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Cash isn't king when buying cars, survey says
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (3/5/14)--A consumer survey recently conducted by the Texas-based Cornerstone Credit Union League revealed that a meager 4% of car-buyers among those polled had saved up and paid for their new wheels in cash.
 
Instead, almost 80% of the participating consumers borrowed money from financial institutions to pay for their vehicles, the league's Year-End 2013 Consumer Survey found (Leaguer March 3).
 
Meanwhile, 14% of the car-buyers financed their purchases directly through auto dealerships, which came in as the second most popular financing method.
 
The survey polled nearly 140 consumers--99% of which were members of credit unions.
 
In addition to illustrating how people approach financing their vehicle purchases, the survey also shed some light on where people actually bought their new rides.
 
Most commonly, it seems, consumers are zooming off to new-car dealerships. The survey found that 62% of the car-buyers bought their vehicles from new-car retailers, while 32% headed to used-car dealerships to buy their cars.
 
Only 3% bought vehicles through credit union auto-buying services, which can help prospective car-buyers connect with local credit unions to finance their purchases.
 
The year-end consumer survey also highlighted problems families have sticking to their general household budgets, despite the fact that the large majority of them find budgeting important.
 
Of the 143 consumers polled, 79% said keeping a household budget is important, but only 5% said they spend within the amount they've targeted.
 
The greatest challenge, two-thirds of the consumers said, was overcoming "unexpected expenses," while 22% said poor planning was to blame.
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