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Stanford Federal Credit Union

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LAST UPDATED: April 23rd, 2021

Stanford Federal Credit Union was established in 1959 in Palo Alto, California. It is currently the third fastest growing credit union in California based on share growth. Stanford Federal Credit Union (Stanford FCU) is membership based, and you must be a member to qualify for any of their auto loans. Membership includes: students and employees of Stanford University, employees of Stanford hospital, Lucille Packard Children's hospital, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Stanford FCU offers a variety of banking needs such as personal checking accounts, savings, loans, credit cards, mortgages, business banking, wealth management, and more. If you qualify to bank at Stanford FCU then you have all your banking needs at your fingertips.

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The Good

  • Helpful financial tools
  • Potentially low APR
  • No application fees

Financial Tools

Stanford FCU offers a great loan calculator where you can insert your purchase amount, down payment, loan term, and estimated interest rate to see exactly what your monthly payments would be. This is a great feature to see which loan is going to fit best into your budget. This also allow potential customers to estimate if Stanford's services will fit their needs.


  • Potentially low APR (1.49 percent)
  • No application fees
  • No early pay off penalty
  • Ten day grace period on late payments
  • Advertised "No hidden fees"
  • Auto SMART options so dealerships across California can approve your loan on site
  • Discounts on APR depending on membership tier
  • Rebate options available
  • Free Credit Report (through a third party website)
  • Extended Warranty packages
  • Free auto buying services
  • No payments for the first 90 days

Membership Perks

Also, Stanford FCU has a lot of information on their website to make sure you are making the right loan choice for your circumstance. They have links on their website such as: Kelly Bluebook, financial calculators, and informative loan articles. Another bonus is Stanford will offer extra perks depending on your membership involvement.

The Bad

  • Stanford community only
  • Strict car requirements
  • Lacking customer support options

Exclusive to the Stanford Community

Obviously, since Stanford FCU is exclusive only to individuals associated with the Stanford community, only a select group of people will qualify for membership with Stanford. This greatly limits who can benefit from their loans and services.


  • Car must be under ten years old
  • Mediocre customer service ratings

Customer Support

Stanford FCU has a lot of options when it comes to a loan, but they only have one option for customer service. You have to call in and speak to a representative if you have any questions. Most auto loan companies offer more options for customer service, such as email, live chat, and FAQ pages. We would like to see more customer service options. This would add convenience and options for customers who would rather not speak on the phone.

Lack of Transparency

Stanford FCU is lacking transparency with some of the information we look for in the industry. This lacking information can make it difficult for potential customers to decide if Stanford FCU's services are the right fit for their circumstances. It also makes it difficult for our team to rank Stanford accurately without this information. We would like to see more transparency regarding the loan amount, term length, mileage limit, and if they have bad credit loan options.

The Bottom Line

We recommend Stanford FCU as a good place to take out an auto loan. Stanford FCU is extremely exclusive and very few people will qualify to bank there. We would like to see Stanford be more transparent with some of their information as well. However, if you qualify for an auto loan there, then you will have more flexibility and more perks than you would at most other banks. Stanford FCU definitely knows how to add benefits to their loans. We recommend checking out Stanford FCU if you qualify for their services.
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