Editor’s Note: The following is an update from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) sent to members on dealer-assisted financing.

As a new Congress gears up for 2013, one issue that continues to be on the forefront of RVDA advocacy efforts is the protection of your dealership’s ability to arrange financing for your customers. Some groups, including the Center for Responsible Lending, continue to push lawmakers and regulators for additional restrictions on vehicle financing – restrictions that could hurt RV dealers and the entire motor vehicle industry.

Several dealers have asked RVDA to prepare some quick talking points on this issue, so they can provide information to Congressional representatives or their staff. Here are some points to make when discussing the importance of dealer-assisted financing.

More choices: A white paper by Northwood University calls dealer-assisted financing for vehicle purchases a “wonderful example of a free and competitive market which adds multiple choices for consumers.”

Saves money: “In many cases the customer would not save money by obtaining financing via a direct loan from a financial institution,” according to the report. “In fact, dealer-arranged financing rates are often more competitive than those offered by direct lenders. In order to serve their customers’ financing needs, dealers must be prepared to meet or beat the lowest APR offered to their customers by direct lenders.”

Saves time: The report says dealers often gather all of the important and necessary financial information from the customer during the sales process, saving the customer the effort of a separate trip to a financial institution to provide the same information.

More efficient: Gathering financial information up front reduces the financial institution’s cost of processing the loan. Dealers also absorb the direct and indirect costs of marketing, transacting, and meeting federal and state point-of-sale compliance regulations that accompany financing. In short, says the report, dealers reduce the loan’s retail distribution cost.

Of course, we urge dealers to add their own experiences on the benefits of arranging financing – we know there are literally thousands of success stories out there. RV dealerships tell us they have many customers who wanted to do loans through their local banks. But some of those local banks don’t have an RV program, so the customer, by financing through dealers, saved lots of money.

RVDA will keep members updated on this important issue throughout the coming months. And a reminder: RVDA established an Advocacy Fund so that when issues arise that need to be addressed, we have the financial resources to do so. Click Here to contribute, send an email to [email protected], or call the staff at (800) 336-0355 (ext. 113) for more information.