Make First-time Car Buying Easier with Suretys

May 30, 2024

If you are thinking about buying a car, there are many things to take into consideration, especially if you’re a first-time purchaser. What type of car you can afford? Where should you shop for your car? What financing will you qualify for? Do you need a cosigner or assistance from an auto loan preapproval organization like Suretys? These are just some of the questions you need to answer to ensure you get the best deal.


Understanding Your Financial Situation 

First, figure out how much car you can afford by looking at your income versus your expenses to establish a realistic budget. Make sure to include the cost of auto insurance and gas in your monthly car payment calculations.

Knowing your credit score is important. When you are ready to look for a car, this information will help you determine what interest rates you will qualify for when applying for a car loan or lease. The higher your credit score, the more favorable the interest rate you may receive, and the more money you’ll save. Your financial institution may be able to provide your credit score to you. MSUFCU members can find their credit scores in the MSUFCU Mobile App or in Computerline®.

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. If you need to improve your score, make sure to pay all bills on time, use less than 30% of your credit limit on current loans you have, and diversify your credit holdings, meaning have a mix of credit such as a credit card, insurance, and a car loan.

Avoid Paying More Interest

When you borrow money (generally in the form of a loan), the financial institution or loan servicer charges you a percentage of the money borrowed that needs to be paid back over the life of the loan. So, if you take out a loan to purchase a new car, you’ll need to pay back the interest on top of the amount due for the loan.

You can avoid paying more interest on your car loan by:

  • Put More Money Down: A larger down payment (around 20%) reduces the loan amount, leading to shorter loan terms and less interest over time.
  • Keep the Loan Term Short: Shorter terms mean you pay less interest overall.  Longer-term loans often have higher interest rates, increasing the total cost.
  • Consider Refinancing: If your credit score improves or interest rates drop, refinancing can lower your interest rate. Ensure there are no penalties for paying off the loan early and avoid extending the loan term. Your goal when refinancing your auto loan should be to receive a lower interest rate and pay down the loan over the same or a shorter term.

How Suretys Can Help

MSUFCU wants to help you dream big and find the car that you want with our newest collaboration through The Lab at MSUFCU, Suretys. Through Suretys PlusOne®, first-time buyers can secure financing without a cosigner, empowering them to independently finance their vehicle purchase replacing the need for you to get a parent or family member to cosign on your loan.

Through their application process, you can obtain a preapproval decision in as little as 10 minutes. Explore our network of affiliated dealerships offering financing through Suretys to kickstart your car-buying journey confidently and hassle-free!

If you’re ready to buy and are eager to hit the road, visit for more information about our auto loan options.

Fostering Innovation at The Lab at MSUFCU

The Lab at MSUFCU was established as an innovation center to identify, create, and execute opportunities for innovation together and turn ideas into advanced financial technologies (fintechs). By devoting resources to cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, collaborative ideas can be generated that lead to pilots and new technology, products, and services for members and credit union employees.

The Lab at MSUFCU also provides a nurturing environment for fintechs like Suretys to push the boundaries of what is possible for fintechs and the members and credit unions that use them.

To learn more about The Lab at MSUFCU, or if you would like to participate in our pilot opportunities as a member tester, visit our website at

Tags: Tips and Tricks, Buying a Car, Money Management