Earlier this year, used-car retailer CarMax launched a pre-qualification capability that reveals personalized financing terms, including the monthly payment and APR. This new online financing tool empowers customers to shop vehicles nationwide, with no impact to their credit score. Filters such as down payment, length of loan, and monthly payment can be adjusted, showing only those vehicles that meet their budget parameters. According to company executives, budget continues to be top of mind for consumers in the current economic environment of inflation and rising interest rates. CarMax intimated that conversion rates were very high for buyers utilizing the pre-qualification tool.
While online loan applications are nothing new, a pre-qualification tool that provides monthly payment options and APR without affecting the shopper’s credit score could be very valuable for your credit union. The bigger step is reaching customers and informing them about your tools before they start shopping for vehicles. Savvy CarMax leaders took a page from the marketing best practices playbook, with a press release, social media ads, and search optimization ads. End result? Increased loan volume, increased used car sales, and a bevy of data on consumer financial health to guide future pricing and loan rates.
Your credit union might already offer a quality pre-qualification tool, but how are you getting the message out?