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FAQ
  1. Who is CU Direct?
  2. What is “CUDL®” (pronounced “cuddle”)?
  3. What is CUDL AutoSMART?
  4. Why should I use a participating CUDL dealer over another dealer?
  5. How do I get a great deal on my next vehicle purchase?
  6. Do I need an appointment to visit the dealer?
  7. Do I need to get pre-approved before going vehicle shopping?
  8. I signed loan papers at the CUDL dealership; do I need to go back to the credit union?
  9. My credit union offers loan discounts for automatic payments.  Can I set up the auto loan payments to be taken from my checking account?
  10. How do I know if my credit union or a dealership is participating in the CUDL Program?
  11. What is the difference between a regular salesman and CUDL’s AutoSMART salesperson?
  12. Can anyone join a credit union?
  13. What is GAP?
  14. What is a credit union?
  15. What is the difference between a CUDL AutoSMART dealer and a regular CUDL dealer?
  16. What if I Can't Locate an AutoSMART dealer in my area?
  17. What if I don't see the vehicle I am looking for in the Inventory?

 

Who is CU Direct?
CUDL was created in 1994 to provide a fast and easy method of credit union financing at local dealerships. Today the program spans 49 states, representing more than 20 million credit union members, 650 credit unions and 9,500 dealerships.

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What is CUDL® (pronounced “cuddle”)?
CUDL® is the system developed by CU Direct to facilitate access to credit union financing at local dealers. Look for the CUDL brand in the window of participating dealers or just ask for “credit union financing.”

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What is CUDL AutoSMART?
AutoSMARTwas developed by CUDL to provide all of the necessary resources, tools and information to help credit union members and consumers make informed choices before purchasing a vehicle.

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Why should I use a participating CUDL dealer over another dealer?
When visiting a participating CUDL dealer you are able to get credit union financing right at the dealership without having to return to the branch. If you are currently not a credit union member you may be eligible to sign up on the spot. This makes buying a vehicle fast and convenient!

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How do I get a great deal on my next vehicle purchase?
To get the best deal on your next vehicle, configure your new vehicle in the “Build” section or search the "Inventory" section of this website. Then choose a method of communicating with our dealers in your area. You can do this by email or telephone, whichever you prefer. The dealers will then compete for your business. It’s that easy!

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Do I need an appointment to visit the dealer?
Although this isn’t necessary, it would be in your best interest to do so. Dealerships become very busy, especially on the weekends. Calling the AutoSMART dealer representative and setting an appointment assures you of a dealer's availability and a firm time to speak with a friendly professional.

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Do I need to get pre-approved before going vehicle shopping?
No, your credit union has partnered with participating CUDL dealerships in your area so the approval process will happen right at the dealership with the same rate and terms available at your local branch.

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I signed loan papers at the CUDL dealership; do I need to go back to the credit union?
No, all documents signed at the dealership will be sent to the credit union. There are no further documents to handle at the credit union; everything is done right at the dealership. 

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My credit union offers loan discounts for automatic payments.  Can I set up the auto loan payments to be taken from my checking account?
Yes you can. However, all automatic payments and their discounts must be set up with the credit union after the loan is finalized as the dealership has no access to your personal accounts. This can usually be done by mail or fax. Contact your credit union for details about automatic payments.

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How do I know if my credit union or a dealership is participating in the CUDL Program?
All participants should have the CUDL logo on their front window. If you do not see the brand, then ask one of the dealer or credit union staff. You can also use the Locate feature from this website to find a participating CUDL dealer in your area.

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What is the difference between a regular salesperson and CUDL’s AutoSMART salesperson?
A CUDL AutoSMART representative at the dealership has spent time cultivating relationships with credit unions in the area, and has experience with credit union financing policies and procedures. By using this site to configure your next vehicle and then having the CUDL dealers bid for your business, you will automatically be working with a CUDL AutoSMART representative. They will help you complete your credit union financing and get a great deal on your new vehicle. That is why making an appointment with the CUDL AutoSMART representative is important.

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What is a credit union?
A credit union is a member-owned cooperative financial institution that is not-for-profit. Since credit unions exist solely to serve their member-owners, they are able to offer competitive rates on your saving investments and loans. Each year members have the ability to select candidates for the Board of Directors among their peers, to represent them in setting the credit union's policies.

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Can anyone join a credit union?
Almost anyone can join a credit union. It’s just a matter of finding what credit union you are eligible to join. Criteria for joining a credit union can include where you live, where you work, religious affiliation, ethnic group or associations to which you belong. Use the “How to Join a Credit Union” feature in order to find what credit unions you are able to join.

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What is GAP?
This product offers an added level of protection on your vehicle loan that covers the difference between what your primary insurance covers and the outstanding balance of your vehicle loan should your insurance carrier declare your vehicle a total loss due to an accident or theft. When financing your auto loan for a longer term with little or no money down, your vehicle quickly loses value in relationship to the loan, causing a gap between the true value and what is owed on the vehicle. Ask your local CUDL AutoSMART dealer how to obtain CUDL GAP on you next vehicle purchase to ensure you are protected.

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What is the difference between a CUDL AutoSMART dealer and a regular CUDL dealer?
A CUDL Dealer provides your credit union financing right at the dealership. A CUDL AutoSMART Dealer goes one step further: 

  • A CUDL AutoSMART dealer has signed an agreement with CU Direct Corporation for the privilege of receiving requests for vehicle quotes from credit union members.  In return, they agree to make the member’s buying experience more streamlined and less stressful. 
  • At a CUDL AutoSMART dealership, you will work with a person who is dedicated to handling special transactions. He or she is usually the Fleet or Internet Sales Manager. This person will quote a fair market price for the vehicle in which you are interested and, upon request, will show you the invoice price (on new vehicles only).
  • When you work with an AutoSMART dealer, the first thing you want to do is make an appointment. Your dealer will provide you with faster service. While an ordinary car-buying experience can take half your day, you can drive away from an AutoSMART dealer in your new car in much less time.

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What if there is no CUDL AutoSMART dealer in my area?
First, try widening your search area (in miles). If you still do not see a dealer close enough, we suggest you take advantage of all the research and informational features of the CUDL AutoSMART website. By learning more about the buying process and becoming a more educated auto buying consumer, you will give a dealer a better opportunity to serve you. When you have decided on the car you want, simply use the ‘Locate” feature of this website to find a CUDL dealer (non CUDL AutoSMART).

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What if I don't see the vehicle I am looking for in the Inventory?
The search results might not represent all vehicles available in your area, first, try widening your search area (in miles). If you still do not see any vehicles close enough, we suggest you take advantage of all the research and informational features of the CUDL AutoSMART website and contact the seller to verify availability of the Year, Make, Model or Color you are interested in.

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