SafeAmerica Credit Union Lends Expertise to Members

Loan officers take the fear out of buying a vehicle.

Members don’t just get an auto loan at SafeAmerica Credit Union—they receive an education on the car-buying process that makes them better consumers.

“The car-buying process has become so competitive, so intimidating—even with promises of no haggling—that during or after a sale members often feel like they’ve been taken advantage of,” says Amrita Prasad, lending manager at the $309 million asset credit union in Pleasanton, Calif. “We want to walk them through the process, step by step. They feel someone is on their side.”

Consider these two recent examples in which loan officers went above and beyond to help members choose a vehicle and loan that fit their budget.

Barbara Reddy, a SafeAmerica employee for 23 years, consulted with a member seeking a new vehicle to accommodate her growing family. The woman acknowledged a lack of confidence in negotiating a favorable price at a dealership.

In handling the preapproval application, Reddy not only gave the member a competitive interest rate but explained the process. She showed the member how to conduct research through the credit union’s website, and Reddy obtained the vehicle’s invoice price and specifications before the member went to the dealership.

In a letter to the credit union, the member thanked Reddy for her honesty and training in countering the dealership’s “predatory ways.”

“She eats, sleeps, and breathes SafeAmerica,” Darrell Kazak, vice president of lending, says of Reddy. “No one knows the company better than she does on a consumer lending level.

“She consistently receives thank-you letters, meets goals, and sets a great example for newer staff as a team leader, always providing coaching and assistance. I can’t speak highly enough of her.”

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