Bank Of America is the U.S. banking giant that in serving around 66 million customers every day is sure to be familiar to most. While the Bank of America name first appeared in 1923, its roots go back much further, standing it in the best possible stead to deliver on its aim to “make financial lives better”.
In terms of the best auto loans, it is a promise on which Bank of America certainly delivers, while it is, of course, a major player when it comes to providing all types of financial services to consumers and small businesses, including savings, banking, mortgages, investments, and credit cards. Financial education is also important to Bank of America, with its Better Money Habits initiative encompassing all areas of personal finance, including debt management and retirement.
Bank of America Auto Loan review: Eligibility
- U.S. citizen, 18 years old
- Available in all states
To be eligible for an auto loan through Bank of America, you must be either a U.S. citizen or resident alien (permanent or non-permanent), and also 18 years old or otherwise be allowed to legally arrange auto finance in your state of residence. Car loans are available from the Bank of America in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In terms of credit score and history, if there are any minimum requirements, they are not listed on the Bank of America website – a search turns up nothing. However, it is made clear that your interest rate will be determined by your score.
A Bank of America auto loan can be used to buy a car through franchise dealers, approved independent dealers or a private party.
Bank of America Auto Loan review: Application process
Application process: Online, over the phone, in branch
APR: From 2.69% for a new car, 2.99% used car, 3.69% refinance
Fees: No application or prepayment fees
Loan terms: 12 - 75 months
- Fast and fuss-free online
- Option to apply in branch
The Bank of America website might appear a little busy at first glance, but you should still easily be able to find where you need to go to apply for an auto loan. As to the application process itself, Bank Of America offers probably the slickest online proposition that there is. The bank says that applying online will take just a few minutes, and that most decisions will be made in about 60 seconds - there is unlikely to be anyone faster, and the rate is locked for 30 days as well. If you’re not in a hurry, and prefer a more personal approach, you can also apply over the phone or schedule a face-to-face appointment at your local financial center.
Regardless of how you apply, all of the usual personal information will be needed, while documents including your purchase agreement/bill of sale, registration, title, lease buyout instructions, proof of income, federal tax returns, W-2s and financial statements, may be needed prior to closing. If you need time to find some paperwork, you can access your saved online application for 30 days.
Bank of America Auto Loan review: Essential details
- Competitive APRs
- Preferred Rewards member discount
Bank of America currently offers an APR as low as 2.69% if you're buying a new car via a dealer or 2.99% if it’s a used car. Refinance deals start from 3.69% APR. While these are competitive rates in their own right, the potential for cheaper rates is available through Alliant Credit Union, although, of course, what you ultimately pay will depend on factors such as car make and model, and your credit status.
It is also worth noting if you qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards scheme, Gold members are eligible to receive an interest rate discount of 0.25%, Platinum members can get a 0.35% discount, and Platinum Honors members will have 0.5% discounted from their auto loan rate.
Loan terms range from 12 to 75 months, although an online application only allows you to select terms of 48, 60 or 72 months - if you want other terms, this can be discussed with your loan officer after your application is submitted. The minimum amount that Bank of America is willing to finance is $7,500, or $8,000 in Minnesota. There are no fees for applying or for paying your loan off early.
Bank of America Auto Loan review: Service
- Accessible information and resources
- Online management
The auto loan platform on Bank of America is easy to use, the information accessible and the overall experience is professional and slick. The bank definitely meets the needs of those who want all the information before they commit to anything. From the moment you land on the auto loans page, you’re given the opportunity to find out more about how car loans work, finding and financing your next car, and more general auto loan guidance under its Better Money Habits initiative. The FAQ section is brim full of answers and well laid out, while the site includes a loan and refinance calculator to help figure out the all important sums.
Once you have your auto loan in place, you can sign up for online banking and download the mobile banking app, so that you can manage your loan on the go, while phone and branch support is available too.
Bank of America has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1949 and has an A+ rating. In terms of how customers rate the Bank of America experience, there is a disappointing one star out of five on BBB, although this does, of course, encompass all aspects of the bank’s activities, and not just those related to auto loans. Much more positivity can be found on Consumers Advocate where a rating of 3.7 out of five is awarded overall, and a mark of 4.5 out of five is given specifically for customer service.
Should you choose a Bank of America Auto Loan?
Bank of America has almost everything that you would expect of a top auto loan provider. The online application process is quick and easy, and the information and support you might need is readily at hand, whether that be online, over the phone or in one of its branches.
While slightly cheaper rates might be available elsewhere, those in the Preferred Rewards scheme can benefit from a discount, and there are no upfront fees to note either. Importantly, if speed is your priority - not just on the road but in terms of car finance as well - Bank of America shouldn’t keep you waiting long when it comes to the best auto loans.