USAA Auto Loan APRs (10.55%) vs. Reality (5.29%)


Just a heads up to anyone using or thinking about using USAA for their auto loan needs. Don't! Their quoted APRs are currently crazy.... absolutely freaking crazy! USAA just quoted me 10.55% APR on a used auto. Which is nuts for any sane person. A quick check on NFCU, for that same amount and terms, was at 5.29% APR, still higher than ideal but I'll take it and can pay this off in 18 months without even trying and save on the interest.


Some background on me, I only have two loans totaling $150k, a small car loan and my mortgage- I pay off any revolving credit card debt each quarter. I pull in about $150k a year and have been around that income for 17 years- since I left the Navy. Also, I've been a USAA member for 20 years or so. Never once have I missed a payment on any accounts. Not once in my entire life!


Now if I can’t secure the lowest APR at USAA there is simply no hope for the average military member who may pull in $40k annually? Move on lads & ladies. These guys are doing a money grab plain and simple. It reminds me of the used car financing lots outside Norfolk Naval station tbh. They lure you in with some obscure 2.9% APR BS that no one can likely ever attain and by the time you see your real APR they’ve already hit your credit report with an enquiry. Good game USAA.


No idea why USAA has gone to the dogs in the last 5-10 years. I assume, as many do, that they are simply too big now and do not cater to the military member as they use to. Maybe it's poor computer systems and junk programming?? Customer service has also declined on many of the services I use. Some are still great, don't get me wrong, a few times I've called and had a 100% English speaking person to assist me- this is huge as non-English (as their primary language) speakers lack a lot of comprehension and minutiae. This is getting rare though as they outsource certain support services I guess. Or maybe they hire the wrong people now??


tl;dr… it’s time to start moving all my accounts off USAA. Sucks. But it is what it is as they say. USAA is losing this cash cow!



@Gasturbineguy, we appreciate your long term membership, and this is not what we want our members to experience. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to provide this feedback to us and I will have it submitted to the appropriate area on your behalf. ~ Sam 


I jumped off this ship back in 2017 after 30+yrs. Took everything with me after Mr. CEO got his big raises while the rest of us got high interest rates for loans, lousy returns on our investments/CDs/Savings/Checking, and higher insurance premiums. I sure some of my fellow members could add a few more things to the list. Did USAA feed you the ole "we have some of the most competitive rates in the industry" line? I think they're the only ones who believe it. I've been with NFCU for about 40yrs and I can get lower auto loan rates with them--especially if you have direct deposit and a couple of other things with them. Don't forget you can make that up with their investment/banking returns and promotional products--like their short term share certificates. Good luck.

Best to just leave USAA and never look back.  They can be beat on everything they offer and you will receive better customer service elsewhere.

I can't seem to locate an edit function for my original post- so here is what I found out by playing with the auto loan calculator. I figured out what USAA did to hose my APR and probably a lot of others who don’t buy new 'off the lot' cars. They're now raising APRs a crazy amount due to vehicle age. Not sure when this change occurred. I bought a 2003 Hummer H2 back in 2013 that was financed though USAA and only was hit with a 1 point penalty due to its age over a newer vehicle. That seemed far at the time.

Now. The cynic in me has to wonder if USAA is pushing new vehicles on its members over older ones that have been nearly fully depreciated and are equity ‘stable’- are you guys getting kickbacks from the vehicle makers now?? All the 'coupons' for savings if you buy a BMW or similar looks fishy when you get hit with a near 5 point penalty for buying an older vehicle, but only through USAA. I pulled other loan applications and so far only USAA has this penalty. I don't get it.


No need to call me to discuss this. Please post a reply here so we can all understand this banking logic. I'll be sending this to Reddit shortly for other militray members to review.





@Gasturbineguy, Thank you for posting an update. I'll share it with the team that has been assigned to review your concerns. ~DC

Final Update: Bought my car and financed outside of USAA (first time in over 20 years) at less than 5% APR for an 8 year old vehicle. It's mostly depreciated versus if I had paid even higher interest on a new car like USAA seems to require these days. Way to go NFCU! Their process isn't as steramlined for sure. But much better quality of service and people.


In short all my conclusions were correct. Run, don’t walk, from any bank that pushes goods and services but limits your ability to gain access to low interest (cheap) lending regardless of credit rating or past customer history.


Charging an interest is not meant to be a punishment for not following some ideological guidance driven from the boardroom. I get it. I do. Higher rates and longer loan terms equal more profits. I can see why so many times throughout history “money lenders” have been punished. Disgusting.

@Gasturbineguy, I appreciate you sharing your experience and the opportunity to have your feedback reviewed by the appropriate area. ~ Lori C. 

It appears that as retired military officer leadership and governing board positions are being repaced with non-military people, the customer service and other advantages of being a USAA member are rapidly fading.  

You are correct.  Leave USAA and never look back.