There are plenty of reasons to consider applying for an auto loan before you head to the dealership. Applying early can help you determine the interest rate you can qualify for — and how much you can afford to spend on a car. Getting approved for a loan outside the dealership can also give you some bargaining power, since you don’t have to rely on the dealer for financing.
Bank of America is a lender that offers auto loans to consumers who want to get their financing squared away before they shop. You can fill out your auto loan application online, and they offer low starting rates. Also note that you can use a Bank of America auto loan to refinance a car loan you already have.
Before you start applying for auto loans, consider how Bank of America might help you get into the car you want. In this review, we’ll break down this bank’s auto loan offerings, including their fees and pros and cons.
Bank of America Auto Loans: Key Takeaways
- Get an auto loan with an interest rate as low as 3.54% APR depending on the loan type and your creditworthiness.
- Score a rate discount if you’re enrolled in Preferred Rewards or Banking Rewards for Wealth Management at the time of your loan application.
- Use your loan for a lease buyout or to refinance an auto loan you already have.
- Loan amounts start at $7,500, or $8,000 in the state of Minnesota.
- You won’t pay a prepayment penalty if you pay your loan off early.
Check Your Personal Loan Rates
Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.
Bank of America Auto Loans Review: Save Money on Your Next Car
Bank of America offers auto loans that can work in a variety of situations, ranging from loans for new or used cars purchased from a dealership to auto lease buyouts. You can use a Bank of America auto loan to purchase a car from a private individual, or to refinance an auto loan you already have.
Bank of America auto loans are available in all 50 states, and interest rates vary depending on the type of loan you apply for. As of this writing, starting APRs are as follows:
- Dealer new: starting at 3.54% APR
- Dealer used: 3.74% APR
- Refinance: 4.29% APR
- Lease buyout: 4.59% APR
Existing Bank of America customers can qualify for even lower rates in some cases. That’s because the bank offers a preferred interest rate discount of 0.25% to 0.50% for customers who are enrolled in Preferred Rewards or Banking Rewards for Wealth Management at the time of their loan application.
Bank of America doesn’t list any minimum credit score requirements for their auto loans, but they do state that interest rates are based on credit scores, income, and other factors. You do have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen to apply for one of their auto loans.
What to Watch Out For
There aren’t any real downsides of Bank of America auto loans. They’re easy to apply for online, they come with low interest rates for those who qualify, and there aren’t any hidden fees. The main “gotcha” to be aware of is in the requirements for the car you plan to finance, and the type of automobiles these loans just won’t work for.
For example, Bank of America says deep in their fine print that you can’t use one of their auto loans for a vehicle older than 10 years. These loans also don’t work for cars worth less than $6,000 or those with more than 125,000 miles on them. Vehicles used for business or commercial purposes, salvaged titles, delivery vehicles, and recreational vehicles, motorcycles, or boats are also a no-go.
Loan amounts also start at $7,500 nationwide ($8,000 in Minnesota), meaning you can’t borrow less than that. Bank of America also states that loan-to-value restrictions may apply, and that you may need to make a down payment. You may also be charged a loan fee if you live in Indiana or Ohio, although Bank of America doesn’t offer any additional detail.
Who Bank of America Auto Loans Are Best for:
- Consumers with great credit who can qualify for the lowest interest rates and best terms.
- Anyone who wants their financing lined up before they shop for a car.
- Consumers who want to apply for a car loan online.
How We Rate Bank of America Auto Loans
At The Simple Dollar, we aim to provide a general overview of a lender’s products and services through a standard rating process. After a thorough research and discovery period, here’s how Bank of America auto loans stack up:
|Bank of America Auto Loans at a Glance|
|Affordability (interest rates, fees, and terms)||🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕|
|Availability (credit requirements, geographic reach)||🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕|
|Ease of Use||🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕|
How to Apply for an Auto Loan from Bank of America
Bank of America makes it easy to apply for one their auto loans online and from the comfort of your home. Simply head to their auto loans home page and click on “get started” to begin the application process.
Information required for your application includes:
- Your name
- Loan type
- Home address
- Desired loan amount
- Auto information (if you have it)
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Employment status
- Housing information
- Mother’s maiden name
- Income information
- Social Security number
Once you apply, you may find out if you’re qualified for an auto loan within a few minutes. This will help you know your interest rate and how much you can borrow before you even head to the dealership.
The Bottom Line
Most of us need a reliable car to get to work and take care of our families, and this often means borrowing the money and making payments toward our loan for several years. Fortunately, there are many ways to save on your next auto purchase — including shopping around for a loan to get the lowest interest rate and best terms.
Bank of America offers competitive interest rates and flexible loans that can help you get into the car you want, but make sure to compare offers from a few lenders before you move forward.