Currently, I own a car that is ill-equipped to handle the winter weather of Northern Indiana. I'm also getting married and May and moving, so I will have a flull-fledged commute to and from work soon here. I'd like to purchase another vehicle, and I'd like to consider going through a private seller. However, I am extremely weary of taking this route without knowing if I can qualify for an auto loan and how much I can qualify for. I have a general idea, based on a car dealership visit gone wrong (I did not want anything that would result in a hard credit check, but the saleswoman performed one).
Long story short, is there a way for me to find out if I would qualify for a loan through USAA? A list of items that you look for? Credit score minimums? Anything I can do short of completing the application (right now) and having another hard check on my report?
Sure there is! This is a customer service related matter that isn't handled here in the forum. Please call one of our member service representatives by using the CONTACT US on our website or by calling 800-531-USAA.
This will be unpopular, but I second the first poster's comment: If you don't have money for the car and you don't know if you can qualify for a loan, you really can't afford another car. If your current car isn't going to meet your needs, I think you'd be better off looking at how much you can sell it for, and then look at used cars that cost no more than the amount of cash you will walk away with from selling your current car. Why get yourself into debt for a depreciating asset when it sounds like you don't have a really good handle on your credit worthiness to begin with?
Is there a way you can continue to use your current car while saving everything you can towards a different (Note: I didn't say "New") car? USAA tends to be pretty conservative, but don't assume that just because a bank will lend you the money, you can afford it or it is a good idea. Make the decision of what you can afford first and independently of what a bank says.