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Bank of America is a comprehensive, global financial institution. The company traces its roots back to 1784, and those institutions that eventually grew into the brand today had an important impact on the growth of the United States and modern financial services.
For example, one of its heritage banks helped finance the population boom and rebuilding of Chicago in 1850 after the Great Fire. Bank of America also created the first credit card, which eventually became Visa. So, you know you are doing business with a reputable financial institution that has a long history of service to its customers.
This Bank of America Auto Loans review will get you up to speed on everything you need to know.
Applying for Bank of America Auto Loans
Applying online for auto financing with Bank of America is quick and easy. You’ll fill out an application with information about your identity, income and employment, and details about the car you want to finance.
Depending on the details of your loan request, you may need to provide additional documentation about the car or verification of employment and income. Most applicants, however, get a decision within 60 seconds. If you don’t have good credit or a long enough employment history, you may need a cosigner on your loan application. If you can’t find a cosigner, you may want to compare the best bad credit auto loans.
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 9.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $319.58. LightStream disclosures here.
Bank of America Car Loan Rates and Terms
Bank of America auto loan rates for the best applicants currently start at 3.69 percent over 60 months for new cars purchased through a dealer. Rates for used cars currently start at 3.89 percent. Bank of America doesn’t provide loans for vehicles purchased from independent dealers other than CarMax, Hertz, and Carvana. Current Bank of America online banking customers may be eligible for financing when purchasing a car from an independent third party seller.
Rates on loans from private parties and independent sellers start at 5.24 percent at this time. Rate on auto loans for lease buyouts start at 3.89 percent at this time. Applicants may receive loan terms between 12 and 60 months.
The minimum loan amount is $5,000 in 48 states except for Minnesota and South Carolina, where the minimum loan amount is $7,500. The maximum loan amount depends on your credit, income, and the vehicle you want to purchase. In order to qualify for financing, the vehicle must have a value of at least $6,000. Cars that are more than 10 years old or have more than 125,000 miles are not eligible for financing through Bank of America.
One of the biggest benefits of Bank of America auto loans is the quick and easy application process. You can quickly get a decision and a loan offer that is good for 30 days, so you know what you can afford before you sit down to make your auto purchase. There are no application fees and no origination fees.
Bank of America also provides extra benefits for current bank clients. Personal checking account holders receive a 0.15 percent discount on their loan rate. If you enroll in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program at the time of application, they will offer you a discount of 0.25 to 0.50 percent on your auto loan interest rate.
There aren’t any fees to join the Preferred Rewards program, but you need to meet certain requirements in order to be eligible. Preferred Rewards members must have a Bank of America personal checking account and maintain a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 in Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
Borrowers may be able to get better loan terms through dealers offering special financing terms. The rates and terms, however, are competitive with those offered by other financial institutions. Applicants cannot get pre-approved for a loan, but loan offers are good for 30 days. The mileage and age limitations may be problematic for some borrowers, but they are consistent with the policies of other large banks.
Bank of America reserves its lowest interest rates for its best customers who purchase new cars through a dealership. You can get a loan to purchase a car from an independent, individual seller, but the interest rates on these loans will likely be significantly higher. Finally, borrowers can’t use a Bank of America auto loan to purchase a car from an independent car dealership.
If you are an existing Bank of America client with good credit, you’ll probably have a hard time finding a better deal on an auto loan. The online application process is easy, and you should have a decision within 60 seconds. You’ll get a 0.15 percent discount on your loan rate as a checking customer, and Preferred Rewards clients get even bigger discounts on their Bank of America auto loan rates.
On the other hand, Bank of America auto loans are not right for every buyer. If you don’t have excellent credit or stable income, your loan offer may have a considerably higher interest rate than the advertised rates. You’ll have even higher rates if you want to buy a car directly from an individual seller, and you cannot get a loan to purchase a car from an independent car dealership.
Make sure to compare the best auto loans to ensure you find the right option for your needs.
Author: Kimberly Goodwin, PhD