Kia Financing Deals

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About Kia

A lot of people know Kia from its ads featuring music-loving hamsters driving Kia Souls. The Korean-based car company prides itself on being youthful and dynamic, and it applies this energy to designing its cars, for which it’s won 63 design awards since 2008.

Hyundai, another South Korean vehicle manufacturer, often partners with Kia to develop new technology; both brands have hybrid and electric vehicle models. Kia is larger than Hyundai, although both are considered smaller brands in the industry. For comparison, in the first three months of 2018, Kia made 656,000 vehicles, Hyundai made 148,877 and the industry as a whole produced 24 million vehicles.

Whether you’re youthful in age or spirit, or you just like the designs, this article will tell you how you might be able to finance your future Kia.

Financing directly through Kia

  • Financing terms through Kia range from 12 to 72 months
  • Apply either at a dealership or on Kia’s website
  • Usually, 600+ FICO credit scores may qualify

Like most lenders, Kia sorts auto loan applications into several credit tiers. Based on the tier, you might receive different offers from Kia. Alicia Garcia, a Kia salesperson in San Antonio, explained, “To qualify with Kia Motors Finance, you generally have to have a credit score in the 600s.” But the better your credit is, the higher your credit tier, the better your loan offers. The top three tiers are the levels where people usually receive their best offers, such as 0% financing.

If you don’t know your credit score, you could check it for free on LendingTree.

“If your credit isn’t the best, you might not qualify for 0% APR, but you could still qualify to finance with Kia, maybe even at still a low APR,” Garcia said. “Kia doesn’t just look at your score, they look at your income and your credit history.”

A tier bump could help. If the offer you receive from Kia isn’t what you hoped it would be, ask your salesperson if a tier bump would help. You may be on the edge of a tier and going up one might help you to get a better APR or a bigger rebate.

If it would help, you could point out things such as a positive credit history (especially any successfully paid-off auto loans), a high income or a relatively low debt, which could all be reasons you deserve a bump. If that doesn’t work, ask what it would take to get a tier bump. You could find out that a larger down payment or a cosigner would make a difference.

Get preapproved. It’s smart to get preapproved for an auto loan before you go to the dealership. Apply for a loan from a few places, such as applying to Kia Motors Finance online, your bank, credit union or a different online lender. It does not hurt your credit to apply to multiple places within a 14-day window any more than it does to apply to one place, so you might as well do it to make sure you’re getting your best rate.

A preapproval could also help you know what you can afford and what ARPs you qualify for, so you’ll come prepared with a negotiating point. For example, you could show your preapproval to the dealership and ask if they can do better. For more information, you could read up on the benefits of getting preapproved and go to the LendingTree marketplace to compare potential loan offers from up to five different lenders.

About Kia Motors Finance

Kia Motors Finance is the lending arm of Kia Motors Corp., and it does well in customer satisfaction: It placed near the top of J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study for the mass market. But it’s not a huge player. In March 2018, Kia Motors Finance had $128 million in assets, which is peanuts compared with GM brands’ total of $86 billion in assets at the end of 2017.

Kia rebates and incentives

Saving a few hundred to a couple thousand on a new car is really nice. But you may have to work a little for it by planning or being patient.

Kia changes whether vehicle models have rebates (and which rebates may apply) on a monthly basis to match market conditions, Garcia said. So be sure to check that the rebate you qualify for applies to the vehicle you want.

The exception to this monthly rule is the military rebate. Anyone who is in the U.S. military (with an LES form) or separated from the military (and has a DD-214 form) may be able to qualify and use the rebate on almost any car. Most other auto manufacturers limits military rebates to those who separated from the armed forces within two years, but Kia doesn’t.

Below are the main types of rebates and incentive programs Kia offers and their general requirements:

  • Military bonus: If you or your spouse is active member of, retired from, honorably discharged from or receives disability from the U.S. Armed Forces or Reserve, you may qualify for a $400 bonus. An LES or DD-214 form is accepted as verification. If you are claiming the rebate as a spouse, you also need to show your marriage license. You may be able to combine it with other offers.
  • Competitive Bonus: You may be eligible for a $1,000 rebate if you own a competitor’s vehicle. Current vehicle registration showing the car, your name and address is usually the best way to show this, and you may combine it with other offers, such as cash back and low-APR financing. You cannot combine it with Loyalty Offers.
  • Loyalty offers: If you have a Kia and you want to get another Kia that is the same model, you may be able to get a $1,000 Model Loyalty Bonus, which can be combined with other programs, such as special financing and cash back, but not the Competitive Bonus.  
  • Special financing: Low-rate financing, even 0% APR financing, is available to those who qualify based on credit tier.
  • Cash Back, Bonus Cash, Lease Cash: These rebates are usually $500 each, may be combined with each other and combined with special financing offers.
  • First-Time Buyer Program: This program helps first-time buyers receive financing despite having little to no credit. If you have no automotive credit on your credit report you could be considered a first-time buyer. You do have to meet employment and income requirements.

