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Questions; Financing, Trade-ins, etc.

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Spacep0d, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Spacep0d

    Spacep0d Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Hi there Teslarati!

    I'm the owner of a 2018 LEAF S, but the Tesla Model 3 is what made me fall in love with EVs. I test drove a long-rage AWD model from Turo and was blown away by how spaceship quiet and fast it is, and I love its minimalist design and great looks (whilst still being understated).

    Since I wanted a used car as I rebuild my credit, I bought a used LEAF because it wasn't too expensive, and I was approved for a loan through Shift.com. My credit isn't great right now since I was formerly under-employed for a little too long, but I'm going on two years where I work now and things are improving. My credit score is around 605 so it's still pretty bad. Salary is good (3D Artist with 30 years experience). I'm looking for guidance from Tesla Model 3 owners as to how I might proceed.

    I really want a white Model 3 (not sure which trim yet), but the rear-wheel drive with nicer interior is the best bang for the buck for me. I'm also considering the Long-Range AWD too.

    What happens if I put a deposit down but am not approved for financing at a rate I find reasonable? Does Tesla do their own financing? How strict is it? I was thinking I'd try for a Tesla (financed) once my credit score 650 or better, and once I hit the 2-year mark with my job (whichever comes first). I'm also about to pay off my bike, so that will help too (both with payments and credit).

    Since many of you have been through this process, how difficult was it and what kind of payment are you at given your credit, if it's somewhat close to mine? How would you advise me here, knowing my goals?

    Also, the LEAF I have is the 2018 base model in white (with fast-charging option installed) and I've done a nice wrap to make it look more like the NISMO. It'll be HOV-legal through 2022, so that will help with the sale too. Does Tesla take trade-ins, and if so, do they pay a fair price?

    Any advice you can offer is welcome!

    Thanks much. :)
     
  2. TiggerTime

    TiggerTime Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Gainesville
    So first the easy question, Trade-in. Yes, Tesla does trade ins and for my Honda Civic sI they gave me a good price just slightly higher than I expected and sight unseen. You can always plug the info in on Kelly Blue book see what it gives you as a starting point.

    Your other question is a bit more difficult to give a solid answer. If you are concerned with possibly not getting approved at a rate you can live with then you should definitely shop around for your loan before dropping $2500 as I believe it is no-refundable now if you cancel your order. Also, once you click that Place Order button and pay the $2500 the clock starts ticking. How long does it tick varies widely. Mine was about 6days 12 hours from the time I ordered. Others even less and others weeks.months. So I would say configure the car you plan to buy and use that figure when talking to the bank, credit union or whoever and shop around for your best rate. The CU I used actually had a deal they gave me $150 back for opening a new account and $350 back for taking out the loan :)
     
  3. Spacep0d

    Spacep0d Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Hi Tigger,

    Great response, thank you. Good to know about the trade-ins, though I assume this is all done online before someone would pick up the car or before I would drop it off? I'm in L.A. so I am sure there are physical locations where I could drop off a car.

    For the bigger question, I think your advice is good. I could shop around and see what kind of loan offers I could get based on the configuration (likely the Long-Range AWD with the upgraded interior). I could then treat the Tesla loan as another among many once I know I could get approved by *someone* for a decent rate. Getting approved is one thing as you know, but getting a good rate makes a big difference with a bigger loan like this. I could also save some money to put down too.

    I guess right now I'm curious about whether I'd get the $2500 back or not if I cancel. If not, I'll really need to make sure I'm ready before starting this process, so it looks like I made the right decision with the used LEAF (which I like a lot) before going for a Model 3. I like the LEAF, but it's no Tesla! It's also a base model, and I rarely buy base models if I can afford differently. With the Tesla, the Long-Range AWD is about as high as I might dare to go, though I could always lower the trim level if needed to reduce the loan amount.

    Looks like you got a good deal with your Credit Union too, so I'll keep a CU in mind as well when I start to shop loans. :)

    Thanks, and it's good to be on this site. Nice and active!
     

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