Patelco Credit Union

Patelco is a member-owned, not-for-profit organization that claims to put its people before profits. This higher standard drives it to make a difference in people’s lives as every product and service is developed for the financial well-being of its members, and not its bottom line.

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    How do Patelco Credit Union auto loans work?

    The best auto loan rates at Patelco Credit Union are pretty reasonable, starting as low as 2.74% for a new auto and 2.9% for a used car. You can receive a much longer loan, even up to 84 months, and the rate for this will fall somewhere between 3.8% and 11.45%, depending on credit score.

    Credit score

    The best ratings with this lender come with the best credit score. The worse your score is, the worse your rate will be, with a terrible credit rating meaning you won’t be able to take a loan out.

    How much can you borrow?

    It’s possible when taking auto loans out with Patelco Credit Union to finance the full 100% shelf value of a new car, or even 125% if you’d prefer.

    What types of vehicles are eligible for financing?

    Most vehicles are covered by Patelco Credit Union’s auto loans, such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.

    How do I qualify?

    In order to become a member of Patelco you simply need to meet one of the following criteria to join:

    • Live, work, attend school, or worship in one of these eligible locations:
      • Alameda
      • Contra Costa
      • El Dorado
      • Marin
      • Merced
      • Napa
      • Placer
      • Sacramento
      • San Francisco
      • San Joaquin
      • San Mateo
      • Santa Clara
      • Solano
      • Sonoma
      • Stanislaus
      • Yolo
      • Bakersfield
      • Eureka
      • McKinleyville
      • Santa Cruz
    • Be enrolled or be an alumnus of these universities:
      • University of California Berkeley
      • San Francisco State University
      • California State University East Bay
    • Be employed by a Patelco sponsor company
    • Have a family member or roommate who is a current Patelco member
    • Be the surviving spouse or child of a deceased employee-eligible member
    • Become a member of the Financial Fitness Association

    What documents do I need?

    You’ll need documents that prove the following information: social security number, driver’s license or government ID, current home address, and a credit card or external bank account to fund your new account (only for accounts opened online).

    What are the fees?

    The Patelco website doesn’t advertise any late payment fees, but you shouldn’t take this as a guarantee.

    How long does the loan process take?

    It’s very quick and easy to fill out the online form, as long as you have your information to hand.

    How to apply for an auto loan?

    You can apply for auto loans using the website, however, if you’re local to the area, you may go in-person and use a branch.

    What payment methods are supported?

    When applying online you must pay using either a bank transfer or a credit or debit card, but in-person you can use cash or cheque.

    Pros and Cons


    • Non-profit organization
    • 125% financing available


    • Eligibility is quite specific

    Is Patelco Credit Union right for you?

    If you live in the area and are looking for a reliable auto loan lender, the Patelco Credit Union is noteworthy. However, it’s difficult to qualify for membership, and even if you do, there are some more competitively priced lenders out there.

    For better deals and a wider range of coverage, consider My Auto Loan.