Tesla Financing: Limited financing options on select models only

Woman using laptop on sofa to look up Tesla financingImage: Woman using laptop on sofa to look up Tesla financing

In a Nutshell

If you’re looking to buy or lease a new Tesla, you can apply for a loan on certain models through Tesla Financing. It’s a convenient online option. But loans aren’t available for every model — and Tesla Financing isn’t available in every state.
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Pros Cons

Ability to order your car and apply for a loan online

Financing not offered for all models

Possible state electric-vehicle incentives

Narrow range of loan terms that varies by model


Not available in every state

What you need to know about Tesla Financing

Headquartered in California, Tesla is an electric-car maker led by CEO and co-founder Elon Musk. Tesla offers auto loans for select Tesla models through financial institutions — similar to how many dealerships offer financing. Tesla also provides direct leasing on some models. But there are some limitations to keep in mind when considering Tesla Financing.

Limited loan options

Tesla offers loans for new Model S, Model X, Model Y and Model 3 vehicles only. It also offers loans for used Tesla vehicles.

Tesla offers leases for new Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles only.

If you’re considering leasing, know that you’ll have the option to buy a Model S or Model X once your lease ends. But you won’t have the option of buying a Tesla Model 3 after leasing it.

If you want a loan for a model that Tesla doesn’t finance, you’ll need to secure your own financing through a lender, like a bank or credit union.

Limited terms for loans and leases

Loan-term options are somewhat limited — and they vary by vehicle. Only 60- and 72-month loan terms are offered for the Model X, while loan terms of 48, 60 or 72 months are available for the Model 3 and Model Y. With the Model S, loan terms can be 36, 48, 60 or 72 months. While these are fairly common loan terms, other lenders may offer a broader range of term options.

Similarly, Tesla Financing offers lease terms of only 36 months for the Model 3, but offers terms of 24 or 36 months for the Model S or Model X. All leases come with 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 annual mileage options.

Financing from the comfort of your computer

Whether you’re interested in leasing or buying a car through Tesla Financing, the entire process — from ordering your vehicle to applying for your loan or lease — can take place online. First, you design and order your Tesla on the Tesla website. Then, Tesla recommends that you apply for financing when you’re within 30 to 60 days of your delivery date, since loan offers are good for 30 to 60 days. Leasing offers are good for 90 days.

Tesla’s process is different than some other automakers’ finance companies. For some, you may be able to choose the car you want and apply for preapproval online, but you’ll have to go to the dealership to close the loan and get your car. And for finance companies that don’t offer preapproval, you may need to head to the dealership and choose your car before applying for a loan.

A closer look at Tesla Financing

Here are some more things to know about Tesla Financing.

  • Whether you’d like to buy or lease a Tesla, the ability to finance through Tesla Financing depends on where you live. Tesla Financing isn’t available in Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island or Wisconsin.
  • Although federal incentives for Tesla vehicles have ended, depending on whether you buy or lease you may be able to receive incentives like tax credits or rebates at the state level. Tesla’s website has a list of what state incentives may be available.

Is a Tesla Financing auto loan right for you?

If you’re in the market to buy or lease a Tesla, financing through Tesla could make sense, especially if you want to order and finance your car online.

But if you want to finance a Roadster or Cybertruck, or you live in a state where Tesla Financing isn’t available, you’ll need to look elsewhere for an auto loan.

How to apply for a loan from Tesla Financing

Whether you want to buy or lease a Tesla, you can apply for financing through Tesla’s website after you order your vehicle. Tesla suggests that you apply for a Tesla loan or lease through your online account when you’re within 30 to 60 days of your estimated vehicle delivery date. Within two days of your loan or lease application, a member of the Tesla Financing team will contact you regarding next steps.

Before you apply for an auto loan with Tesla Financing, it’s a good idea to check your credit and compare other loan offers. Understanding your credit can help set expectations — in general, lower credit scores will result in higher interest rates. And shopping around can help you find the best loan rate and terms for your needs. Read our article on how to get a car loan to learn more about the process.

Not sure if Tesla Financing is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you aren’t sure whether Tesla Financing is right for you — or you don’t live in one of the states where it’s available — here are a couple of other options to consider.

  • PNC auto loan: PNC may be a good option if you want the ability to shop like a cash buyer at a Tesla dealership.
  • Bank of America auto loanA Bank of America auto loan may be a good fit if you want to finance a Roadster or Cybertruck, or if you plan to buy a used Tesla from a private seller.

About the author: Paris Ward is a content strategist at Credit Karma, providing readers with the latest news that will aid their financial progress. She has more than a decade of experience as a writer and editor and holds a bachelor’s… Read more.