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USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

Established Member

USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

I've made a few threads here during my short stay and have received some very worthy information so just wanted to gauge some opinions on those of you who have dealt with USAA's auto programs in the past. 


Opinions on the USAA Car Buying program?  I've been looking into it and it seems like a good program but have any of you had any negative experiences with it?  Can you get a better deal in person at the dealership in many cases you think? 


Secondly....regarding pre-approval, something I've never done.  Say I went through USAA to get pre-approved and I requested $30,000 (not saying I will, thats actually a high estimate) but lets say I am not approved for 30K.  Will they just outright say no or do they at all counter offer with what I am approved for?  


I'm actually looking at a Honda Civic EX-L and MSRP on them is about 23K give or take.  I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row and make sure I understand what I'm doing here and if I'm wise to go through USAA or better served to go through the dealer directly.  I don't want to have tons of credit pulls on my name so I'm trying to avoid having too many places check it for a car. 


Lastly, I've read nothing but good things here about NFCU (even over USAA Full Membership).  I'm assuming I'd have to open a whole new bank account with NFCU or can I just apply for an auto loan through them?  Also if anybody can speak about NFCU in terms of being better than USAA, any assistance there would be appreciated. 





edit:  I've had my USAA account for about 3 years now.  If I was to open up a NFCU account, would they perhaps frown at the fact that I opened an account and then immediately applied for an auto loan?  Would I not have to establish a little bit of account history with them prior to applying or could I just go ahead and do it?


Really just trying to sort out USAA from NFCU and find out which is best. 




Message 1 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

I have accounts with NFCU and USAA, but have only purchased a car via USAA... I may be financing one through NFCU in a few months though.


When you apply for a pre-approval with USAA, you specify an amount.  If USAA determines you cannot "handle" the requested amount, they will provide a counter.  I have requested three loans with USAA and have been approved every time for the requested amount.  In addition, if you are a USAA member, you can call and ask how much of a loan they will extend for a specific car if you have the VIN or can provide year, mileage, color, options, etc.  FYI... USAA will extend a loan up to 120% of their assessed value of the car.


As for the car buying service, definitely use it to get an idea of how a car built to your specifications are going for.  There's no need to submit the "build-sheet" to "USAA Authorized Dealers".  Once you know the price, go to a dealership, find a car with your desired specs, test drive it, and then ask if the dealership will honor the USAA price, which is usually a few hundred dollars above invoice.  If they don't, walk away.  If they do, price negotiation is complete.  


However, if you're in the price-haggling mood, attempt to get the price below the USAA price.  If you're not successful, attempt to "settle" at the USAA price.


For reference, prior to my loan via USAA, I had been a member for maybe 12 months, but did not have any services with USAA.  The Mrs and I found an SUV to her specifications, test-drove it, and, afterwards, asked if the dealer accepted USAA pricing.  The saleman agreed to the price.  We drove home, applied for an approval, approved within 2-minutes, took the forms to the dealership, and walked out of the dealership in 45-min with a brand new SUV; moreover, the finance department couldn't beat the USAA rates.


As for NFCU, I highly doubt they'll frown upon you for requesting an auto-loan while maintaining little to no banking services with them.  Banks/CUs are glad to make money from financing.  


If you're credit profile and DTI are solid, you shouldn't have any issues securing a loan for your purchase.


Message 2 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

I will second... USAA will counter-offer if they feel you are asking too much. No-downpayment is required, but there is a limitation on how much you can finance on a particular car; the word on the street is that its 120% of the "value of the car"


You may already know this, but NFCU has elegibiilty requirements. I'm a USAA full-member and a Vetran but I don't qualify for NFCU. I bring this up because, USAA has a nice new-car buying programe but on the other-side NFCU's interest rates are hard to beat.

Message 3 of 6
New Contributor

Re: USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

USAA will counter you if they don't want to give you the full amount. But they are VERY good about trying to get you the amount you request. I applied for a loan one month before when I was starting a new job and I had no income. They really worked with me to get me the full amount. It was a very painless process.

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Message 4 of 6
Established Contributor

Re: USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

@GatorGuy wrote:

USAA will counter you if they don't want to give you the full amount. But they are VERY good about trying to get you the amount you request. I applied for a loan one month before when I was starting a new job and I had no income. They really worked with me to get me the full amount. It was a very painless process.


I concur from my own experience. I asked for $30K, they countered for $27K.I didn't take the deal because I slept on it and decided to pay my current car off instead of trading it.

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Message 5 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: USAA/NFCU Financing Questions

I got financed through USAA and they gave me 17,000(what I asked for) plus 10% for taxes, license etc...However, with a 675 score they would only approve me for 80% LTV and at 12.5% financing.  So, who knows what they'll do until you try. Good luck!

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