Is there a Car Finance Hacker Forum?

I just leased using the help of fellow hackrs on here and i wanted to finance my second vehicle. Is there a forum for financing vehicles i can go to that will share the same critical tools and advice that i got here?

Moving to off-ramp…this is a lease-based forum. Financing wouldn’t be on topic.

Financing is a little simpler anyways. IDK if there is a forum out there dedicated or not, but it’s the same premise…you get your best discount, add incentives + shop your finance rate with banks.


There’s a section on the Edmunds Forums that may help you get benchmark on prices paid, fairly certain it’s not targeted towards those that just lease. You may be able to leverage the same resources such as Autobytel to validate purchase incentives.

The tricky part with financing is calculating the residual say after 6 years and then weighing total cost against a lease.

I have done it a few times and a lease almost always wins.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is much less gamesmanship when financing - you’re not worried about things like residual, MSDs, lease-only incentives etc…

As @mp11477 said, focus on getting your best purchase price before incentives and then subtract whatever you qualify for. Also, try to get pre-approved at a good rate by your local CU before walking into the dealer and give them an opportunity to meet/beat it.


That assumes that the car make has a pre-existing relationship w/ your local credit union, though, right? (that’s what I was told when I purchased my car ~2 mos ago)

No - if not, they just send a check after you provide a purchase order. It can take a bit longer. If they have a pre-existing relationship then they make a spiff from the CU and they can put it through their electronic funding system.

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You don’t really calc a residual with a finance. You’re looking at wholesale retail if trading or private party resale if selling private party.

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That would be correct on a lease. Not on a finance. It’s also not the “car make” that matters…it’s the dealership. Car makes already “sold” the car to the dealer, so they aren’t involved.

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Credit unions, as do traditional banks and lenders, operate independently of the manufacturer. However they and traditional banks and lenders may have a relationship with a dealer or dealer network where through indirect lending they underwrite the loan. Benefit for the dealer is that’s where they can mark up the buy rate the lender gives them for extra profit. Most of the deals I have seen allow for a 1.5 to 2% markup, split between dealer and lender. Unless you know you are taking advantage of a subvented rate through a captive lender it’s generally better to walk into the dealer pre-approved for financing.

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US Senate Credit Union had some of the lowest rates last time I checked and it’s rather easy to become a member. I plan on refinancing with them in June because GM Financial rates are high but it is worth it for the added incentives.

If you’re open to GM products, the massive rebates can make for a phenomenal purchase deal

Another option is to buy products that hold their value well.