While U.S. Bank was founded back in 1863, they have grown to become one of the largest financial institutions in the United States. The bank, which boasts over 3,000 locations across the country, reported having 74,000 employees as well as over $467 billion in assets as of late 2018.
U.S. Bank is known for their checking and savings accounts, credit card products, mortgage and home equity loan products, and personal loans. However, U.S. Bank also offers affordable auto loans for consumers who want to purchase a car or refinance an auto loan they already have.
If you’re angling to get approved for financing before you head to the dealership — or if your goal is refinancing your high-interest car loan into a new loan with better terms — consider an auto loan from U.S. Bank. Keep reading to learn how to get an auto loan with affordable monthly payments and an APR as low as 4.59%.
U.S. Bank Auto Loans: Key Takeaways
- Secure an APR as low as 4.59% with loans that meet certain terms.
- Best loan terms are for auto loans with terms of 36 months or less in amounts over $10,000.
- Best rates also require automatic payment from a U.S. Bank checking account.
- A minimum loan term of 12 months applies, as does a minimum loan amount of $3,000.
- Loans can be used for new cars and used cars, although rates climb for cars over six years old.
- Maximum loan amount is $100,000.
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.
U.S. Bank Auto Loans Review: Perfect for Consumers with Great Credit
There are several reasons to get your financing lined up before you shop for a car, the first of which is the fact you’ll know exactly how much you can spend. Shopping for loans ahead of time can also make it easier to compare rates and terms among lenders — a feat that’s difficult to accomplish when you rely on dealer financing.
Finally, getting your own auto loan can help you purchase from a private buyer instead of a dealership if you want — and having the cash in-hand or a preapproval letter can put you in a better bargaining position when you start shopping for a car.
U.S. Bank really does offer auto loans that can compete with most dealerships, and they may even offer better terms for consumers with great credit, or FICO scores of 740 or higher. U.S. Bank auto loans start at 4.59% APR, although you need a minimum loan amount of $10,000, a repayment period of 36 months or less, and some equity in the car you’re going to finance to qualify for their best terms.
U.S. Bank notes that rates may be higher for loans if you purchase a vehicle from a private party, request a smaller loan amount, you want to finance a car older than six years, or if you have a lower credit score. You also need to sign up for a U.S. Bank checking account and set up automatic payments if you want to secure the lowest rate with a 0.50% rate discount.
What to Watch Out For
The main downside of auto loans from U.S. Bank is that they don’t let you get preapproved for a loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report. They do say you need “good credit” to qualify, but they offer scarce detail in terms of the exact credit score you’ll need.
Second, watch out for early prepayment fees. These loans require you to agree to an early loan closure fee of 1% of your original loan amount if you close your loan within a year ($50 minimum and $100 maximum applies).
Finally, don’t forget that their best loan terms and rates only work for loans that meet certain criteria — borrowed amounts over $10,000, repayment terms of 36 months or less, and some sort of down payment or equity in the vehicle. If you can’t meet those terms, you can plan on paying a higher interest rate on your loan.
U.S. Bank hides more rate details in their fine print, but they’re still there. For example, they say:
- Add 0.50% to your base rate if you don’t set up automatic payments from a U.S. Bank account.
- Plus another 1.0% to your base rate if you purchase a vehicle that is 7, 8, or 9 years old.
- Add 0.50% to your base rate if you purchase a vehicle from a private party.
Who U.S. Bank Auto Loans are Best For:
With all these details in mind, we think U.S. Bank auto loans may work best for:
- U.S. Bank customers who plan to finance a newer car.
- Anyone with great credit who has no plans to pay off their auto loan early.
- Borrowers who plan to take out an auto loan in an amount over $10,000 and pay it back in 36 months or less.
How We Rate U.S. Bank 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 U.S. Bank stacks up:
|U.S. Bank 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 U.S. Bank
One benefit of applying for an auto loan with U.S. Bank is the fact you can apply online, at a U.S. Bank branch, or over the phone. Of course, the easiest way to apply is via their secure website and from the comfort of your home.
Details you’ll need to provide during the online loan application process include:
- Requested loan amount
- Social Security number
- Your employment information
- Your annual gross income (before deductions)
- Lien holder name and payoff amount (for refinancing or for private party purchase with a lien)
Once you apply for an auto loan, U.S. Bank will begin processing your application right away. Keep in mind that you may need to provide additional information such as your auto insurance policy or some proof of income. U.S. Bank states that most of their customers get an answer on their loan in two hours or less when they apply during regular business hours.
The Bottom Line
If you need to borrow to purchase a new or used vehicle, comparing financing from multiple sources is always a smart idea. You’re more likely to get a lower rate if you compare options from at least three lenders, and you’ll want to compare loans in terms of their fees as well.
U.S. Bank offers auto loans with competitive rates, but make sure to compare them with other lenders before you move forward.