Bank of America Personal Loans Review
Bank of America doesn't offer personal loans, only home and auto loans, as well as personal and small business lines of credit. Alternative lenders include SoFi, Citizens Bank, LightStream, and Best Egg. You could also choose a local bank, credit union, or a peer-to-peer lender.
Bank of America is one of the largest financial service providers in the United States, with operations in all 50 states that serve more than 67 million consumer and small business customers. But despite its otherwise diverse offerings, Bank of America personal loans don’t exist.
Bank of America’s wide array of financial products includes credit cards, savings accounts, checking accounts, home equity lines of credit, and small business loans. It also offers home and auto loans to buy a house or vehicle. But you’ll have to turn elsewhere for your personal loan needs.
This Bank of America personal loans review will help you understand the financial products the bank does offer, as well as help you to find alternative online lenders, so you can borrow money at reasonable terms.
In this review:
- Bank of America Loans
- Bank of America Personal Loan Alternatives
- Other Places to Look for Personal Loans
Bank of America Loans
Although Bank of America doesn’t offer personal loans, it does offer other types of loans, including:
- Mortgages: Mortgages are loans used to purchase homes. The house you buy will serve as collateral for the loan, and the interest you pay should be tax deductible up to federal limits. Interest rates on mortgages are usually well below the rates charged by personal loans because the debt on a mortgage is secured.
- Home refinance loans: Bank of America offers refinance loans to borrowers with existing mortgages, so they can pay back their current lender. Refinancing your mortgage could allow you to obtain a lower rate and reduce your monthly payments or change other home loan terms, such as your repayment timeline.
- Home equity lines of credit: When you want to borrow against the equity in your home, Bank of America has you covered. A home equity line of credit can allow you to tap into the equity you’ve built in your property for home improvements or other purchases. This allows you to secure a flexible amount of monthly funding rather than one lump sum. You’ll likely receive much lower rates than those imposed on credit cards, but you may receive a variable APR rather than a fixed rate.
- Auto loans: Car loans are also secured loans, but the car acts as collateral instead of your house. The interest rate on a car loan is usually lower than the rate on a personal loan because the loan is secured.
If you were hoping to borrow for a home or a car, or if you have equity in your home you can tap into, you could seek a Bank of America personal line of credit instead of looking elsewhere to find a personal loan lender.
Best Alternatives to a Bank of America Personal Loan
Alternatives to Bank of America Personal Loans
Loans from $5,000 – $100,000 – Rate Beat Program
- Fixed rate loans from 3.99% APR
- Funds available as soon as the same day
Get up to $75,000 – Low-cost, zero-fee personal loans
- Fixed rates starting at 6.99% APR
- Excellent Trustpilot rating
Borrow what you need – as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000
- Rates starting at 5.74% APR
- No origination fees or pre-payment penalties
Although Bank of America personal loans don’t exist, if you need a personal loan, you still have many options to consider. Here are several alternatives to borrowing from Bank of America:
5.74% – 16.99%
2 – 7 years
$5,000 – $100,000
SoFi is a great alternative to Bank of America personal loans because it provides very quick access to funding and flexibility in how much you can borrow. Its loans have reasonable interest rates, and you won’t have to pay an origination fee, which is a big benefit.
Some of the key terms of SoFi Loans include:
- APRs ranging from 5.74% and 15.49% if you sign up for autopay to qualify for a rate reduction
- Minimum loan limits of $5,000 and maximum loan limits of $100,000
- Loan payment terms between three years and seven years
- $0 origination fee
- Loans are funded as soon as a few days following the completion of your loan application
6.79% – 20.39%
3 – 7 years
$5,000 – $50,000
Citizens Bank personal loans are a good choice for people looking for a longer repayment term and a loan that doesn’t charge administrative fees. Interest rates are comparable with the rates offered by close competitors, and loan funds can be made available very quickly.
In fact, most Citizen Bank personal loans are funded within two days of the time of loan approval, and the entire process can be completed online. While the interest rates are competitive, their APR range is higher than some alternatives, such as SoFi, so you’ll need to shop around to ensure you get the best rate.
Some of the key terms of Citizens Bank loans include:
- APRs ranging from 7.99% to 16.24%
- Minimum loan amounts of $5,000 and maximum loan amounts of $50,000
- Repayment terms between three and seven years
- $0 application fee
- Loans are funded within two business days from the time of approval
4.99% – 16.99%
2 – 7 years
$5,000 – $100,000
LightStream allows you to borrow more than many competitors and its starting APR is among the lowest of all personal loans. LightStream also provides a $100 guarantee that your borrowing experience will be the best ever. However, only borrowers with very good to excellent credit can qualify.
Some of the key features of LightStream Loans include the following:
- APRs ranging from 3.34% to 16.99% if you sign up for autopay to qualify for a rate reduction
- Minimum loan amounts of $5,000 and maximum loan amounts of $100,000
- Repayment terms between two to seven years
- $0 origination fee
- Loans funded as soon as the same day you apply
5.99% – 29.99%
3 – 5 years
$2,000 – $35,000
Best Egg is a good choice if you want to borrow less, as Best Egg has a lower loan limit than many competitors. You can also get your money as soon as the next business day, making Best Egg an ideal option if you need your money right away.
Unfortunately, you may have to pay a high origination fee with Best Egg, which can make these loans more expensive than the financing offered by many competitors.
Some of the key terms of Best Egg loans include:
- APRs ranging from 5.99% and 29.99%
- Minimum loan amounts of $2,000 and maximum loan amounts of $35,000
- Repayment terms are three years or five years
- Origination fee between 0.99% and 5.99% of the amount you borrow
- Loans are funded as soon as the next business day after you apply
Other Places to Look for Personal Loans
You also have a host of other options for personal loans, as a wide array of financial institutions offer them. Some of your other options include:
Other Traditional Banks
While Bank of America doesn’t offer personal loans, many other banks do, including M&T Bank and Wells Fargo. Small local banks may also provide personal loan funding. Banks can provide reasonable interest rates if you have a good credit score, and small local banks often have good customer service as well. But be aware that some banks take longer to approve funding than online lenders, or they may have more stringent qualifying requirements. And customer service may not be as good as it is with member-owned credit unions.
Online lenders including Avant and Earnest provide an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar financial institutions. Many online lenders provide quick access to unsecured loans, sometimes by the next business day. It may also be easier to find online lenders willing to work with you even if you have bad credit, as many online lenders have more lenient qualifying requirements than traditional loan providers.
There are several peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, including Prosper and LendingClub. These marketplaces don’t fund loans themselves. Instead, you submit your information, they’ll check your credit report and other financial details, and they’ll post your loan for investors to fund. You have flexibility in loan terms and borrowed amounts with peer-to-peer lenders, and you may be able to qualify for an unsecured personal loan more easily than with traditional banks.
Credit unions are non-profits, so unlike banks, they aren’t trying to make money for shareholders. They’re known for good customer service because they are member-owned and not as driven by profits as traditional banks. Many credit unions also have more competitive rates and more lenient qualifying requirements than traditional banks.
However, to get a loan from a credit union, you need to be a member. You may need to qualify for membership based on where you go to school, being a member of a particular group, working in a particular profession, or living in a specific place. Some credit unions also let anyone join.
The Bottom Line
Although Bank of America Personal Loans don’t exist, you have many other options for obtaining a loan. Whichever approach you choose, be sure to check the interest rates and loan terms from several lenders. You’ll want to find the best personal loan, with a reasonable repayment term, so you can pay the minimum in interest when you borrow for major purchases, special events, or debt consolidation.
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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