WENTZVILLE, Mo. -- 1st Financial FCU brought in nearly $460,000 in auto loans as part of a Black Friday promotion this year, repeating a similar special from 2011.

The one-day-only promotion allowed the first 25 members to get a 1.89% APR on an auto loan for up to 60 months. Existing loans at the credit union were ineligible for refinance with the promo, and there were no requirements as to a car’s age or value. 1st Financial loan officers used their normal underwriting guidelines, and all applicants received the A-paper rate.

Michelle Rosner, vice president of sales and marketing at the $210-million credit union, said the success is even more remarkable since it was achieved with minimal marketing expenses, primarily reaching out to members via Facebook, e-newsletters, in-branch signage and word of mouth.

1st Financial allowed members to apply online as early as 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday, and Rosner said that “we don’t usually see a lot of loan applications coming in at 12:01 a.m.” About 10 members applied that night, with another 14 applying during the day on Friday.

While the offer did not sell out the same way previous incarnations did, Rosner pointed to the fact that the 1.89% rate “is certainly a good rate, but it’s right in the mix of those rates in our marketplace.” Last year the credit union offered a similar deal but priced at 1.99%, which at the time was the lowest rate in the area.


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