USAA auto loans review June 2019 | finder.com

USAA auto loans review

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USAA auto loans

No-fee auto financing starting at 3.04%.

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.
Product NameUSAA auto loans
APRAs low as 2.89%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
RequirementsUSAA member, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident.
  • A USAA member — a member of the military or a military family.

First, do I qualify?

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

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident.
  • A 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 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 for members of the military of 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 June 20th, 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.
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.
Fair or better credit
From 2 years
Car must be less than 10 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles. Current loan must have a balance between $5,000 and $55,000 and at least 24 months left in its term.
Lower your monthly car payments and save on interest through a fast and easy online application process.
510
Varies
Income of $2,000+/month, vehicle has less than 150,000 miles and is no older than 8 years, loan balance is between $10,000 and $100,000, debt-to-income ratio is less than 50%
Connect with a network of over 150 lenders to refinance your car loan.
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 lender 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 to make it easier to find the car that matches your needs and help you qualify for a 0.5% rate discount.
  • Hold off on repayments for 60 days. You have the option to defer your car loan for as long as 60 days before your repayments 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

  • 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 a72- and 84-month loans might cost less in the long-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 a the dealership. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to the USAA website.
  2. Hit 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 members, 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 to finance your next vehicle, keep up with monthly payments to avoid paying unnecessary fees.

  • Provide proof of insurance. If you haven’t verified your car insurance coverage already, you’ll need to provide the documentation before receiving the loan.
  • Sign up for auto pay. Automatic repayments mean you don’t have to take the time each month to log in and repay. And you’ll qualify for a 0.25% rate discount.
  • No payment for 60 days. Once you get your loan, you can defer your loan 60 days before make your first payment. 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 open to members of the military or those who are part of a military family only.

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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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SarahOctober 26, 2018

    What are the fees for USAA auto loan?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 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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