credit & debt

Credit Unions Will Match Loan, CD Rates

The next time you need a loan, be sure to ask your credit union whether it will match a competitor's interest rate.

People who shop at big-box retailers are used to price-matching programs. Target, for example, will match prices of some items at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Toysrus.com and Walmart.com. Less well known is the banking world’s equivalent: interest-rate matching, meant to entice you to transfer a savings account or a loan.

In a survey of community credit unions, GoBankingRates.com found that some institutions will match competitors’ interest rates on auto loans, certificates of deposit and other products. Bring proof, such as documentation showing a loan rate that has been offered to you. "Each credit union’s rate-matching promotion is different, so be sure you understand the full terms of a quoted rate before you bank on it," says Casey Bond, managing editor of the Web site GoBankingRates. Even if a credit union or bank doesn’t have a formal program, ask whether it will match a competitor’s rate.

Last year, Jennifer Wegleitner financed a Ford F-150 pickup through a lender associated with the dealer, which offered her a 2.9% rate. But when she learned about a rate-matching program at her credit union, Sodes Federal Credit Union in Aberdeen, S.D., she transferred the loan at the same rate, which was more than a percentage point lower than the going rate at Sodes. "Good service is the factor that made me decide to switch," says Wegleitner. “It was so easy.”

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