I was humbled the other day by an experience I had while purchasing a new auto. I found the right car at the right price and had completed almost all the pre-work before going for the test drive to seal the deal. The day was going very well and I was simply surprised by the professionalism, integrity and honesty of the dealership. Well, that's for another letter.


I was feeling pretty good until I called USAA to secure a loan. I am a 32+ retired military member and my wife and I have been members of USAA for 33 years. I must say that USAA has been our trusted rock where we would always turn for all things financial. Then, it happenned ... USAA denied me for a $12,000 auto loan. Their reason was simply related to a credit language obtained from Experian and not even a "Credit score" (which has always been excellent). Experian reported that we did not have enough revolving credit (we pay our cards off each month and have few) and that we did not have enough revolving mortgage evidence/interest (we worked hard to outright own our home). 


That was my first lesson on humility that day, but it was not my last. I learned that no matter how hard you work to position yourself financially it may not protect your integrity from being in question from an outside source (Experian). The second humility lesson was one that conflicted with my lifelong belief in USAA. Once denied by a first-line loan agent I asked to speak with a supervisor (Joanie) whom I hoped would be able to peek at my financial position (investments, savings, etc.) and provide an overide of sorts. To my surprise, I was metaphorically punched in the gut again with a second denial by Joanie. She said, "Sorry, there is nothing we can do; we follow loan protocols." She followed up by saying we might be able to get a loan from the car dealer. What!!?? She was nice about it, but it sure seemed like my loyalty to USAA might be a one way relationship. Joanie mentioned that it was the policy of the bank CEO.  On her integrity I asked her to have him/her (or a representative) call me.  That did not happen so here I am putting it out there to the community.


There are a lot of lessons for me from the day I went to buy a car. The car dealer hit homeruns, but USAA was definitely lacking. Stay in debt was a message from Experian that I still do not understand. USAA's message that, "We do not trust your evidence of fiscal responsibility and loyalty demonstrated for 33 years with us" makes my head spin. The lack of effort of the senior loan officer to find a way is a thought that also lingers with me.


In the end I did get a loan from the car dealer. He had the same information USAA had, but read the credit report. Although the credit report did not produce a credit number, it had evidence of three separate mortgages, multiple car purchases, multiple credit cards in history and never a payment missed. The car dealer treated me like I had a 33 year relationship with him. USAA missed the boat on this one and might want to learn from this one too. USAA failed to look at me like a valued and loyal member who they want to be part of their organization. They simply did not do the homework at their fingertips that would have revealed my financial resources and responsibility. Individual relationships matter and looking beyond the protocol process might be smart if you are trying to demonstrate it. I'm still waiting for that call from USAA...


@Jimbo22, thank you for sharing your experience with an auto loan. I understand that you have been a USAA member for 33 years, and I would like to thank you for your loyalty. I can confirm that your concerns were elevated to the CEO's Office. Please allow some time for a thorough review of the situation. We appreciate your patience. ~DC


I know USAA has grown substantially so I doubt they can keep their finger on the pulse like they used to. That is probably why I am willing to highlight the issue and hope they can resolve it. Over the years I grew in responsibilities and sometimes I found out things I was blind to in my organization. I always wanted the chance to fix them before being labeled by them. Thanks for looking into this for me. 

USAA Social Service,


It has been about two weeks since my initial post and the request by USAA to allow you some time to take a deep dive into the issue I raised relating to my auto loan. Unfortunately, I have not heard from anyone in USAA relating to this matter. That is disappointing. I am also disappointed that it seems my post has been hidden from public view and the ability of others in the community to see it or comment on it has been turned off.  In fact, I have been contacted by at least one member subscriber complimenting that the issue was raised professionally and asking what ultimately happenned. Can you please re-contact those you have working on this and provide an update. Thanks, jimbo22

Jimbo22, I'm looking into a new vehicle as well. I doubt I'll seek any help from USAA for the same reasons you stated about your financial situation. I too own my house outright and have no debt. Yes, I have several credit cards, but the entire balance is always paid when I receive my monthly statements. I left the banking side of USAA a 2-3 years ago, because of the dispointments I myself encountered as well as those reported by my fellow veterans. I had been with them since the mid 1980s before I got my commission. I was (and still am) a member with NFCU and they've been there every time. Better offers on a variety of banking services and easier to deal with if you need an auto loan. USAA keeps touting their "World Class Service" to members on this site, but I doubt many agree. It might be time for them to update their Mission, Vision & Values. You know what people say--actions speak louder than words. 😉

I spent the last hour writing a reply to your post but I deleted it, it would not matter and wouldn't change a thing. USAA has gone downhill over the last 8-10 years and it is no different than going to a large national bank.


It disgusts me they would treat life long members in this way and I am sorry you had to go through this. If it were me, I really wouldn't care if they looked into it and reversed their decision or not. Being treated this way from a bank you had put your trust in and stood with for over three decades is unconscionable. 


A little over a week ago, I re-opened a checking account and was going to move my accounts back to USAA. Not now, I'll stick with my local credit union. I am absolutely livid they treated you in this manner. 

Thanks MH53J, I do know USAA has grown substantially so I doubt they can keep their finger on the pulse like they used to. That is probably why I am willing to highlight the issue and hope they can resolve it. Over the years I grew in responsibilities and sometimes I found out things I was blind to in my organization. I always wanted the chance to fix them before being labeled by them. Thanks again for your feedback. 

@Jimbo22, your initial note was one of the better ones I've seen on these forums. You described your issues clearly, let USAA know that you were not happy and they lost your loan to the dealer, and avoided the hyperbole and slander that accompanies so many other posts. Please let us know if the "CEO's Office" ever responded in a way that left you satisfied.

RS,  Thanks for the positive nod. No reply yet and interesting that the initial thread had been hidden (or something) and the ability to comment or like/dislike was turned off centrally. I sent another note to the Community Board Manager just a moment ago. I have to admit I am curious about what attention (if any) this attracted.  I'll let you know what happens if the post is not publically shared.