Success Stories – Downeast Credit Union


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Helping Members with Car Shopping

Heather, one of our Downeast CU members, recently came to me with the unfortunate news that she had totaled her 2012 Ford Focus. Heather had purchased this car and financed it at another institution just this year. When she purchased the car in January, she traded her car that she owned outright, plus gave another $1,000 down.

Fast forward to August when she hit a deer, damaging the vehicle. She continued to drive the car until the adjuster could come to look at it for the repairs. She then found out that not only was the car not safe to drive, but it was completely totaled! To make matters even worse, the car she owed over $9,500 on was only valued at $5,300.  This left her a large deficient balance.

Luckily she had purchased CU Certified GAP through the dealer, but she was still stressed that her down payment she had given only months earlier was now gone. She was going to need new wheels soon and didn’t know what to do!

Heather loved her old Focus, but she expressed to me that she has really always wanted a car with a sunroof and leather seats. She shopped around and found a few vehicle options herself, but the ages and mileage of the cars she found did not sit right with me. I felt that after all she had been through, she deserved better.

So I went to work car shopping, which was fun for me because I LOVE BUYING CARS! After a lot of searching, I found one that was the perfect fit, it had all the options that Heather wanted at a decent price. Heather was so excited, but unfortunately, the dealer emailed me back and said there had been a miscommunication and the car was now sold. Heather was heartbroken, so I knew I had to get back to work and find her another car. Luckily, I was able to find a BETTER car at an even BETTER price.

Heather was excited again, as she made the trip to New Hampshire and came home with this 2016 Ford Focus, with only 21,000 miles. It was priced almost $2,000 under NADA value! With this new car, she has the same CU Certified GAP protection, but also 5 years of 125,000 miles of worry-free driving with a CU Certified Vehicle Service Contract!

Heather got a new car while saving money and I got the satisfaction of helping a great member!

Call Jason or any of the Downeast Lending Team at 1-800-442-1223 if you’d like help with the daunting car shopping process!

“I am really looking forward to building a solid financial [relationship] with one lender who understands who I am as a person and where I see my future going. As an adult, I realize how beneficial it is to have solid finances and a clear path. I believe Downeast Credit Union values the same.” – Member from our Richmond branch, December 2019

Stop Paying for Costly Repairs to an Older Auto

We recently received a call from Michelle in Brunswick who was seeking a Personal Loan. Her 2004 Cadillac CTS was a money-pit and was on its last leg. Michelle had put $1,800 a couple weeks prior for a new throttle, pedal, ABS system, and more. After these repairs, it still leaked coolant, oil, and transmission fluid. She said she would go through about 4 quarts of oil every couple of days. A week after the repairs, she had to put in another $300 into her can to put new calipers, rotors and pads in it.

Like many of us, Michelle was caught in a costly situation of repair after repair on her car.

Rather than fund a Personal Loan for Michelle to continue this repair cycle, we offered to do more to solve the problem and get her into a reliable vehicle.

Michelle never thought she’d qualify for a car loan, so she hadn’t asked.

After helping Michelle shop for a new car, we found a 2012 Nissan Altima that she loved!  We were able to protect it with GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) and a top-of-the-line Vehicle Service Contract. She was over the moon about getting into this vehicle and getting into something that is dependable!  Michelle frequently drives her family and grandkids around too, so being safe on the road was really important.

Not only was Downeast able to get her into a newer vehicle, but after having a conversation about her insurance, she thought her payments were so low that there was no way Downeast Insurance could beat it. After sending her referral to DEI, we surprised her once again with being able to provide her with a much lower premium!

Michelle was so grateful that we took the time to help her out of a bad situation.  She left Downeast feeling pride in having a safe, reliable ride, fully protected against future auto repair costs, and even saved money on her car insurance.

Michelle says she “couldn’t be happier and will be recommending Downeast to anyone and everyone she knows!”

Michelle Smith in her New Car
Michelle Smith in her New Car

“Professional, personable, and interested in finding a way to assist me with financing. In addition to my questions, the loan officer provided value added analysis of competing offers and made financially sound recommendations.” – Member from Topsham, November 2019

“You’re Doing a Lot of Things Right!”

Exclaims Wiscasset Ford Salesman, Dave Warford

“In all of my 34 years of selling over 8,500 vehicles, this is the first time I was ever contacted directly by a loan officer who was looking to help someone out who was in a bad spot,” explains Dave Warford, salesman at Wiscasset Ford.

Dave was surprised to learn that all Downeast CU Loan Officers are given authority to help our members through tough financial situations, like replacing a broken down car, working with dealers to maximize trade-in values, and even car shopping.

Topsham branch manager, Lisa Pelletier adds, “On at least two occasions just last month, Dave helped us put members into 2017 and 2018 model vehicles. Both families were caught in a bad cycle of paying repairs on older, high-mileage vehicles. Dave was ecstatic to help these families out, both of whom are now paying the same payment or less, and their vehicles are fully covered with Vehicle Service Contracts, GAP and Debt Protection to ensure they are not caught in the vicious cycle of throwing money away on costly auto repairs.”

In fact, Dave was so impressed with the level of service at Downeast CU, he transferred all of his accounts to us and even financed his new boat at the Topsham branch.
“You’re doing a lot of things right. Word of mouth will go far,” states Dave.
All of us here at DECU thank you for the kind words, Dave, and wish you smooth seas around Boothbay Harbor!

Together, it’s possible!


“The care we got from Paula and Jessica was great. Also the Tellers were very professional and accommodating… The entire staff at the Bangor branch are great and should be recognized for their customer service expertise.” – Member from Bangor, October 2019

Downeast CU walks the extra mile for you, our members


DECU coached Topsham, Maine member, Freya, out of a tough financial situation. She’s now the proud owner of a brand new car – congrats, Freya!!!

See if a DECU Loan Officer or Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor can help YOU into a new car. Call today @ 1-800-427-1223.



Refinancing saves members money


Wouldn’t it be great to keep more money in your wallet?! Call a Downeast Loan Officer today about an auto refinance and see if we can save YOU as much as Melissa & Bob.
with Frances Harris.


Save money on your insurance

How about saving money on your insurance, while also increasing your coverage?! Yes, please!

Laurie Bennett Moon just saved a family $1,675 a year on their insurance coverage. Call today to see what Downeast Insurance, LLC can do for you.




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