Alliant Over Penfed - A Self-Employed's Loan Story

Alliant Over Penfed - A Self-Employed's Loan Story

Just wanted to give a bump to Alliant Credit Union, who've approved me for virtually the entire amount of my $93,000 85kWh S. Penfed did approve me, but only for $50,000. So, I re-applied, only to get the same result. At that point I decided to look elsewhere. Saw the posts about Alliant, and thought I'd give them a try.

I'm self-employed, so I anticipated some trouble, as is usually the case when it comes to such matters. I supplied each ACU & Penfed with PFD copies of my 2010 & 2011 tax returns (over 100 pages each!) in lieu of paystubs. They of course ran my credit, which Equifax reported as 749 (Grade A). Still Penfed wouldn't give me the entire amount, which meant I would've had to get an additional loan for the remainder. Too messy.

So, I'm not a member of Alliant, and don't have a relative who is, and I don't live in Chicago, or belong to any of the professional organizations listed on their site. So, easy-peasy, I donated $10 to Foster Care via Alliant's site, which qualified me to become a member. Alliant then automatically deposited five of their dollars in my newly formed savings account. For confirmation of identity, I had to further supply them with copies of my driver's license, passport, and a digital copy of a utility bill - in my case it was a Verizon Wireless bill.

Confirmation of my new account was very quick - within one day - and I immediately called and talked to loan consultant Jon Sipich. GREAT work on his part! His knowledge and communication were superb. He then expedited my loan application, and I was pre-approved while on hold for 4-5 minutes. He gave it to the underwriters for a final look-see, and I heard via email the following day that I'd been approved for the entire amount. Actually, they required me to make a 10% down payment, which took into account the $5000 I'd already placed on my original reservation a year ago. So, my down payment is approximately $4300, with around $84,000 actually being financed. Oh, almost forgot - 1.49% over 72 months! GREAT!! A year longer than Penfed.

So, I guess the moral is...SHOP AROUND.

Kyle in Madison
85kWh - Blue - Black - 19" - Tech - Sound - Air
Late April Delivery

ChasF | March 30, 2013

Good to know. Thanks for sharing. What state do you livein?

kyleket | March 30, 2013

NP. Wisconsin.

Mike C | March 30, 2013

Also self-employed and I was denied by PenFed because I have not been making my current salary for the last 2 years. Alliant approved me for 70k at 1.99% for 5 years (I already have an HSA with them). The entire experience was MUCH better with Alliant (PenFed you needed to call repeatedly and talk to a different, clueless person each time and fax everything in; with Alliant, everything was handled through email with the same person throughout). If they are offering 1.49% now, I see no advantage to going with PenFed.

Brian H | March 30, 2013

Heh. Msdison was a clue, unless there's another in another state.

The Alliant vs. PenFed slugfest for Tesla business is now on!

kyleket | March 30, 2013

There ARE other Madisons, but only ONE MADISON!! ;-)

I'm SO glad Penfed gave me problems. Led me to Alliant. Indeed, they have 1.49% for SIX years. Much better deal.

Highly recommended.

ylyubarsky | March 30, 2013


Did Alliant ask you to sign 4506 form to verify your income with IRS?

kyleket | March 31, 2013

@ylyubarsky Nope. I guess my two most recent tax forms, which are quite complicated, and compiled by our tax guy - along with credit history - were sufficient. Though, I think that it would've been a very simple task to complete, given Alliant's use of ESIGN E-signatures.

ylyubarsky | March 31, 2013


Thanks for the answer. Would you give me your email address if possible. I want to talk to you and ask a few questions about your experience in details. Thanks.

kyleket | March 31, 2013



ylyubarsky | March 31, 2013

@ kyleket

I sent you an email. Please check your SPAM if you don't see it

pencil2man | March 31, 2013

i did note on the alliant site that you need to have the monthly payment on autodraft to get this rate, otherwise .4% higher. i did use penfed w/o knowing of alliant. my loan is less than 2weeks old. anyone know if a payoff and refi could qualify as a new vs used car loan

ylyubarsky | March 31, 2013

@ kyleket

If you don't see my email, write me at Thanks

kyleket | March 31, 2013


You're right, I forgot to mention that. If you don't go paperless, with auto-deduction from your bank account, the rate is 1.89%. You might be S.O.L. with the re-fi being considered as a new car loan. Can't hurt to ask, though! I say call Alliant. They might know something that's not occurring to you. Good luck!

fluxemag | March 31, 2013

Wow, that's great to hear. I think my check from Penfed will expire before my car is ready, and then I'd be subject to their higher interest rate.

kyleket | March 31, 2013

To clarify my previous post:

Paperless, auto-deduction from bank account = 1.49%
If you want to write a check every month, and have a paper trail = 1.89%

pencil2man | April 1, 2013

I just spoke with Alliant who indicated there could be a 6 month window to refinance the original auto loan and qualify for a new car loan with them. I may check this out as benefits are:

.25% lower rate
1 additional yr financing
increased financing amount

L8MDL | April 1, 2013

I'm not a banker but wouldn't a 12 month extension negate a .25% lower rate?

pencil2man | April 1, 2013

Their rate is for 6 yrs (72 months) vs Penfed at 5 yrs (60 months). Their 7 year loan is at a higher rate

ghillair | April 1, 2013


On the longer loan you pay more total interest over the life of the loan but a lower monthly payment. The question is what is more important to you?

pencil2man | April 1, 2013

actually, with the lower rate, the total interest for 6 yrs is less that the higher rate for 5 yrs, but not by much.

