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Auto Loans for Firefighters

Firefighter Auto Loans
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It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a burning building, so our hats go off to all firefighters. All heroism aside, firefighters still need to meet their basic needs for personal transportation.

Unfortunately, that often means financing. Car loans for firefighters are pretty easy to obtain, even if you have bad credit. Let’s look at a few things that lenders will consider when reviewing your credit application and options you may have if your credit is a bit tarnished.

Lending Guidelines for Firefighters and First-Responders

Lenders have individual lending guidelines, but, for the most part, they have several items in common. These items include looking at your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, income, and your past use of car loans. Here is a quick breakdown of how each affects whether you get a new car loan or not.

Every person in the world has multiple credit scores. These scores are built depending on the type of credit that you are applying for. So, in this instance, your credit score and past use of car loans are tied together. For example, let’s say that you have a credit card that displays your FICO score on their website. The score shown is your base score. For a car loan, a lender will look at your auto-enhanced score.

The auto-enhanced score is raised or lowered based on how you have paid previous car loans. If your payments were on time, then your auto-enhanced score will be higher than your base score. On the other hand, if you made late payments, missed payments, or had a repossession; your auto-enhanced score will be considerably lower than your base score. Also, your auto-enhanced score is slightly affected by the amount of your monthly payments. If your payment is less than $150 per month, it will barely help, if at all. No matter how low your payment is, if you miss it, your score will tank.

Next, is your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Large national lenders have the strictest guidelines and will require that all of your monthly recurring payments are less than 36 percent of your gross income. Credit unions and local banks that you have a long term relationship with may allow you to have a DTI that is closer to 40 percent. If your DTI is higher, you always have the option to pay off a line of credit, cancel a gym membership, or scale back on a cable package. The best way to lower your DTI is to pay down any credit card balances that you have. Lower balances will lower your monthly payments and it improves your credit score. It improves your score because FICO bases 30 percent of your score on your credit utilization (amounts owed). Ideally, all of your balances should be less than 30 percent of your credit limits.

Lenders have minimum income requirements. They also require that you be working full-time in most cases. The minimum requirement for national lenders is usually $1,800 per month gross income. Credit unions have been known to allow borrowers to have an income as low as $1,500 per month. Looking at those minimum incomes, you can see how DTI is such a major factor. Imagine an $1,800 income. You could only have $630 in recurring monthly payments to be considered for a car loan. Rent can easily exceed that!

Firefighters Credit Unions

The first is to look for a local credit union that specializes in the needs of firefighters. There are dozens of them around the country and here is a list to get you started.

