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USAA auto loans review

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No-fee financing with longer-than-average loan terms available.

finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0

★★★★★

Active or former members of the military and their families might qualify for highly competitive rates and a longer-than usual prequalification offer with this lender. But watch out for those long terms and deferment — they can cost you extra in interest.

As low as 2.89%

APR

Details

Product NameUSAA Auto Loans
APRAs low as 2.89%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
RequirementsUSAA member, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+

First, do I qualify?

To qualify for an auto loan with USAA, you must meet the following requirements:

  • 18+ years old
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • USAA member

To become a USAA member, you must either be a member of the military or a military family. USAA considers factors like your credit score and income when you apply, though it doesn’t advertise a minimum credit score requirement.

What makes USAA car loans unique?

USAA auto loans come with highly favorable rates and a wider-than-average range of loan terms. It also allows borrowers to stay prequalified for as long as 45 days — 15 days longer than what most lenders will allow.

On top of this, you can defer your repayments for as long as 60 days after taking out the loan.

What is a USAA auto loan?

A USAA auto loan is financing for members of the military or their families. You can use this to buy a car through its car-buying service to get the best deal. Or, you can use it to go to a dealership or private seller on your own.

You can apply online or even through your phone and prequalify in a matter of minutes.

What types of car loans does USAA offer?

USAA offers the following types of car loans. Loans start at $5,000 for terms up to 60 months on all car loans. Minimums start at $15,000 for 72-month loans and $25,000 for an 84-month loan.

  • New auto loans. Rates start as low as 3.04% APR with a 0.25% auto pay and 0.5% car-buying service discount.
  • Used auto loans. Rates start as low as 3.59% APR if you sign up for auto pay and use USAA’s car-buying service.
  • Auto loan refinancing. Rates start as low as 3.54% APR if you sign up for auto pay.

In addition to this, USAA has a special financing program for financing vehicles designed to accommodate special needs. Interested borrowers should call USAA for details on how this program works.

Compare USAA auto loans to other car loans

Updated November 13th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score Loan term Requirements
300
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
600
Varies by lender
Fair to excellent credit, an income source, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Find an offer and get rates from competing lenders without affecting your credit score.
300
Varies by lender
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
500
3 months to 12 years
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Good to excellent credit
2 to 7 years
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
18+ years old, good to excellent credit, US citizen
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the benefits of a USAA auto loan?

USAA has a reputation of offering solid rates and has an A+ BBB rating, among other benefits:

  • Prequalify offer lasts 45 days. USAA gives you 15 days more than the average car loan provider to compare lenders and shop around for a car.
  • Vehicle protection available. Opt for additional vehicle protection with no deductible and flexible payment options.
  • No application or prepayment fee. You don’t have to pay anything when you apply or if you want to pay off your loan early.
  • Inclusive financing. USAA has a special financing offer for vehicles designed to accommodate people with special needs.
  • Car buying service. USAA’s car buying service powered by TrueCar makes it easier to find the car that matches your needs and helps you qualify for a 0.5% rate discount.
  • Hold off on repayments for 60 days. You have the option to defer repayments on your car loan for as long as 60 days before they kick in.
  • Long terms available. You can finance a vehicle for as long as 84 months as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

What to watch out for

Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out an auto loan from USAA:

  • Only available to military families. You have to be a current or former service member — or a close relative of one — to be eligible for these loans.
  • Potentially high total loan cost. While a 72- or 84-month loan might cost less in the short run, terms that long allow more time for interest to add up.
  • Interest capitalization. If you choose to defer for 60 days, USAA adds the interest that accumulated during that time to your loan balance, making your loan more expensive.
  • Poor customer reviews. USAA doesn’t have a strong reputation when it comes to online reviews.

How do I get started?

The easiest way to apply is online — you can even do it on your phone while you’re at the dealership. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to the USAA website.
  2. Click Products in the main menu and select Auto Loans.
  3. Click How much do I qualify for?
  4. Log in with your member ID or apply to join.
  5. If approved for membership, follow the instructions to complete the application.

What do I need to apply?

For the auto loan application, you’ll need to supply:

  • Your personal information, including your date of birth and Social Security number
  • Details about you or your family member’s military service
  • Your financial information for monthly payments

I got a USAA auto loan. Now what?

Now that you have your auto loan, follow these steps to pay it off successfully:

  • Sign up for auto pay. Automatic repayments mean you don’t have to take the time each month to log in and make a payment. And you’ll qualify for a 0.25% rate discount.
  • Decide if you want to defer repayments. You can defer repayments for 60 days, but be aware that interest accrues from the first day.
  • Make timely payments. Avoid the 5% penalty on your late payments by signing up for automatic payments or keeping careful track.
  • Pay more than the minimum. To avoid excessive interest over the life of your loan, consider paying more than the amount required each month.
  • Reach out. Call customer service at 210-531-8722 if you have any questions or concerns.

Bottom line

USAA auto loans offer low rates with terms of up to 84 months and no prepayment penalty, depending on your credit and loan term. But you must be eligible for USAA membership, which is only open to members of the military or those who are part of a military family.

You can compare other car loan options if you’re not eligible for a USAA membership.

Common questions about USAA auto loans

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6 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Montavious
    July 25, 2019

    I would like to apply for a car loan. I have a recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy but my father (who is also a member) has agreed to cosign. What do I need to do ?

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      July 26, 2019

      Hi Montavious,

      Thanks for your question. I’m sorry to hear you have a recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As it says on our page, chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. Other types remain on your credit report for up to 7 years. Lenders may view your application as risky since you’ve demonstrated your inability to pay back your debts in the past. Once you find a lender willing to provide you with a loan, make sure you’re able to repay it in order to avoid falling into a debt spiral again.

      You can refer to this page to find loans options in applying for a car loan.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the bank should you need any clarifications about the policy.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Lyndall
    July 22, 2019

    I work for the US Navy as a civilian specialist on aircraft carriers, my wife is retired Air Force. WE have car, home and flood insurance through USAA. Am I eligible to get a car loan?

    • AvatarStaff
      fayemanuel
      July 23, 2019

      Hi Lyndall,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      To qualify for an auto loan with USAA, you must meet the following requirements:

      -18+ years old
      -US citizen or permanent resident
      -USAA member

      Please know that USAA considers factors like your credit score and income when you apply, though it doesn’t advertise a minimum credit score requirement.

      You may apply online, please see steps below:

      -Go to the USAA website.
      -Click Products in the main menu and select Auto Loans.
      -Click How much do I qualify for?
      -Log in with your member ID or apply to join.
      -If approved for membership, follow the instructions to complete the application.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Faye

  3. Default Gravatar
    Sarah
    October 26, 2018

    What are the fees for USAA auto loan?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      October 26, 2018

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Loan terms last between 12 to 84 months, and you may be able to score an APR as low as 2.79% when you purchase a new vehicle through USAA’s car buying service. There are no hidden fees with USAA but I suggest you speak to them first before applying for a loan to be sure.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

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