This may not be a complete list of all the rebates and incentive programs Kia offers nor their requirements, depending on location and the time of year. And you may have to choose between a low APR offer and a rebate offer.

Which is better: low APR or a rebate? When you have to choose low-APR financing or a rebate, you’re choosing how to use the same amount of money. The rebate reduces the vehicle price upfront. The low APR reduces the APR over the total term of your loan.

It’s usually better to take the rebate because you get the money now. If you don’t keep their car for the full term of the loan you won’t get the full value of the low APR. Also, the low-APR offers are always limited to a specific term, such as 60 months. “It depends on if you can pay off the car within the term limit.” Garcia said. If the low-financing offer prevents you from taking out a longer term loan, your payments could be higher.

Jose Tavarez, a salesperson at the same Kia dealership in San Antonio, says there are two main cases for taking the low APR over the rebate. The first is ego. “Many people like to tell others they got 0%.” He explained. The second case is it lowers your monthly payment considerably. “If you can get a low rate for the entire loan term you want and it helps, then maybe that’s better for you.” Although if you do this, you will pay more total over time.

Certified Pre-Owned Program. If you don’t want to pay the high price of a new car, but you’re worried about the risk of buying a used car, consider a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle. Most car brands offer CPOs, which are used cars that are five years old or newer, with less than 60,000 miles, and inspected and approved by the original manufacturer. They’re usually a bit more expensive than a regular used car because of the certification and because some may be guaranteed by the original manufacturer with a longer warranty than a used, noncertified car.

Specifically, Kia Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with its original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 24-hour roadside assistance coverage. For more information on warranties and extended warranties you can read this guide.

Leasing from Kia

  • Kia leasing terms range from 24 to 48 months
  • Annual mileage options may range from 10,000 to 25,000

If you don’t want to fully commit to a new car but you like the smell of one, leasing might be a good solution. Leasing usually generates lower payments than what you would get through purchasing the same vehicle, which could help you to get into a nicer car than you could afford to buy.

Mileage and wear and tear are limited, though, and if you exceed those limits, you can be charged for it. Kia charges 20 cents for every mile you go over the limit. “I don’t have a lot of customers who lease, mainly because of the mileage limit,” Garcia said. Those who do lease usually get a more expensive model, such as the Cadenza and the Stinger.

If you’re not worried about the mileage limits and do want to lease, one thing to watch out for is the residual. This is a number that greatly impacts your monthly payment and helps tell you whether leasing a specific vehicle is a good idea. If a car has a high residual (you can ask the salesperson or look it up online), then it will be worth a lot at the end of your lease and your payments will be relatively low. If the vehicle has a low residual, the reverse is true — you should consider leasing a different car.

If you don’t know whether you want to lease in general, you can check out this guide on leasing versus buying.

When the lease term ends, you could return the car, purchase it, or trade it in and lease or buy a new Kia. If you trade it in, make sure you pay attention to any special offers going on at the time, which may involve loyalty rebates.

Alternative Kia financing options

We highly suggest you apply to multiple places for Kia financing so you can be sure you get your best deal. “Any bank you want to apply to is an option,” Garcia said. Credit unions might be good as well. You’re not committed to a loan until you sign on it for the exact car you want. And you won’t hurt your credit if you do multiple applications within two weeks, which makes it easier to shop around for your best loan.

Consider a few lenders, whether you go to your bank, credit union or look at online Kia financing, and compare offers to see which is the best for you, whether it’s the one with the lowest monthly payment or the one with the lowest APR.
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More about Kia

The Kia company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The name Kia simply means “from the East.” Given that tigers come from Asia, it’s fitting that Kia’s vehicles are styled after them, in part. The grill on the front of the car (the part that allows air into the engine and acts as a “nose”) is stylized to mimic the shape of a tiger’s nose.

Even tigers run into problems, however. Its partnership with Ford and Mazda wasn’t enough to save the company in the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and it declared bankruptcy. Ford considered buying Kia, but Hyundai won the bid in 1998 and still owns a large portion of Kia’s stock (34%) to this day.

Unlike some other Asian brands, Kia’s largest customer base is domestic. However, it does not do badly in the U.S., and recent J.D. Power rankings for initial quality and reliability placed Kia near the top, even above luxury brands such as Porsche.


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