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You have a lot of options if you’re shopping for an auto loan. You can finance at a dealership, apply for a loan at your local credit union, or choose from an online lender that specializes in auto financing. One of the best auto lenders might be right under your nose, or at least in your neighborhood – it’s Bank of America.

Bank of America offers great auto loan rates, flexible terms, few vehicle restrictions, and nationwide coverage. Read on to learn more about Bank of America car loans, the perks, the potential drawbacks, and the interest rates you may see.

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Contents of This Review:

Current Bank of America Auto Loan Rates

Credit Score

New Car Loan

Used Car Loan

Private Party Car Loan

Refinance Car Loan

Lease Buyout Loan

Excellent

As low as 3.59%

As low as 3.79%

As low as 5.99%

As low as 4.29%

As low as 4.79%

Good

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Poor

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Contact for rate

Bank of America provides financing to car shoppers with all kinds of credit. That said, the bank only advertises its lowest available rates, which are limited to those with excellent credit. Every lender has its own definition of excellent credit, but according to Experian, this typically translates to a score of between 781 and 850.

Bank of America applicants with excellent credit that plan to buy a vehicle from a dealership could see interest rates as low as 3.59 percent on new car loans and just 3.79 percent on used car loans. These rates are very low compared to other major lenders.

Those with excellent credit who are looking to buy a used car directly from a private individual could see rates as low as 5.99 percent from Bank of America. On the other hand, if you want to refinance your current auto loan or buy out your leased vehicle, you may see rates as low as 4.29 and 4.79 percent, respectively.

These rates were found using Bank of America’s auto financing calculator, and they are for illustrative purposes only. The rates on this page are accurate as of publication, and we do update them regularly. However, auto loan rates fluctuate over time, so you may see different rates as you shop for an auto loan. The rates you qualify for may differ from these depending on your credit history, income, and selected loan terms.

Bank of America provides loan terms of 48, 60, and 72 months when applying online. Users can negotiate any terms from 12 months to 75 months later on in the application process.

Shoppers may qualify for interest rate discounts if they are current Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients. Gold tier members qualify for a rate deduction of 0.25 percent, Platinum tier members qualify for a deduction of 0.35 percent, and Platinum Honors members qualify for a rate deduction of 0.50 percent. To become a Preferred Rewards client you must maintain banking and investment account balances of at least $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, and $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier.

Is Bank of America a Good Car Loan Company?

Yes, Bank of America is a great option if you’re looking to finance a car purchase or refinance a current auto loan. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with Bank of America auto loans. Financing is available to customers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Bank of America’s advertised interest rates for borrowers with excellent credit are some of the lowest among major lenders. Better still, the bank offers sizable rate discounts for its rewards customers.

Bank of America’s biggest perk is the flexibility of its loan program. The bank finances new and used cars purchased at dealerships, used cars purchased from owners (private party sales), and vehicles purchased at the end of their lease, also called lease buyouts. Some competing lenders, like Chase and Capital One, don’t finance private sales, and depending on where you live, that can really cut down on your used car options.

Key Bank of America Car Loan Info

 

New

Used

Refinance

Available APR

As low as 3.59%

As low as 3.79%

As low as 4.29%

Loan Length

12 – 75 months

12 – 75 months

12 – 75 months

Prepayment Penalty?

No

No

No

Income Requirements

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

Minimum Loan Amount

$7,500

$7,500

$7,500

Should I Get a Bank of America Auto Loan?

You should consider financing a car loan with Bank of America, especially if you have a very high credit score. The loan process is simple and has relatively few restrictions. Bank of America’s advertised rates are also very competitive in comparison to other major lenders.

That said, there are some aspects of Bank of America’s financing program that customers may not like. Bank of America has dealership restrictions, so if you’re looking to buy a car from a dealer, you’ll have to make sure it’s within the bank’s network. Additionally, Bank of America doesn’t offer price discounts on vehicles.

