Programs That Can Help Veterans Afford a Car
Transitioning back to civilian life is often a hard process. You may need to find a place to live, a place to work and struggle to adjust to a new routine. One thing that would make your life easier was if you had a reliable form of transportation. Luckily, there are some great veteran benefits programs out there that can make it easier for veterans to afford a car.
Veteran’s Affairs Automobile Allowance
If you were injured during your service, the first place you should contact is your local VA office. Through their Automobile Allowance program, you may be given money to get a car, so that you don’t have to pay any out of pocket expenses. As of October 2016, you can receive up to $20,235 for purchasing a car – an amount that will help you afford a very reliable new car. Qualifying injuries for this program include the loss of a hand or foot, burn injuries, or vision impairment. If you’re unsure if your disability qualifies you for the program, the best thing you can do is reach out to your VA office.
Progressive’s Keys to Progress
Another great program is run by Progressive, called Keys to Progress. Through this program, Progressive has donated more than 700 vehicles to veterans and veteran organizations. Every November, Progressive hosts a large one-day event in which they give away cars. Progressive begins reviewing applications for anyone wanting a car beginning in May, so if you’re interested in applying, you can learn more about the program here, including the eligibility requirements.
Navy Federal Credit Union
When you want to buy a car, this typically means taking out a loan. If you do this through a bank, you may face some heavy interest rates that can make the car hard to afford. Often, a better option is to go through a credit union. Credit unions are like banks, except the members are the owners. Credit unions typically have a requirement for joining, such as living in a certain area or having a certain type of job. If you’re a veteran though, you can join the Navy Federal Credit Union. Through this organization, you can obtain a low-interest auto loan, along with some great other benefits.
United Services Automobile Association
Part of owning a car is paying the insurance on it, which is yet another expense. Veterans should look to the United Services Automobile Association, as they can help you get affordable car insurance. On top of that, they can even help you get a car loan if you need it, and find you various discounts from car manufacturers. This is a great service to turn to for all your car buying needs.
Speaking of discounts, many private lenders offer discounts to veterans and active-duty military members. When shopping for a car, you should check out the fine print. You may notice several discounts available for veterans, which will significantly lower the price of the car. If you don’t see any discounts listed on their website, it doesn’t hurt to ask a sales representative if they have anything available.
In addition to discounts, some private lenders also offer help in other ways. They may accept lower credit ratings, offer a lower interest rate on the auto loan, or even require less of a down payment. Each of these can help veterans afford their next car purchase, so talk to the lender to see what they can do for you.
However, you should also be a little wary of private seller discounts. You should always investigate each discount thoroughly before accepting it – you never know who might be trying to scam you.
Finally, you should consider getting an extended warranty on your car. These are particularly useful for veterans who might not have enough money saved up to pay for a sudden car expense. An extended warranty will cover things like mechanical breakdowns after the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired. Finding an extended warranty is easy, just search online for a warranty that matches the model of the car you are getting. For example, if you are purchasing a used Kia, you could visit a site like –https://gogetolive.com/extended-car-warranty/kia/.
Make Use of the Help Available to You
There are many programs out there designed to help veterans. If you’re unsure of how you’re going to afford your next vehicle, you should explore what options are out there for you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many organizations are willing to make it easier for you to get a car, and before long you’ll be driving around in a reliable car.