More than Wheels—Helping NH families get somewhere

During the autumn, we are reminded of just how beautiful New Hampshire is every time we look out the window or walk out the door.  Ironically, the beautiful countryside that makes our state a prized destination for people from all over the world can represent an insurmountable barrier to people without the means to acquire and maintain affordable and reliable transportation.

Last year, the New Hampshire Credit Union League began working with More Than Wheels of New Hampshire, formerly Bonnie CLAC, to help overcome this problem.  Credit unions and Bonnie CLAC each have a history of helping people with limited means meet their transportation needs.  Credit unions do so by offering terrific rates on straight forward vehicle loans to New Hampshire motorists.  More Than Wheels works with individuals and families that have a credit profile that excludes them from being considered from conventional financing opportunities.  All too often that means that these folks find themselves at the mercy of predatory “sign and drive” sales operations that offer over-priced, tired vehicles with big price tags and high interest rate financing.  These sorts of vehicles usually end up becoming a financial, bottomless pit instead of the reliable transportation that these families need.

More Than Wheels has helped nearly 1,500 people purchase vehicles at the best price and loan rates available, and at the same time helped them repair their credit for the long term.  The organization employs a time-tested process that makes it possible for these people to purchase, finance, and own a car.  A reliable vehicle is the key to ensuring that they can to get to work, get their children to school, shop, and keep medical appointments.

More Than Wheels doesn’t just find cars and loans for their clients.  The organization provides personal financial education for them and their families.  They offer a comprehensive program created to help people budget, save, and spend more wisely, and to methodically improve their overall credit history.  They also empower clients with the realization that they are not alone.  More Than Wheels introduces clients to a community of peers with whom they can share stories of struggle and gain new perspectives for strength.  After that, the organization enables the client to buy a new, reliable car by providing reasonable financing options.

More Than Wheels plays a hands-on role throughout the buying process.  The team from the organization works with the client to identify an appropriate new vehicle for the family that is practical, reliable, and fuel efficient.  Keeping the cost of maintenance predictable and low is a key factor in making the ownership experience successful.  The More Than Wheels team then goes to work simultaneously with its network of car dealers and lenders to get good deals on both the car and the loan.

The credit unions of New Hampshire are assisting More Than Wheels by helping to spread the word about the good work that they are doing, providing loans, and assisting with funding.  The communications component is vitally important at this stage because there are many people who could be helped by this program who are not aware of the good work that More Than Wheels does.  The credit unions are helping by putting information up on their websites and in their lobbies.  They are also able to let the people who need this kind of help most know when they see them in the loan office.  More Than Wheels provides an alternative to having to send an unqualified borrower away with nothing but a no.

Some credit unions are partnering with More Than Wheels to offer loans to the clients who are purchasing these new vehicles.  These loans are market priced and reflect the fact that More Than Wheels is working with both the borrower and the credit union to ensure that the loan is successfully paid off.

Consumers who would like to learn more about this unique program can call More Than Wheels at 1-866-455-2522 or visit their website at http://www.morethanwheels.com.

Posted by Robert Kimmett on 11/17 at 03:02 PM