JDPink | April 2, 2013


The total amount of interest that you would pay on a $70,000, 5 year loan, at 1.99% with Penfed is $3,598.22. Additionally your monthly payment is $1,226.64.

The total amount of interest that you would pay on a $70,000, 6 year loan, at 1.49% with Alliant is $3,219.04. Additionally your monthly payment is $1,016.93.

Personally I went with Alliant (very easy process) and my car was delivered on 3/30.

rkylecrawford | April 2, 2013

Thank you for the tip, KyleKet. I ordered almost the same car (blue, 19, pano, tech, sound, 85kw). You have good taste, so I gave Jonathan a call. Great guy, we are prequaled and downhill from here.

Thanks for writing this review; helpful for me and deserved of Alliant.

kyleket | April 3, 2013


You're welcome!! I'm glad to help a fellow Kyle, as well! ;-)

Glad it worked for you, and I hope Jonathan gets a commission.

Three weeks til mine comes!! What's gonna replace me daily hours spent on this forum? Oh, yeah, daily hours on the road!

Anonymous | April 3, 2013


ebullio | April 3, 2013

Those interest rates are amazing, in The Netherlands (Europe) we pay about 6% for financial leasing a MS.

Objective1 | April 3, 2013

Our interest rates in the US are literally insane. Americans: get fixed interest loans now! The bubble is going to burst. The Fed can't dump funny money into our financial system without effect forever.

Brian H | April 3, 2013

Won't work. You'll be doing both. It's additive.

kyleket | April 4, 2013

@Brian H

Perhaps if I multi-task, and combine my forum time with my driving time on the 17"...

Brian H | April 4, 2013

Bad idea. We've had one too many head-ons already.

Xerogas | May 13, 2013

Amazed at how easy Alliant made this loan process!

I was vacationing on a Caribbean island when I got my delivery email, and had to move fast to get financing. All I had as an iPad mini and a spotty WiFi connection, but that was enough to get/send all the emails to Tesla, open a new account with Alliant, and apply for a loan. Both Tesla and Alliant were very nice about accommodating me (for instance, I couldn't take phone calls, so they did everything by email and DocuSign), and they had all the digital paperwork ready by the time I got back from vacation!

1.49% for six years, 100% financing, picking up the car this Wednesday

George with SacEV | May 14, 2013

In contrast to most here, we did better in terms of final rate (1.74%) and speed of processing with PENFED, so shop and compare. My local CU, where I do my regular banking had a 2.9% rate.

I am in Warsaw, Poland for another 2 months of a 5 month Fulbright Scholar appointment, so between their websites and SKYPE, I did everything online. My wife will be briefly back in California to take delivery next week.

LMB | May 14, 2013

Another +1 here for Alliant. We weren't even planning to finance the car, but when we read here about the 1.49% rate, we concluded that this basically amounts to free money, and we would be crazy not to do it, if we could get that rate.

Our loan specialist, Nicole, was terrific, the process extremely speedy, and a pleasant experience all around.

But what makes this interesting is that we're retired, and our income, as reflected by our tax returns, is very low. It's very low because we are very frugal. It doesn't have to be low. So it took an extra day for our request to go all the way to their loan committee at the top of the heap. We were approved for 85% financing, based on our credit ratings (both over 800) and our assets, which they said they don't ordinarily consider when underwriting.

So they went out of their way to accommodate us, as unusual customers, and we really appreciate it. And we appreciate the free money.

elguapo | May 14, 2013

Alliant was great for me. Approved less than 24 hours after submitting, great, responsive communication. Super easy process. Very happy.

JPPTM | May 14, 2013

Another happy Alliant CU customer--Nicole helped me too--.

fluxemag | May 14, 2013

I am also very happy with Alliant. They're overnighting the check to Tesla. Penfed by comparison was very disorganized.

irishstoutaz | May 14, 2013

We started the loan application process with PenFed but found the communication with them to be not very good and ended up using Alliant.

Alliant rates are currently as low as 1.49% and up to a 72 month term. We worked with Jason Freese and he is familiar with the process for Tesla and has been great to work with and was a very easy process. He said anyone can contact him directly and his informtion is:

Jason Freese
Alliant Credit Union
11545 W Touhy Ave Chicago IL 60666
800-328-1935 Ext 2164
Direct 773-462-2164