Infinite Discounts.

How to finance a Tesla with the lowest APR (1.24%)

Sebastian Tours
Sebastian Tours

Update Oct 5, 2021: According to this reddit thread, rate matching has been cancelled. You can still get third party financing from DCU at a great 1.24% rate, you will just need to plan ahead a bit.

Using the financing offered by Tesla, you can get a rate of 2.49%, which isn’t too bad, but you can do better with a little bit of effort by taking advantage of Tesla’s rate matching guarantee.

DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) is currently offering auto loans for 1.49% APR for 65 months, if you direct deposit your paycheck into their checking account, and an additional discount for buying energy efficient (0.25%) vehicles like the Tesla.

Steps to get the 1.24% , 72 month auto loan for your Telsa

  1. Have good credit. You can always check your score with Credit Karma.
  2. Join DCU. I can send you a referral if you’d like an extra $20. Please fill out the form below. You can also qualify for this credit union by paying dues to an organization like Reach out for Schools. The DCU application process allows you to pay the $10 membership right as you are applying, making it super easy to be eligible for the credit union.
  3. Order your Tesla. Select “cash” as the payment option so that the purchase agreement (MVPA) paperwork shows up in your account. You’ll need to send this to DCU. If you’ve already selected your payment method, you can change it online, if that doesn’t work, you can call your Tesla sales advisor and have them make the changes.
  4. Wait for your VIN from Tesla. Wait times for a cars can vary. One could be waiting for months on new Tesla, or a matter of days if you are buying from existing inventory. Pre-approvals for auto loans are typically valid for 30 to 60 days. Applying too early may require you reapply for the loan which could cause another pull on your credit history that can affect your score.
  5. Once you get your VIN, apply for a 65 month loan from DCU for the full price of the car. You’ll need to upload your purchase agreement (MVPA can be found in your Tesla account) along with other documentation DCU asks for. If you don’t have an MVPA in your account, email and ask for the documents to be expedited.
  6. It usually takes a day or two to get approval. If you don’t hear anything, give them a call (800.328.8797), they may have additional questions for you or need clarification on your application. DCU will send you a DocuSign loan agreement if you get approved.
  7. Download the DocuSign loan agreement as a PDF and send it to Include your reservation number. Example below:
    Could you please provide a rate match of 1.24% for 72 mo?
    My reservation number is RNXXXXXXXXX
    I've attached the loan agreement from my credit union.

    It may take a day or two for them to respond. If not, send another email.
  8. Once the loan with Tesla is approved, you can click cancel on the DocuSign and call DCU to cancel the loan. Don’t skip this step. If you don’t call, the loan may still stay in your bank account.

Advantages to financing with Tesla

Why finance with Tesla when DCU provides such a good rate? The biggest advantage is making the day of delivery smoother. With DCU, they will either send Tesla in Fremont a check for the cost of the vehicle or you can have the option of having the check sent to you. The loan processing takes 2 days after you sign with DCU and another 2 days for them to cut the check and FedEx it to you.

I had originally signed with DCU, but Tesla only gave me 2 choices of delivery days, and they were both less than a week away. My DCU check would not arrive on time. I was able to call and cancel with DCU and get a rate match in time for pickup.

Another nice thing with the Tesla loan is you get 72 months instead of DCU’s 65 months, giving you slightly lower monthly payments.

DCU referral form

Fill out the form below, and I’ll send you a DCU referral. Referrals are not required for DCU, but it helps you earn an extra $20.

Further reading

Some threads about other’s experience with DCU on reddit, another reddit thread, and Tesla forums.

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