Skip to Main Content

USAA: 2022 Auto Loan Review

2022-05-24 11:56:00

At a glance

3.9
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Compare auto loan rates
See Rates

About USAA

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    Starting at $5,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    4.94%

  • Funds available in

    Not specified

USAA features

USAA boasts special discounts and rates for its members. Still, consider the cons before signing off.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Autopay discount

  • Checkmark

    No application or prepayment fees

  • Checkmark

    Long shopping window

CONS

  • Close X

    No prequalification

  • Close X

    Undisclosed refinance rates

  • Close X

    Membership required

USAA is a Texas-based company that serves U.S. military members and veterans, pre-commissioned officers and spouses and children of either. Members can take out auto loans for new and used vehicles and refinance existing ones. With competitive rates and dedicated customer service, USAA can be a great option for service members looking to finance their next vehicle purchase.

Pros and cons of USAA auto loans 

While you won't face prepayment penalties and you can shop for up to 45 days, there are some drawbacks to consider.

Pros

  • Autopay discount. Members benefit from a 0.25 percent discount when they sign up for autopay.
  • No application or prepayment fees. USAA doesn't charge application fees or prepayment penalties. 
  • Long shopping window. The loan offer you receive is good for 45 days. 

Cons 

  • No prequalification. USAA does not offer a way to accurately see your rates without a hard credit check. 
  • Undisclosed refinance rates. Although refinance is available, rates are not shared online. 
  • Membership required. You must have connections to the military in order to finance with USAA.

Who is USAA best for?

Financing with USAA is first, most obviously, best for someone with military connections. Members benefit from specialized financial resources and access directly to bank representatives who are familiar with their lifestyle. 

The long shopping window is great for someone who is on the fence about financing and intends to shop around. But while USAA has competitive starting APRs, the undisclosed refinance information means you might find better luck refinancing elsewhere. 

Types of auto loans offered

USAA offers auto loans for drivers looking to finance a new or used vehicle or refinance their current loan. 

New and used auto loans 

Drivers can finance a vehicle directly from a dealer or through a private seller with terms up to 84 months. Though, USAA does carry some rules regarding vehicle age, cost and available terms.

  • 84-month term: Minimum loan amount of $25,000, model year must be 2015 or newer.
  • 72-month term: Minimum loan amount of $15,000.
  • 60-month term or less: Minimum loan amount of $5,000.

Refinance 

While USAA does offer the ability to refinance your vehicle, the specifics are not disclosed on its website. In order to find available rates and terms, you must first apply. 

Some perks that come with USAA refi specific to its members is the ability to take your vehicle overseas, ideal for those awaiting deployment. 

You will need the following information to apply: 

  • Car’s model year and mileage
  • 10-day payoff amount
  • Loan annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Loan account number 
  • Employer and income information

Interest rates and terms

Best rates are offered to well-qualified borrowers if you have a low credit score your cost to borrow will likely be higher. As of August 2022, the rates are as follows:

Loan product Starting APR
New car 4.94%
Used car  4.94%
Refinance 5.34%

How to apply for a loan with USAA

The application process can be done fully online with approval provided in minutes. Your loan offer will be good for 45 days so it is wise to shop around before signing off. According to USAA’s site, applying for a new or used auto loan can be done in three simple steps.

    1. Apply online. First, fill out the online application and undergo a credit check. You will need information about the loan you want, your income and housing.
    2. Sign your documents. Following approval, which should take minutes, you will sign off on the e-documents via the website.
    3. Get the loan. Finally, you will receive your funding and can purchase your vehicle. Payments will be made to USAA on a monthly basis.

Auto loan requirements

USAA does not disclose loan requirements other than membership. Typically, to get the best rate, you will need to have very good to excellent credit — a score of at least 740.

Customer service

If you have questions regarding your loan application or prefer to communicate over the phone, USAA can be reached Monday through Friday or via chat function directly on the site. 

How Bankrate rates USAA

Overall score 3.9  
Availability 4.3 USAA offers loans in all 50 states but does not disclose maximum loan amounts.
Affordability 3.8 There are no hidden fees but USAA uses traditional underwriting criteria and has an average minimum APR.
Customer experience 4.8 The shopping window is longer than competitors and USAA 24/7 online chat support.
Transparency 2.5 USAA does not offer prequalification and only shares its minimum APR.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.

Edited by Auto loans editor