Dealer refusing pre-arranged financing with CU?

Hi guys!

I have a quick question for y’all. I am in the process of purchasing (not leasing) a vehicle and while I know this is the lease hacker forum, I’m hoping maybe someone can help.

Anyways, long story short, I was looking at a used vehicle from a used car dealership (not a franchise dealership like Chevy, Ford, etc.) and over the phone I was asking what their finance options were (what banks they work with). She listed off a few and I wasn’t a fan so I said well how about I just bring you a check from my credit union - I’ll finance through them. She told me they don’t allow people to finance through credit unions when buying a car from their dealership.

I literally said “So if I bring you a check for the full amount of the vehicle you won’t accept it and will refuse to make a sale” and she replied “yep”.

Has anyone ever heard of this? Is that legal? It seems to me the dealership is trying to force everyone to finance through them so they can make a few extra bucks. Wonder what they’d say if I walked in and offered to pay cash?

I’ve just never heard of anything like this and my LO at the CU said that it was illegal and the dealer has to accept pre-arranged financing.

Thanks in advance!

find another dealer


Talk to the owner or manager if she is not in that position, let them know it’s a check.

Or what @Bruce_Smith said and find another dealer.


Yeah I planned on that. The vehicle i’m looking for is seemingly hard to come by recently and they’re the only place that has one that’s optioned with exactly what I want in 150 miles from me, lol. However I haven’t driven it yet and it’s over 2 hours away from me, but I wanted all my ducks in a row before I traveled that far to look at a car.

But yeah - I was just curious if anyone had ever heard of such a thing before. I couldn’t believe it when she said that to me, lol. Thanks for the response folks!

Well they say that cause they want to make commission on the financing.

Never tell them you are going to finance it. Just say will pay in cash/certified check.

Not worth a hassle with such dealers.


If this was a sales manager’s answer, I’d walk. If this was an intern at the front desk, I may escalate if I really wanted that vehicle. However, for your own interest, it is worth getting their financing if it includes additional incentives. Then by all means pay it off or refinance if you wish.

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Yeah - the only reason I asked is because I didn’t want to drive 2 hours and have them refuse to accept my certified check lol. If this dealership was closer, I wouldn’t have even mentioned it.

I would entertain their financing however I am rebuilding my credit and generally most banks won’t touch me. I was pretty limited in my options for financing, luckily I found a local CU that approved me.

I hear you. Maybe not worth the risk to your credit and finances. Just forget it.

why not test drive same car with different options, but closer to you. Then fill out credit application online to see where you stand with the dealer’s financing ?

His credit is not great, so the dealer will gladly finance him at 12% or more :slightly_smiling_face:


for a good incentive it’s worth giving them one payment and refinancing the rest.

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So true. Also, with such ethics pre-sale, you don’t want to know what will happen post sale. No car is worth a financial stress that you may have to deal with it. I’m sure there’s another car somewhere.

There are no incentives. He said it is not a brand dealer and the car is used

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Well, that is correct, I missed that… Still, he can refinance it with cu later.

Sure, but why bother with the dealer like this?

Because this is the only car available within 150 mile radius?

He can actually play his bad credit to his advantage by getting a bigger discount in lieu of higher interest, then drop their financing.

His Credit is bad, he is going to get a “Hard Pull” which will damage it even more (even minuscule) plus not to mention the :triangular_flag_on_post: :triangular_flag_on_post: its throwing about the dealership’s tactics. Not worth it.

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They’re likely sitting at a loss and want reserve to make up for it.

Totally legal.

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Bigger discount still may be a bad deal. It’s a used car, so it is hard to gauge what really good deal is when the car may have lots of issues.

that’s a good point, curious what this rare car is.