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First-Time Auto Buyer Guide

Windows down. Music blaring. Contagious laughter. And nothing ahead but the open road. Your first car. Sure, it's a necessity for getting you from one point to the next, but it's also the space in which you'll spend countless hours not just driving, but creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Don't let the stress of the car buying process stand between you and the wheel. We're here to help first-time car buyers prepare for, pay for, and maintain their new set of wheels. We make sense of the sometimes hard-to-understand financial aspects and provide you with the tools that let you do your car shopping and buying where, when, and how you want to. So, what are you waiting for? Your next adventure starts here!

Get Educated

Taking a little time to learn about the car buying process now will mean a much smoother experience when you decide to dive in and make it official. We've got plenty of resources for you to utilize.

First-Time Auto Buyer Quick Guide

  • Find out how much you can afford to spend on your new ride, get a breakdown of common terms that will come up during the auto buying process, and find out what steps you should take before and during your car search. | Go to Quick Guide

The Costs of Buying a Car

  • Sure, there's a downpayment and monthly payments, but have you thought about insurance, fuel, mainteinence, plates, and more? Make sure you're aware of the expenses that come with owning your vehicle. | Learn more

Understanding Your Credit Report Quick Guide

  • Your credit report and credit score come into play not just when getting approved for an auto loan, but for a home loan, personal loan, credit card, and much more. Make sure you've got a handle on how your score is calculated, how you can improve it, and how to read your report. | Go to Quick Guide

Steps to Take if You're in a Car Accident

While we hope you never need to act on any of these steps, it's crucial that you know what to do if you're involved in a car accident. | Learn more

Protection Plans to Add to Your New Vehicle 

We give you the options for peace of mind with added protection plans, including MBP, GAP, Debt Protection, and DPW for your new vehicle. | Learn more

Find Your Ride

Our Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar, allows you to shop for the exact vehicle you want and begin your buying process online with a network of trusted dealers. You’ll see what others have paid and receive haggle-free, guaranteed pricing and savings.

A Complete Car Buying Experience at 3Rivers

Start Shopping

Start Shopping

Get Pre-approved

Get Pre-approved

See what others paid for the new car you want or see used car market values. Get our new car Guaranteed Savings Certificate or used vehicle Price Certificate & save time and money with a hassle-free deal. Be sure to get pre-approved for your car loan with 3Rivers before you shop. With low auto loan rates on new and used vehicle loans, you'll save even more when purchasing your next car!

Get Financed

Our in-house underwriters provide a quick turnaround on loan processing and approvals. Plus, when you finance your vehicle at 3Rivers, you get 1% cash back up to $500.* You can apply online, on a mobile device or in a branch.


Looking to Refinance Your Vehicle?

Refinancing your auto loan may be a smart move, given the right circumstances. For example, if interest rates have dropped, your credit score has improved, or you’ve experienced a financial setback since purchasing your vehicle, a refinance could mean more money each month to use toward other financial goals and priorities. Check out this blog post to learn more about when an auto loan refinance might be in your best interest.

*Offer valid on new money vehicle loans including auto, truck, RV/camper, boat, motorcycle, ATV, personal watercraft, and/or snowmobile or refinances of same from another financial institution. If refinancing an existing 3Rivers loan, a minimum of $5,000 new money is required to get the cash back. Only new money is valid for the 1% cash back. Rebate will be credited to member within 30 days of loan disbursement. Loan must remain at 3Rivers for a minimum of 180 days or rebate amount will be added to the loan upon payoff. No other offers/discounts apply, including rate discounts. Minimum loan amount of $5,000. Maximum cash back of $500 per financed loan. 3Rivers reserves the right to amend, suspend, or discontinue offer at any time.
APR=Annual Percentage Rate. All rates advertised are based upon borrowers qualifications and loan amount.