Model S financing problems

Model S financing problems

I have been registered for a Model S since July 09. Configuration is done, just awaiting notification. Going through the car loan application now and it boils down to 'no VIN no Deal'. If Vin and Demand for payment occur at the same time, I may be SOL.

wmgasfree | March 13, 2013

Reach out to PenFed Credit Union. They have financed a lot of Teslas, are financing mine, and have been easy to deal with. They understand the VIN issue and pre-approved my loan subject to receipt of the VIN. Almost anyone can join and their rates are attractive, currently 1.74% for a 5 year term.

biggator | March 13, 2013

I have a VIN already. If you're 30 days from delivery, they can give it to you.

Captain_Zap | March 13, 2013

My credit union pre-approved the loan and issued the check immediately once I got the VIN.

Many earlier deliveries didn't get the VIN until just a few days before delivery. The amount of notice for receiving the VIN was inconsistent. I'm very surprised to hear 30 days notice for a VIN now.

FFox | March 13, 2013

I second wmgasfree. My husband and I did Penfed this weekend and got approval without VIN, no problem. They said call when we are ready to move forward. We did have problems with their website, but their customer service was great.

Also, got approval from StarOne CU in without VIN and they gave the same instruction to call when we have the VIN to finalize the loan. PenFed had a better rate we only contacted StarOne because of long term relationship.

wraithnot | March 13, 2013

I called the main Tesla number and they gave me my VIN at least a week before I took delivery. Having a VIN in hand made getting an insurance quote and financing a breeze.

I already had the last four digits of the VIN from the iPhone app and I could have determined the rest of the VIN from my configuration, but I figured getting the VIN directly from Tesla was a safer bet.

kevonandmarion | March 13, 2013

If you live or work in Santa Clara county in California, go to Starone Credit Union. They are offering loans at 1.75% for up to 84 months. In my conversations with them they have made it clear that they have worked with Tesla before. I am sure they would be happy to obtain your business. I was approved without a VIN and just told before payment is made they will need a VIN.

Nova315 | March 13, 2013

PenFed is a nightmare...or has been for some of us. I've dealt with so many incompetent people at the organization. They approved the loan and sent the check the very day I was going to call and finally say screw it, I'm going with the other credit union (NWFCU) that approved me already (but at a slightly higher rate.) Even now, I have the check ready to go, but the wrong paperwork. Just saying, you may want to search for some alternatives. It's Tesla Eve at my home, I'm picking up tomorrow morning :D

calbeach95 | March 15, 2013

I was able to get financing through both BofA and WellsFargo - and ultimately closed with WF for the better rate & service (IMHO). They only needed the VIN when delivery was imminent, but I had it at least two weeks before delivery. And Tesla was great about holding the car for a week since I was out of town. Wells Fargo was a breeze to work with and got it done FAST.

Several places won't finance Teslas, oddly enough. But I am a happy WF customer and they went out of their way to make it a great experience.

mwojcie | March 15, 2013

I went through Tesla, and they have partnered with Wells Fargo and had me approved with a one page application in 24 hours. All the paperwork was done at delivery with tesla, never even talked with anyone at wells fargo. Super easy and 1.9% financing.

shilo_js | March 15, 2013

Alliant CU, 1.49%, 72 months on loan amounts up to $100K. Very easy to work with - didn't need a VIN for approval and experienced with Tesla.

mlaiken | March 15, 2013

I tried penned and had trouble with them. Someone others forums suggested Logix Credit Union and they were awesome. Got 1.49% and process was a breeze. Got pre approved 3 weeks before car was ready and then when I got final paperwork from Tesla, Logix overnighted the check and I was good to go. Give them a call as they were great.

John51 | March 15, 2013

Thank you all very much! I will keep shopping around. I hope to be joining the 'driver's club' soon.

cmarkortiz | March 16, 2013

great interest rates everyone now what about financing for people with not so good or fair credit???

