Veterans understand more than anyone how difficult it can be to get a great loan if your credit score is not exactly where it needs to be. It can be tough to build a good credit history when you are constantly on the move, which means you may need assistance when it comes to securing a loan for a new or used car. So, is there help available for veterans looking for a low-rate auto loan?

The short answer is yes.

While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not have a program for automobile loans like it does for home loans and housing-related assistance, they can offer help with finding the best loan options with the lowest interest rates. In addition, many banks, credit unions and private lenders offer competitive loans or military discounts to help with the purchase of a new vehicle.

Were you disabled in the line of duty? You may not need a loan at all.

If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability, your first step should be to see if you qualify for the one-time automobile allowance offered by the military. As of October 2017, veterans (as well as active service members) with a qualifying disability can receive up to $20,577.18 to be used for the purchase of a vehicle. Click here to learn more about the eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Next, look for a bank or credit union committed to helping service members.

You have likely seen the commercials for Navy Federal Credit Union. Founded in 1933 and originally exclusive to Navy personnel, Navy Federal has since expanded its membership eligibility to include all military service members, veterans, Department of Defense civilians, and immediate family members of current members. If you are a member looking to buy a new or used vehicle or refinance your current automobile loan, Navy Federal offers highly competitive rates and 100% financing to help you get the best deal and secure low monthly payments you can afford.

Similar to Navy Federal, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) serves veterans and active service members as well as family members, eligible government employees and individuals who volunteer their time with certain military-focused organizations. Through their PenFed Car Buying Service, they offer “best-in-class” rates on new and used auto loans, along with additional cash incentives and reimbursement benefits.

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) also provides financial services aimed at helping veterans and military service members purchase a new car or refinance their existing car loans. They offer competitive auto loan rates and are often able to secure exclusive manufacturer discounts that can help you save thousands of dollars on a new or used vehicle.

Numerous banks and private lenders also offer financial assistance and low-rate auto loans for veterans in the market for a new car—just be wary of offers that sound too good to be true and always do your homework to make sure you really are getting the best deal.

Finally, make sure you have your DD214 (or equivalent proof of service) handy.

Showing proof of service is typically the first step toward securing any type of loan or discount offered to veterans. For members of the Armed Forces (the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard) this means you will need a copy of your DD214, also called a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

The problem? We hear from countless veterans how a lost DD214 put a wrench in their plans when applying for a loan because of the time it takes the National Archives eVetRecs system to locate their military service records. While eVetRecs is sufficient when you have a little extra time to spare, sometimes you need your documents sooner rather than later.

DD214Direct can help you get your documents faster and without the hassle.

Before you start your search for the perfect vehicle, contact DD214Direct to make sure you have the documents you need to get the best loan at the lowest rate possible.

As soon as we receive your order, we start working on your request. When we do find your records—typically weeks or months faster than the standard process—you will first receive a scanned copy of your DD214 by email and a hard copy by mail several days later.

DD214Direct can also help you locate your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), your NAVPERS 1070/615 and your Retirement Points Statement for members of the Reserve Corps. If you need a document but you don’t see it listed here, give us a call at 1-888-997-4962 to see if we can help.