Stanford Federal Credit Union was started 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/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.

Rank Chart
Loan Amount
Term Length
Our Score
#1
$10k-$100k
36-75 months
6.1
#2
$5k-No Max
12-84 months
5.9
#3
Variable
36-72 months
5.9

The Good

  • Helpful financial tools
  • Low APR
  • No loan limit

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.

Advantages

  • Low APR (1.49 percent)
  • Extended Term options (up to 84 months)
  • No loan limit (as long as your car appraises to that amount)
  • No application fees
  • Bad credit loans are offered
  • 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 3rd 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 you. They have links on their website such as: Kelly Bluebook, financial calculators, and informative loan articles. Another bonus is Stanford FCU will offer extra perks depending on your membership involvement. There are many extra perks for account holders, definitely see what perks are available to you with your auto loan (such as savings account bonus rates and free ATM access).

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 even qualify for membership with Stanford FCU. This greatly limits who can benefit from their loans and services.

Disadvantages

  • Car must be under 10 years old
  • Car must be under 80,000 miles
  • 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.

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; 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 on to their loans.

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