Brian H | March 16, 2013

The question answers itself. Credit ranking is a way of estimating the risk of non-payment. There may be no lenders willing to take higher risk, and any that do will ask higher rates to cover their estimated guesstimated losses from non-payment.

cmarkortiz | March 17, 2013

Very true Brian, how you been? ? I'm sure there are people out there with bad credit that got this car? It can't just be for the perfect credit people out there lol, anyone out there. ...

riceuguy | March 18, 2013

Thanks all for the tip on Alliant! That alleviates my greatest concern which is that Tesla may not deliver before my current pre-approval at Amplify runs out on 4/30 (at which point the rate increases to well over the current 1.69%).

c.bussert67 | March 18, 2013

I had tense times with getting my final check and car delivery. At one point my delivery specialist was telling me he could deliver my car in a few weeks. I didn't have a VIN yet! I asked him how could I be getting a car if I don't have a VIN and I don't have a final payout for Tesla? He finally replied with my VIN in an Email. We went right over to the credit union and got the final check cut. A week later we got our car! It really upset me that they could go from step 1 to 10, be ready to deliver and skip 8 and 9, where I get the money to pay for the darn thing! I just didn't want something to go awry.
I don't think they could possibly deliver a car without making sure you have a check ready, but make sure you let them know you need the VIN to get your final check. My delivery specialist was just so eager to deliver the car, he seemed to almost forget that little detail.

blc1017 | March 18, 2013

Had been approved with PenFed but I've been annoyed with some lapses in paperwork (probably due to their desire to have everything faxed to them), and the fact that the interest rate went up while I was waiting for the car. Yesterday I applied through Alliant CU and got approved today, over the phone, with no problems. Spouse is joint on the account...everything done through electronic signature. My loan officer said he was just finishing the paperwork on his 35th Tesla. Alliant has 1.49% rates for 72 months; I didn't finance 100% but that was available. I haven't seen anywhere else with better rates.

Kauai | March 18, 2013

+1 for Alliant. I got 1.49% and 72 months in 3 days on-line with no hassles! Recommending to all my friends getting Teslas, even if they have the cash on hand.

RedS | March 18, 2013

Alliant sound awesome! But if you don't live close to Chicago (I'm in San Francisco), the only way to join is if you work in a qualifying company:

Call Logix, and seem ok, 48 mos @ 1.49% with 20% down. Anyone else use them?

isom | March 18, 2013

Simplicity Bank in California is simple to work with. 1.99% for 60 mos. Will loan up to 90% of car's value at this rate. They are well acquainted with Tesla's model S.

FFox | March 18, 2013

We live in bay area and were able to join Alliant by becoming a member of Foster care with $10 donation.

blc1017 | March 18, 2013


Or you can make a $10 donation to Foster Care 2 Success, which qualifies you to join Alliant.

blc1017 | March 18, 2013

Alliant also states on their website their branch locations, many of which are listed in the SF Bay Area as well as LA area.

RedS | March 18, 2013

@FFox, @blc1017,

Thanks! Not sure how I missed that joining Foster Care 2 Success would qualify. Sheesh!

Although they have branch locations in the Bay Area, the "qualifying locations" are only in/around Chicago.

Thanks again for the tip, will call them up tomorrow.


jigish | March 19, 2013

+1 to Alliant. Just called them today and got approved within 5 minutes on the phone for 72 months @ 1.49%. Super smooth process so far.

ylyubarsky | March 31, 2013


Any new experience anybody can share with us?

shilo_js | March 31, 2013

+1 Alliant. Same experience as Jigish. 1.49% for 72 months; higher loan amounts than others. Easy to join, easy to apply, easy to get approved. Financed numerous Teslas.

TomPSU91 | April 11, 2013

For those who financed through Alliant, what was the application process like? What documentation did they want? Are the predominately credit score driven? I am self employed, and my years vary in income... Last year, not that great. I have always received a loan through a dealer when I have financed, but I went to my bank yesterday, and their rates were absurd, they wanted 20% down, and they were going to go into my finances like a mortgage company would. And, they were very adamant on their ratios. Soooo... Looking for a place more like when I go in the car dealers.

bostoncde | April 11, 2013

I am also self employed and was approved thru Alliant (1.49%) and Penfed (1.79%) they will want your personal and company tax returns. I had no problem but don't know about how strict they are. Took a few days all done over phone or online.

rochec | April 11, 2013

A lot of places will also give you an unsecured loan and then convert it to an auto loan once you have everything.

djm12 | April 12, 2013

Hi folks - when posting the loan term and rate, please also include the maximum loan amount (if any) and the required deposit. Some of us are looking to put as little money down as possible since the loan rates are so low - almost like free money.