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USAA Auto Loans Review
*Rates accurate as of July 2021
Things to consider
USAA restricts those who can get an auto loan to USAA members, their spouses and their children. Unless you or your immediate family member is a military member, you will not be eligible for USAA auto loans.
To get the lowest rates possible, you’ll have to set up automatic payments and purchase a car through the USAA Car Buying Service. These restrictions may not appeal to some borrowers, especially those who want to purchase a car through the seller of their choice.
Also, if you already have a USAA auto loan, you won’t be able to refinance it with USAA. USAA only allows refinancing auto loans from other lenders.
[Read: Best Auto Loan Rates of 2020]
USAA at a glance
|Lender||Loan Amount||APR||Terms||Key Benefit|
|USAA||$5,000–$50,000||as low as 1.89%||12–84 months||Borrowers can get extra discounts|
What you need to know
USAA provides auto loans so you can purchase a vehicle from a dealer, purchase a vehicle from an individual or refinance a non-USAA loan. As of June 2020, the lowest rates were offered for newer vehicles, with a collateral model year of 2019 to 2021. USAA auto loans ratings generally go up for collateral model years of 2013 to 2018, and they generally increase again for collateral model years of 2012 and older.
USAA auto loans rates APR as low as 1.89%. Borrowers can up to $3 million, with the minimum auto loan amount being $5,000. Loan terms range between 12 to 84 months.
There are no penalties for prepaying a loan. You won’t owe any payments for up to 60 days, which may help some borrowers. Borrowers also get the assurance that in the case of a natural disaster, USAA Bank offers payment deferment.
Here’s how to apply for a USAA auto loan:
- First, you’ll need to become a USAA member.
- You’ll need to provide your date of birth, contact information, Social Security number and details about your or your family member’s military service. For non-U.S. citizens, you’ll also need a permanent resident card or passport.
- From there, USAA members can head to the USAA auto loans website to apply for an auto loan. It’s free to apply, and the loan offer is available for 45 days, which is a benefit since you’ll be able to use it to shop around, compare auto loan offerings and possibly lower your auto loan rate with another lender.
- After you e-sign your loan, you’ll receive a loan check that you can use to purchase your car.
Criteria and eligibility
USAA auto loans are available to USAA members, who must be U.S. military members or their spouses, as well as USAA members’ children. To become a USAA member, you’ll have to provide military experience documentation and personal identifying information (like Social Security number) to validate you or your family member is a military member and qualifies for USAA membership.
There aren’t restrictions on buying or refinancing used vehicles, but the older the vehicle is, the higher the rates tend to be. Also, when refinancing a used vehicle, USAA members can only refinance an auto loan that comes from a different lender.
[Related: How Much Car Can I Afford?]
USAA auto loans vs. the competition
Navy Federal Credit Union, like USAA, serves members of all military branches. Navy Federal Credit Union offers rate options lower than USAA, at 1.79%–5.59% APR for new or used auto loans and auto loan refinancing. You can also get a $200 bonus when you refinance an auto loan with Navy Federal Credit Union. When comparing Navy Federal Credit Union’s auto loan rates to USAA’s using USAA’s auto loan calculator, most Navy Federal Credit Union loan rates tend to be lower.
You’ll have to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to apply for an auto loan. To become a Navy Federal Credit Union member, just like with USAA, you’ll have to provide proof of your or your family member’s military service. Department of Defense civilians and contractors may also be eligible for Navy Federal Credit Union membership, which makes Navy Federal Credit Union auto loans accessible to more qualifying members than USAA.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.