SF Bay Area credit union with best personal loan rate?
June 28, 2011 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Which San Francisco area Credit Union offers the lows rate personal loan? Patelco, Golden One, SF Police, or _________?

I'm buying a salvage title prius from a trusted friend who has driven it for 40k miles and 4 years with no problems. I'm aware of the risks in a salvage car buy, but my mechanic confirms everything is as it should be, I've seen the "before pictures", and it's a go!

We can afford to pay cash, but would prefer to finance part of the purchase so we can maintain $5,000 in our "emergency fund." Salvage cars generally cannot be financed by a auto loan from a bank as they make poor collateral. So I'm looking for a low interest rate personal loan that I expect to repay over 1 year (give or take a few months).

I bank with Patelco (after they bought my old bank, Cal State 9). Patelco's personal loan rate is 15%.
SF Police is 10.49%.
Golden One is 14.49%.
Provident is 9.990%.
Travis is 10.99% - 18.4%

Any other ideas? Our family is in the Bay Area and includes an public educator and County employee and many other qualifications for Credit Union membership so please don't limit your recommendations.

Alternatively, do you know of a bank/credit union that would give a loan on a salvage car?
posted by unclezeb to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
SF Fire has the same rate as SF Police. The only requirement for membership is that you live in SF.
posted by foodgeek at 7:23 AM on June 28, 2011

San Francisco Federal Credit Union is 12%. San Francisco residency or employment is all that is required for membership. Not super competitive it would seem, but a lovely institution.

Apologies - I'm answering a question here you did not ask. Why pay interest if you don't need to? Pay cash for the car and take out the loan if you end up needing that money from the emergency fund. That 5000.00 isn't making you any money right now.
posted by Wolfie at 8:52 AM on June 28, 2011

Patelco is 15.15%
posted by cnc at 9:13 AM on June 28, 2011

You could check out Keypoint or TechFed, two silly valley credit unions.
posted by chairface at 12:24 PM on June 28, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies so far!

@Wolfie - I wouldn't want to be running my checking accounts on fumes and if I paid the full amount I'd only have about $2500 left which (with my automatic payments of nearly all accounts and other variable monthly budget/costs) wouldn't be a reasonable buffer. Particularly, my wife is a teacher and doesn't get paid during the summer so I expect to eat into our savings a little even if there are not unexpected costs.

@foodgeek - looks like SF Police might be my best bet so far.

@chairface - TechFed is quite variable with 10.250% - 24.250% rates
Keypoint also has a substantial range according to their example rates: 7.2% - 16.70%, but they are the lowest potentially. Thanks!
posted by unclezeb at 12:56 PM on June 28, 2011

StarOne Credit Union has consistently good rates. I'd suggest you check them out. Their closest branch is in Sunnyvale, but it wouldn't hurt to call them up and see if it's worth your while to go down and open up an account.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:46 PM on June 28, 2011

Response by poster: Ended up buying new to avoid the higher personal loan interest rates and because the used market is a bit tough right now as more people are pressed for money and looking for fuel efficient models. I bought a 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS with the "popular package" for $20,908 + ttl, the dealership offered 0.9% financing which will cost about $500 over the 3 year life of the loan.

If you're curious, here's how I decided between the Sonata and the Accord:

The Accord forum people also suggested the Sonata over the Accord which pushed me over the edge. Very happy with it 1000 miles later.

Thanks again mefits!
posted by unclezeb at 4:32 PM on July 30, 2011

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