TACOMA, Wash. (10/10/08)--Fewer people are looking to borrow money to buy cars, two Tacoma, Wash.-based credit unions told The News Tribune recently. Although the $397-million asset Sound CU has plenty of capital to lend, borrowing has changed. Loan growth is “positive, but it is slower than it has been,” Carl Roer, Sound CU vice president of lending, told the newspaper. Members are being more careful because of higher gas prices and lower home values, he added. The $234 million asset Tapco CU has left its loan rates unchanged, but is not making as many exceptions to members because of the economy, Tom Shafar, Tapco loan manager, told The News Tribute. Consumers need to understand their credit and check availability. Dealerships have large inventories, so they can negotiate. But demand has lessened, Roer said. More than 80% of auto loan applications in the U.S. were approved last year. The number has dropped to 63%, according to research cited by the newspaper. For the full article, use the link.