State City Name Phone
AL Birmingham Fireman’s (205) 252-6083
CA Fresno Fresno Fire Department (559) 228-1997
CA San Diego San Diego Firefighters (619) 283-5477
CA Long Beach Long Beach Firemens (562) 597-0351
CA Los Angeles Firefighters First (323) 254-1700
CA San Francisco San Francisco Fire (415) 674-4800
CA Monterey Park F & A (323) 268-1226
CO Denver Denver Fire Department (303) 228-5300
CT New Haven New Haven Firefighters (203) 624-0939
CT Hartford Hartford Firefighters (860) 246-5236
CT Waterbury FD Community (203) 753-9201
DC Washington DC Fire Department (202) 635-0118
DE Wilmington Wilmington Police & Fire (302) 654-0818
FL Jacksonville Jacksonville Firemen’s (904) 353-4788
FL Miami Miami Firefighters (305) 324-4004
GA Macon Macon Firemen’s (478) 741-4006
HI Honolulu Honolulu Fire Department (808) 853-2355
IA Waterloo Waterloo Firemen’s (319) 236-3803
IA Des Moines Des Moines Fire Department (515) 288-2521
ID Boise Boise Fire Department (208) 362-1128
IL Evanston Evanston Firemens (847) 866-5920
IL Aurora Aurora Firefighters (630) 892-7220
IL Springfield Springfield Firefighters (217) 788-8440
IL Peoria Peoria Fire Fighters (309) 494-8795
IL Joliet Joliet Firefighters (815) 744-1001
IL Chicago Chicago Fire Officers’ Association (312) 226-6310
IL Chicago Chicago Firemans Assoc (312) 791-0834
IL Chicago Chicago Firefighters (773) 581-5253
IN Hammond Hammond Firefighters Assn. (219) 932-6677
IN Gary Gary Firefighters Association (219) 881-5252
IN Evansville Evansville Firefighters (812) 424-9396
IN South Bend South Bend Firefighters (219) 287-6161
KS Topeka Topeka Firemen’s (785) 266-7533
KS Kansas City K C K Firemen & Police (913) 321-8792
LA Shreveport Professional Fire Fighters (318) 603-0626
LA Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Fire Department (225) 274-8383
LA Metairie The New Orleans Firemen’s (504) 889-9090
MA Gloucester Gloucester Fire Department (978) 281-9760
MA Revere Revere Firefighters (781) 853-0660
MA Somerville Somerville Mass Firefighters (617) 625-6935
MA Cambridge Cambridge Firefighters (617) 864-2298
MA Lynn Lynn Firemens (781) 593-8354
MA Haverhill Haverhill Fire Department (978) 372-8833
MA Lowell Lowell Firefighters (978) 453-2734
MA Worcester Worcester Fire Dept. (508) 752-1122
MA Dorchester Boston Firefighters (617) 288-2420
MN Duluth Duluth Fire Department (218) 723-8357
MO St. Louis St. Louis Firefighters & Community (314) 752-5444
NC Winston-Salem Emergency Responders (336) 723-0619
NC Charlotte Charlotte Fire Department (704) 375-3950
NC Winston-Salem Winston-Salem (336) 727-2663
NE Omaha Omaha Firefighters (402) 553-4560
NJ Camden Camden Firemen’s (856) 753-9072
NJ Plainfield Plainfield Police & Firemen’s (908) 753-3089
NJ Trenton Trenton NJ Firemen (609) 989-4030
NJ Bloomfield Bloomfield Fire and Police (973) 680-4123
NJ East Orange East Orange Firemens (973) 677-0969
NJ Elizabeth Elizabeth Firemen’s (908) 351-7770
NJ Jersey City Jersey City Firemen (201) 653-8900
NJ Linden Linden NJ Police & Firemen (908) 486-7249
NJ Newark Newark Firemen (973) 589-7199
NJ Northfield Atlantic City Firemen’s (609) 272-1000
NJ Harrison Harrison Police & Firemen’s (973) 482-0963
NY Albany Fasny (518) 434-7352
NY Albany Albany Firemens (518) 453-9748
NY Syracuse Syracuse Fire Department Employees (315) 471-4621
OH Lakewood Lakewood Fire Fighters (216) 529-6661
OH Youngstown Youngstown Firefighters (330) 793-4355
OH Canton Canton Police & Firemens (330) 453-2467
OH Akron Akron Firefighters (330) 798-1994
OH Toledo Toledo Fire Fighters (419) 474-7200
OH Dayton Dayton Firefighters (937) 228-1614
OH Cleveland Firefighters Community (216) 621-4644
OK Tulsa Fire Fighters (918) 582-1191
PA Lancaster Lancaster PA Firemen (717) 392-6374
PA Erie Erie Firefighters (814) 452-4898
PA Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Firefighter’s (412) 928-8500
PA Philadelphia Police And Fire (215) 931-0300
TN Nashville Nashville Firemen’s (615) 226-3473
TN Knoxville Knoxville Firefighters (423) 688-0498
TX Laredo Laredo Fire Department (956) 722-7841
TX Houston Houston Texas Fire Fighters (713) 864-0959
UT Provo Provo Police & Fire Dept. (801) 377-5634
UT Salt Lake City Firefighters (801) 487-3219
VA Roanoke Roanoke Virginia Firemen (540) 342-5809
VA Richmond Richmond Fire Dept (804) 354-0673
VA Norfolk Norfolk Fire Department (757) 857-5389
VA Portsmouth PFD Firefighters (757) 686-3051
WA Spokane Spokane Firefighters (509) 484-5650
WI Superior Fire Department (715) 394-3808
WI Madison Madison Fire Department (608) 266-4952
WI Kenosha Kenosha Police And Firemen’s (262) 658-3332
WI La Crosse Firefighters (608) 784-9480
WV Huntington Huntington West Va Firemens (304) 523-8321

You can also check this list maintained by the National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU). If you do not have one of these credit unions in your area, you can still apply to a specialty lender.

Applying Online

We work with consumers from every walk of life, matching them with dealers, lenders, and local finance specialist who can help them get approved for financing. Many of the lenders in our network look at incomes as low as $1,250, and they report payments to the major credit agencies, boosting your credit so long as you make all of your payments on time. Go here to apply online.