Credit Unions and Banks That Finance Older Cars

Short Answer: The best way to obtain financing for an older vehicle — such as a 15-year-old car or a used car with more than 100,000 miles — is through a credit union. Credit unions often have less stringent underwriting requirements. To qualify, you must be a member of a credit union and you should be prepared to pay a premium of several points above the current APR. You may also need to get the vehicle appraised. Alternately, we found one bank that was willing to finance an older car. For more details on financing an older vehicle, see below.

Financing an Older Vehicle

Most traditional banks won’t finance an automobile that’s more than 10 years old — and some banks require vehicles to be no older than seven years. “Buy here, pay here” dealerships and “We Tote the Note” car lots can help you finance an older used car, but they often do so on prohibitively expensive terms. And, specialty lenders offer loans for collectible cars but few will extend credit for vehicles that don’t fit into the specialty market.

During our research, we found one source that was consistently willing to finance an older vehicle: credit unions. Adhering to less stringent financing guidelines and often restricting membership to certain geographical locations, specific employment sectors, or enrollment in the military, credit unions often allow loans for vehicles older than 10 years. You should, however, be prepared to make a significant down payment, accept a higher APR, and, possibly, get an appraisal to determine the car’s worth.

Here you’ll find a list of credit unions with a national presence and more open membership terms. There are, of course, several other local and specialized credit unions. The following list also includes one bank that said it would be willing to finance an older vehicle.

Credit Unions and Banks That Finance Older Cars

Alliant Credit Union

  • Appraisal requirement: None
  • Additional restrictions: Underwriting will have to determine the vehicle’s residual value prior to making the loan
  • Membership requirements: You can become a member by working or having worked with an Alliant partner company, having membership in a qualifying organization, having a family member that’s an Alliant member, or living or working in a community near Alliant’s Chicago headquarters. Additionally, you can become a member of the nonprofit Foster Care to Success, which requires a one-time payment of $5, and Alliant will pay the membership fee on your behalf.
  • See Alliant’s Vehicle Loans page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; Alliant website

Connexus Credit Union

  • Appraisal requirement: Yes, you will need to get the vehicle appraised
  • Additional restrictions: Connexus will consider financing any older car, but it must go through the formal appraisal process to determine its value beforehand.
  • Membership requirements: Connexus extends membership to residents of various Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin municipalities, as well to employees of a number of associated companies. Additionally, anyone who joins the Members of the Connexus Association by giving a one-time $5 donation can become a Connexus member.
  • See Connexus’ Buy a Vehicle page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; Connexus website

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

  • Appraisal requirement: None
  • Additional restrictions: PenFed finances all model years; borrowers cannot select a term longer than 60 months
  • Membership requirements: Though PenFed originally accepted military members, veterans, government employees, and employees of specific qualifying organizations, it currently extends membership privileges to anyone who opens a savings account and maintains a $5 balance.
  • See PenFed’s Used Auto Loans page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; PenFed website

NASA Federal Credit Union

  • Appraisal requirement: None
  • Additional restrictions: Loan determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Membership requirements: NASA Federal extends membership to NASA employees, retirees, or relatives or household members of a current member. Additionally, NASA Federal will provide a complimentary one-year affiliated membership to the National Space Society (NSS), which entitles you to full membership benefits.
  • See NASA Federal’s Auto Loans page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; NASA Federal website

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union

  • Appraisal requirement: None
  • Additional restrictions: RBFCU prefers to lend on vehicles that are no older than nine years old; to finance an older vehicle, you need to have excellent credit. Since underwriting is based on the borrower’s credit rating, the rates on new and used vehicles are the same.
  • Membership requirements: According to its website, RBFCU has “more than 3,000 ways to qualify you for membership.”
  • See RBFCU’s Auto Loans Rates page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; RBFCU website

State Farm Bank

  • Appraisal requirement: None; underwriting may ask for one in specific circumstances
  • Additional restrictions: State Farm Bank’s underwriting department must examine and approve all loans for older vehicles on a case-by-case basis and may require a larger down payment. To apply for a loan, you must contact a local State Farm agent.
  • Membership requirements: None
  • See State Farm’s Vehicle Loans page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; State Farm Bank website

USAA

  • Appraisal requirement: None
  • Additional restrictions: USAA’s underwriting department must examine and approve all loans for older vehicles on a case-by-case basis and may require a larger down payment.
  • Membership requirements: USAA restricts membership to active-duty, guard, or reserve military members, veterans, cadets, midshipmen, and their eligible family members.
  • See USAA’s Car Loans page for current rates
  • Source: Customer service; USAA website

More Information

Looking to finance an old RV? See our related article for details.

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