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Did most of you take Tesla financing, or your own outside bank?

Two things are making me want to choose my financing externally:

1) Lower rate (like 2.5% instead of 3.3% from Tesla)
2) Finding out that annual Tesla service required for buyback guarantee

If I don't expect depreciation to be my main concern, then these two conditions cost me an extra >$3000 in loan and service costs. And my logic is that if Tesla is guaranteeing buyback, should I ever need to sell it, that will already provide a floor to the resale, whether to Tesla directly or not.

I imagine there should not be too much concern about being able to sell it externally (i.e., not worrying that I will rely on Tesla to buy it as a last resort).

What do you all think -- have you gone with Tesla financing, or your own bank?


I usually pay cash for my cars but just use a credit union like Alliant Credit Union. It was like "free money" almost with 1.49% APR. Check them out. I couldn't find anything that came even close and it was simple easy to get approved if your FICO score is high.

Andy Vostatek
Alliant Credit Union
Sr. Loan Consultant
(800)328-1935 ext. 2201
Direct:(773)462-2201 Fax: (773)462-2201

Home equity line. deductable interest only loan up to $100k. Investing what would have been the principal payment.
As to the Tesla loans...I was assured by an owner rep in Van Nuys that service from Tesla was NOT a requirement for participation in buyback.

I used my own credit union-- prefer to do my banking business locally.

I went with the buyback option just for safety. However, it was likely a wholly unnecessary precaution. The 'free' money is more than likely the better deal. As another has statement, your maintenance condition is not the case, but I still lean towards the external financing as the better deal. The buyback option will probably do more to stabilize resale value overall than actually provide a direct value by needing it. My personal opinion only.

IMHO, it doesn't make sense to go with the Tesla financing vs. lower cost credit unions. By Elon guaranteeing the resale value, all it did was provide a stop gap for the overall resale market. There shouldn't really be any reason why non-Tesla financed vehicles would be worth any less vs. Tesla's expensive financial partners.

It doesn't make sense to me to pay upwards of 100% APR vs. other players out there.

I was implying it stabilizes the resale of _all_ Model S cars, not only ones financed through US Bank or Wells Fargo.

Also, I was mistaken in my agreement with Howsbayou2. I looked over my buyback guarantee paperwork and the second condition states, "The vehicle is maintained by Tesla Motors or its subsidiary according to Tesla's recommended service schedule."

While not getting service doesn't invalidate your warranty, the 12 mo., each 12.5k mile recommendation is clear. Despite what an owner rep states, the signed document clearly gives Tesla the option to 'opt out' if they so choose, even if they honor the contract through policy. Paying the higher rate for the buyback option doesn't make sense if you also give Tesla the option to void the buyback.

Anywho...external financing is extremely attractive and likely the better deal.

I was going to finance with a third party but I was able to get 1.99% through Tesla, I believe Wells Fargo but only because I am putting a hefty sum down (roughly $30k) and only financing for 48 months.

I would have bought the car in cash but I need business write offs.

PenFed and Credit Union One also has great rates.

@ soma,

I don't know if what I did was smart, but it made sense. I financed 100% w/ USAlliance at 1.89%. I chose an 84 month term in order to make my minimum monthly payment as low as possible. My focus was on capital preservation and having as much liquid cash available to earn a better return than the interest I'm paying. I am making a higher monthly payment as if it were a 72 month loan, and will pay the principal down as fast as I am comfortable depending on how and where I'm using my available cash.

I don't like putting any cash down on car purchases because that cash can be put to better use when interest rates to borrow the money are this low. The other thing to consider is, if you are pretty tight financially with the purchase of this car, having cash in the bank (instead of making a down payment) is invaluable in case of unexpected life events.

I would not finance this vehicle at 2.5% or 3.3%, those rates are too high in my opinion. If you are being quoted those higher rates, it might be a better idea to spend a few months to increase your FICO in order to qualify for a lower rate. The best way to bump your FICO by at least 30 points is to pay off your entire credit card balances 4 days before your statement is generated. This way all of your credit cards report a zero balance to the bureaus and your FICO will get a big bump if your current credit card utilization percentage is high.

Went with the Tesla financing @ 2.8%, but plan to pay it off shortly after the six month requirement is completed. To #michael1800's point, having the buy-back promise in place will likely buoy the resell value through improved perception of Tesla Motors.


How did you get a loan @ 1.84% for 84 months?, their site says 2.99%

+1 Alliant Credit Union @1.49%

Alliant 1.49% for 72 months. Also received $100 for getting the auto loan.

@ GDH - they had a special for qualified buyers when I bought in July and August. Their rate for a 72 month or shorter loan was actually lower at 1.49%. It was not a publishes special, either. Try contacting Jon Krumdick, he did my loan and is excellent.

Jon Krumdick
USAlliance Federal Credit Union
Senior Manager - Sales and Service
Phone: 800.431.2754 ext. 2319
Mobile: 978.833.1962

I'm going through Alliant Credit Union at 1.49% for 72 months that finance 95% loan to value.

+1 Alliant credit union.

1.49%, 72 months auto loan. 10% down.

$100 bonus for new loan application.

Approved my loan in 24 hours, with 2 years of tax return.

Pretty good, no?

Alliant Credit Union at 1.49% for 72 months with 95% loan to value.

Thanks, all. I believe that I am top tier credit score. How did you get 1.99% through Tesla? Anyway, Alliant may be the way to go then!

Another Alliant Credit Union here at 1.49%, 72 months with 10% down. Got approval in a day and the $100 bonus. Too low of a rate to pass up even though didn't need to borrow that much and/or go that long.

We also went with the Tesla financing and got 1.99% from Wells Fargo for four year term. We did put a sizeable amount down, so that may be part of the reason for thelow rate. We totally expect to keep our car well beyond the 3 years, but liked the idea of having the buyback option just in case.


Thanks for the info, but I do not qualify to become a member so Alliant seems the best way to go!....or Credit Union One.


I haven't read the buy back rules but from what I have gathered it's only after 3 years?, or will they buy it back at any time?

3 years, so we don't really foresee going that route, but chose the Tesla financing since the rate was good.

FYI. Alliant will take you on no matter what. In fact, I just selected one of the choices online when signing up and it just accepted it. I'm sure there are a million ways to qualify but everyone that I've steered over to them (I have several friends buying cars now) said they also just selected something and it accepted it. They aren't checking.

They also were approved almost instantly.

I went with Alliant, getting the 1.49% for 72mos. Approval only took 20mins. They only asked for 2 months of pay stubs, which they didn't even ask for until after they called me back and said I was approved.

Put 30% down, only financed $56k.

Yep. Approval was wicked fast! They did ask me to send in my last year's IRS taxes but I just shot over the PDF and that was it and instantly approved. $100k. I think they would have done higher but I only asked for $100k. My car with TTL was $125,000 with everything.

He said their only requirement was putting 10% down. But I think they would have given me more if I asked as long as I put down 10%.

Did not finance, like to pay for toys up front makes me think a out it more.

Jason Freese @ Alliant Credit Union at 1.49% for 72 months with 95% ltv.

Could not ask for better support and service. Highly recommended.

You can donmate to a select Alliant charity--$10 and you're in. Easy and on line.

Per the comment above, call Jason Freese. I called him this morning and in less than 15 minutes total between a couple of emails and phone calls, the deal was done. 95% LTV @ 1.95% for 6 years - can't be beat. He's very professional and efficient.