What Does it Mean to be Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan?

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, being pre-approved for an auto loan is a simple way to make the car buying process an enjoyable one.

Pre-approval is different from auto financing. When you visit a lender for pre-approval, you aren’t committed to any loan and won’t need to sign any paperwork. It is merely a way for both you and your loan provider to see what financing options you have available given your current financial situation. Buying a car with a pre-approved auto loan can be broken down into five easy steps:

  1. Call or stop by MCCU for pre-approval
  2. Go look at vehicles
  3. Fax purchase contract
  4. MCCU will verify the final details
  5. Come in and sign the loan documents

Pre-approval is a risk-free way of knowing what your final auto payments will be, helping you stay on budget and find a new car with ease.

Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved

Pre-approval comes with many benefits. You aren’t committed to anything, which means you are free to choose a different vehicle for a different loan type (pending approval, of course) or change your mind entirely and not follow through with the car buying process. Auto loan pre-approval means you can reduce your stress when you visit the dealership and find a car within your budget.

Reduce Stress When You’re at the Dealer

Between walking through rows of cars wondering what you can afford while still getting a quality vehicle and a dealer trying to upsell you on maintenance packages and leather seats, buying a car is incredibly stressful. Not to mention, if you choose financing through a dealership, you are signing up for some of the highest interest rates on the market. Meaning the price you see on the car window will be much larger when you sign the paperwork to drive it off the lot. Getting pre-approved for your auto loan helps you minimize stress when you visit a new or used car dealer. Pre-approval gives you a clear understanding of your financing options so you won’t be caught off guard when you sign the title for your perfect car.

Stay Within Your Budget

If you have ever looked at cars, either online or in person, you may have noticed that dealers will post the best-listed price. But when it comes time to buy, your final price may be much higher. Dealers will often list only the base price of the car, not the taxes, fees, and interest accrued during financing. When you are pre-approved for a loan, you won’t be able to change the taxes and fees, but you can control your interest rate and the cars you shop for, effectively controlling your bottom line.

How to Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for an auto loan with MCCU is easy! Simply call, apply online, or visit MCCU to speak with a Member Service Representative and start the pre-approval process. In most cases, you will have approval within five to ten minutes. If you aren’t currently a member of Missouri Central Credit Union you will need to open an account to secure auto loan financing with MCCU.

When you speak with one of our friendly Member Service Representatives about auto loan pre-approval, they will ask you a few questions for the approval process. We need to know your:

  • Name
  • Current address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth

Then your representative will need to know how long you have lived at your current residence, whether you rent or own your home and what your monthly housing payment is, as well as a little information about your current income. You will need to provide your current job and job title, how long you have been working in this position, and your gross income. Finally, before your pre-approval can be processed, we need to know a bit about the vehicle you want to purchase. You should have basic vehicle information ready, including:

  • What vehicle you want to purchase
  • The value of the vehicle, and
  • The terms of your auto loan (how long you want to be paying off your new car).

Once you are pre-approved, you can start looking for cars! When you find the perfect vehicle, simply fax your representative the purchase contract, come in and sign the final auto loan documents, and establish the payment method you will use to pay back your auto loan.


Pre-approval makes shopping for a car easier and MCCU offers some of the best car loan interest rates around. Contact Missouri Central Credit Union today and call (816) 246-0002 to get pre-approved for an auto loan!

Get Pre-Approved Online Today!