Skip nav to main content.
Pearl Hawaii Credit Union
Android GET - On the App Store
Pearl Hawaii Credit Union
Apple GET - On the App Store

Tips & Tools for Pearl Hawaii Car Shoppers

Car season is here and the best way to be a savvy shopper is to know what you can afford. Decide what type of car you really need and set a price range that fits your budget.

At Pearl Hawaii, we want to make car shopping as easy as possible. As a result, we have created many products to help you get through this difficult process.

Most people cannot stand buying a new car. Overall, the process is frustrating and many people will avoid it as much as possible. However, buying a car at some point in time is a reality that we all have to face. Here is a list of several important car buying steps that may be able to help. Hopefully, following a few steps, you can reduce the amount of stress involved with purchasing a vehicle.

Pearl Hawaii’s Car Buying Tools

Your Pearl Hawaii car buying PAL 

Pearl Hawaii offers a Pre-Approved Loan (PAL) where you will receive a certificate that can help you choose a car you want within a budget you can afford. Before visiting a dealership, see us and we can help you. Getting preapproved for an auto loan helps you set a realistic budget for your car purchase since you know how much you can borrow and at what interest rate. We will help you consider if you need a down payment. Additionally, we will make sure you have a monthly payment that is realistic and within your personal budget. Get started by applying online.

Let Pearl Hawaii Help you Research Your Next Car

Before you head to a car lot, research everything about the vehicle that you want to buy. At Pearl Hawaii, our car shopping website can assist you with the details you need. With PearlDrive, you can research makes and models, check out reviews, compare cars side-by-side, and find participating dealers.

Also while you are researching, your goal is to find the invoice price of the car, not the MSRP. The invoice price is what the dealer paid the manufacturer for the car. This research will come in handy once the price negotiations begin. On the other hand, if you are considering buying a used car, research the recent resale prices for that specific car model. This data will give you major bargaining power. If you plan to trade in your current car, research market values for your vehicle, too. Knowing the value of your trade-in can also be a powerful bargaining tool.

Have No or a Lack of Credit History?

If you have never started a credit history or if you do not have credit at all, it’s usually harder to own a vehicle. With Pearl Hawaii’s Credit Create program, we help you get started.

Consider the Extras that Pearl Hawaii has for Cars

While you are researching and once you know the car you want, gather all the information you can find including safety, quality, fuel economy, add-ons, and insurance information. Pearl Hawaii also offers Auto Insurance through TruStage.

Also, consider prices of other add-ons, including loan protection, guaranteed auto protection (GAP), and extended service contracts. Pearl Hawaii offers these car products at a discounted rate, which is an extra benefit of being a Pearl Hawaii member.

Pearl Hawaii Car Buying

Car buying tips

Review your credit report

Get free copies of your credit report once a year by calling 1-877-322-8228 toll-free or visiting

Understand the difference between buying and leasing

A consumer lease is for the use of personal property to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. Leasing a car is different from renting a vehicle in that a lease has an agreed-upon term, has an early termination charge if the full term is not completed, has an end-of-term residual value, and usually has a purchase option.


Take time negotiating the vehicle’s price as well as the financing. Make sure the terms are acceptable before signing the contract.

Read contracts carefully before signing

Ask questions about anything you don’t understand, and be aware of any laws that are specific to your state.

Make your payments on time.

Avoid late or missed payments. Repeated missed payments could lead to repossession and damage your credit. A negative mark on your credit report could affect your ability to get credit in the future.



If you need to borrow money, we can help you. If you’re still not sure whether a loan is a right option for you, call us at 808.73.PHFCU (737.4328) or visit one of our locations on Oahu (Waipio, Waianae, Ewa Beach, Honolulu,  Airport,  and Pearl Harbor). Our team is ready to look at your financial situation and recommend the best option for you. You can also apply online to get started…