper coverage, so you know your protection is backed up by a reputable company.

More and more Americans are keeping their vehicles longer, and the older a vehicle the more llikely it will need repairs. That’s what makes this new level of coverage so exciting.

Stop in to any American 1 branch to talk about our new Copper plan for MBP.

American 1’s GAP more affordable

Jessee Frey-Cochrane

People say good things come in threes, but Jessee Frey-Cochrane found out that bad luck can come in twos.

In the span of one year, Jessee had to use American 1’s Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) twice on different vehicles.

In August 2006, Jessee’s “summer vehicle,” a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville in great condition, suffered from a sunroof seal leak and was wrecked by mold damage. Her insurance company ruled the damage as a total loss. The next year, in April 2007, her 2004 Ford Freestar caught fire after an electronic harness defect, leading to another ruined vehicle.

Thanks to her GAP coverage, the difference between what Jessee owed on her vehicles and what the insurance company offered her in settlement disappeared.

“It really paid for itself,” Jessee, an American 1 member since 1998, says, “especially after I used the $1,000 GAP Advantage towards my next vehicle.”

Jessee, a Grass Lake resident, knew about GAP coverage as a licensed insurance agent, and shopped around for the best deal. She didn’t find it at a typical dealership, where the GAP price is based on the vehicle’s cost – and can be double or triple the price.

“American 1’s GAP was a flat rate,” she says. “So now I tell people to go to a local credit union – it’s cheaper than the dealership.”

It could just be bad luck that two of her vehicles were totaled within a year. American 1’s GAP coverage, however, helped Jessee balance the score.

“I won’t purchase a vehicle without GAP ever,” she says.

Members talk about MBP

We’re pretty proud of our auto warranty coverage, Mechanical Breakdown Protection.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are some stories from members that highlight the need for protection like MBP.

MBP makes repairs simple

Julie Bumpus

No worries. That’s all Julie Bumpus wanted when she went to visit her daughter in Detroit one day.

Instead, her 2004 Chrysler Sebring stalled out on the way. Luckily, Julie was able to pull into a gas station, restart her car, and drive back home to Jonesville. She took it to a mechanic, who told her the O2 sensor was out.

Julie gasped when she heard the repair cost. Then she remembered: her vehicle was covered by American 1’s Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP), a vehicle protection product that covers the cost of most mechanical issues.

The mechanic looked over her policy and got right to work. It was as simple as that.

“They said, ‘Yeah, we’ll take care of it,’” Julie says. “It was simple. I didn’t have to fill out a yard of paperwork, and I didn’t owe them a dime.”

No worries, indeed. She handed over the keys to her Sebring and had it back later that afternoon. With MBP, Julie never filled out any paperwork, paid no deductible, and has had no problems since then.

“It was a lifesaver,” she says.

Thanks to MBP, Julie didn’t have to worry about the cost of her sensor repairs and paying the rest of her bills. It was one less thing to worry about. In fact, getting MBP added to her loan made perfect sense – the cost was simply added to her already-low car payment.

Julie would recommend other American 1 members get MBP protection on their vehicles, too.

“Especially if someone has a tight budget, or a car that’s a few years old, you won’t have to worry about it,” she says. “You should always have some kind of backup for repairs.”

Tips when using SimpleLoan checks

giantcarlot

Let’s say you get pre-approved for an auto loan with American 1. You’ve got your amount all set, we’ve cut you a SimpleLoan check, and you have an idea of what kind of vehicle you want.

Now what?

Since we don’t want to send you out without the proper preperation, here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a vehicle with your SimpleLoan check.

First, do some research on what you want to buy. If you have a vehicle in mind, see what it’s available for in the area. Do you want used? New? Hit the auto classified section of your newspaper to see what’s selling for how much. This kind of information is extremely powerful later in the process.

If you have a trade-in vehicle, do some research to see how much you can get for it. Sites like NADA and Kelly Blue Book aren’t always 100% accurate, so ask around. And check out sites like eBay Motors and Auto Trader to see how much you vehicle is going for in your area.

Negotiate for your vehicle without letting the dealership know you have a SimpleLoan check. You should first negotiate the price of your vehicle with all the options. Once you have a price you’re willing to pay, then you can work on payments and whatever else with us at the credit union.

Pretty soon, the conversation will turn to financing. Tell the dealership you have your financing taken care of. Let them know that you are writing a check, and that you don’t need any help finding financing. The secret is that you’ve already been pre-approved with American 1, and you’re armed with your SimpleLoan check.

Don’t let them know your pre-approval amount. If the dealerships knows that amount, they’re more likely to add extras to drive up the price to your limit. This also gives you walk-away power. Remember – with that SimpleLoan check and a pre-approval amount, you’ve got the negotiating power. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t get the deal you want.

When you know the price, and you’re set to finance, then you can start talking about your trade-in vehicle. By now you’ll know what your trade-in vehicle is worth. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on your trade-in vehicle’s worth to get the maximum value.

Since you’ve settled on the vehicle you want, the price you can afford, the financing is set to go, and you’re getting a decent deal on your trade-in vehicle, you can write your SimpleLoan check right then and there.

For more auto buying tips, visit our Auto Loan Experts page, or browse through other articles here on our blog.

Payment-free auto loan winners

Payment-free auto loan - Carl and Pamela

A hearty congratulations to Carl and Pamela Barkema of Onondaga. American 1 is paying off their $8,800 Ford F250 loan thanks to our big payment-free auto loan promotion in September.

The Barkemas have been members since 1989, and remember getting their first loan with American 1 – a four-wheeler to take up north.

In September, the Barkemas used their truck to finance an outdoor wood stove to heat their home. They were deciding between a signature loan or a secured loan using their vehicle. Carl and Pamela made the right decision, because American 1 is paying off their loan completely.

When we called and talked to Carl, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He only remembered vaguely what the promotion involved.

“I thought maybe it was to pay off all the interest,” Carl said. “It surprised me to hear that the whole thing was being paid off.”

“It’s like having an extra $180 a month for the next five years,” Pamela said.

The Barkemas are using their new-found money to purchase a hi-def TV.

We held a little celebration for them at the Home Office Tuesday morning. Check out pictures on our Flickr photo gallery, and congratulate the Barkemas if you see them around.

GAP eases crushed sense of security

Nick Detlaff

Nick Detlaff never figured he would need something like American 1’s Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP). He’s a good driver, never been in an accident – why would he need to protect his vehicle?

Then a semi made a right turn that crushed Nick’s 2002 Nissan Altima, and changed his thinking.

The accident happened when Nick was taking his family to the airport for a vacation. He pulled up to an intersection and saw a semi waiting to make a left turn at the light. Nick pulled into the right lane, but things went horribly wrong when the big rig swung right, into Nick’s lane, smashing his Altima against the highway concrete.

“Luckily he stopped, or we would’ve been crushed,” Nick said. “It was a mess.”

With the vehicle totaled, the insurance company’s settlement left about $2,500 left on Nick’s auto loan.

“We weren’t thrilled,” he says. “We thought we would have to eat that payment.”

Thankfully, Nick opted for GAP on his loan. GAP covered the remaining balance on the loan, and gave him $1,000 toward his next vehicle purchase. Nick says it was like a down payment toward his next vehicle.

The ordeal taught him a good lesson: your driving skills can’t always protect you from other drivers. That’s where GAP can help.

“Just because you’re a good driver doesn’t mean everyone else is,” Nick says. “GAP is worth it. It ended up paying for itself.”

Nick now plans on getting GAP on his vehicle loans from here on out.

“Not that you plan on getting into another accident,” he says. “But anything can happen.”


American 1 Federal Credit Union