Back in October my new BMW arrived about the time I lost my job. Not wanting to try and get a big auto loan at the same time I didn't have a job I decided to write a pretty huge check with the plan to finance a chuck of the car at some point down the road. On March 14th I figured I would apply with Penfed for a 20k loan on the car (KBB value 57k) with scores in the upper 600's for my wife and I, no collections and utilization under 20% I figured we were a lock, I was shocked to get denied. A day or so later I got a message on my account that listed my scores and my wife's from back in January, hers 616 and mine 649 and on hers recent collections listed as a reason for denial. Over the 2 months between those HPs and the application for the car loan we had brought our utilization way down and I was able to some BS medical collections removed from her report. The whole thing didn't make sense so I called Penfed and asked for a recon. I spoke with a very nice supervisor who resubmitted our application and said it came back denied again. I then stated that the day before I pulled our credit reports they were in the upper 600's and had no collections which did not match what they reported as their results. The lady then said she would re-run our credit and see if it would change the outcome but it would cost an HP, I allowed her to do so and it came back approved. 72 months 3.24%.
The point of this post is that apparently Penfed relies on pretty old in this case almost 60 day old, HP's for their credit apps which isn't a bad thing but if you had a change for the better in that period of time it pays to call and ask them to rerun the app. As stated many times here Penfed works quickly, my check and paperwork arrived 2 days later and the rest of the process could not have been easier. Happy to have some of my cash back and a pretty solid rate given that just a couple of years ago we struggled to get a 12% loan from Santander for a Honda.
Glad it worked out for you! What kind of car did you get?
So with PenFed, lets say I have a preapproved loan and I want to go car shopping. Do I call them and have them send me the check or do I have to have a car picked out first? Ideally I'd like to just walk into the car dealer with that check in my hot little hand so I have more power.
My experience was that I got a pre-approval amount. They dont finalize the loan until you provide them with a VIN number and a buyer's order. They will then cut the check and can overnight it to you. You then walk into the dealer as a cash buyer. I was approved for $38K but only used $16K as I put down 50% to have a minimal payment for a ultra-low mileage (11.5K miles) 2014 BMW.