If either of these issues concern you, consider other top lenders. LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, has almost no limitations on the vehicles it finances. Chase Bank can provide customers with a guaranteed discount on new vehicles for sale at participating dealers.

How to Apply for a Bank of America Auto Loan

Bank of America makes it simple to finance your next car, truck, or SUV purchase. First, shop for the vehicle that you want. You can search through local classified ads and online listings for cars for sale by owner (private seller), or you can use Bank of America’s online inventory tools to find cars for sale at participating dealerships.

You can also filter the inventory search results by make, model, age, price, mileage, and more. The listings include vehicle photos, features, and specifications. Each page also has a helpful calculator app, which provides an estimate of the financing terms for that specific vehicle.

After you find the ideal car for you, you’re ready to submit a loan application. You can apply online, over the phone, or at a local Bank of America branch. The application will ask for personal information like your name, home address, phone number, email, employer, and income. The bank will look into your credit history, which could affect your credit score. If all of it looks good, you’ll receive a loan offer, which is valid for up to 30 days. There is no application fee. Don’t like the offer? Don’t worry, you aren’t obligated to accept it.

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Last but not least, it’s time to complete the purchase. If you’re buying a car from a dealership, you can head to the dealer with the loan offer to finalize the sale. If you’re buying from a private party, Bank of America will send you a check payable to the seller.

Bank of America also provides loans to shoppers who want to purchase their leased vehicle or refinance their current auto loan. The loan application process is similar in these instances, but  you won’t have to use the inventory search tools. Unlike many institutions, Bank of America will refinance its own auto loans. Most lenders will only refinance loans originated by other financial institutions, like competing banks or credit unions.

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What Income Do I Need for a Bank of America Auto Loan?

Bank of America does not list its income requirements for auto loan applications. This is partly for competitive purposes, but also because a borrower’s income may not indicate their ability to repay a loan.

A better calculation is the debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. You can find this by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your monthly income. For example, monthly debt payments of $1,900 with a monthly income of $5,000 equal a debt-to-income ratio of 38 percent. On the other hand, monthly payments of $800 and a monthly income of $3,300 yield a DTI of just 24 percent.

Lenders typically think twice about financing applicants with a debt-to-income ratio of 40 percent or more, because it indicates that they are financially overextended and may default on the loan.

What Credit Score Do I Need for a Bank of America Auto Loan?

Bank of America does not disclose its credit score requirements. Again, this is partially due to competition between lenders.

Don’t worry if you have a mediocre credit score, though. You may still qualify for great financing because of other factors that lenders consider. These include your total income, the amount of debt you have, and the various kinds of debt like credit cards, a mortgage, and personal loans.

What Cars Can I Buy With a Bank of America Auto Loan?

Bank of America finances three types of car purchases: new and used cars purchased at a dealership, used cars purchased directly from an owner (private party sale), and leased vehicles purchased at the end of their contract (lease buyout).

This flexibility gives Bank of America customers a lot of options when shopping for their next vehicle. However, there are few key restrictions. Bank of America only finances vehicles built within the last 10 model years. Eligible vehicles must also have fewer than 125,000 miles. A number of vehicle types are specifically excluded. These include motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), commercial vehicles, grey market imports, lemons, and vehicles with a salvage title or another branded title.

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If you’re buying from a dealership, it must be within Bank of America’s network of franchise dealers or one of four approved independent dealers (CarMax, Hertz, Enterprise, and Carvana). The company will not finance purchases made at other independent dealers.

Bank of America requires auto loan borrowers to finance a minimum of $7,500. The maximum amount is limited to $150,000, dependent on a customer’s income, credit score, and the vehicle.

What Down Payment Does a Bank of America Auto Loan Require?

A down payment is not required for all Bank of America auto loans, but one may be required if an applicant has bad credit. In these instances, the down payment protects the lender from financial loss if the borrower stops paying off the loan. It’s a smart idea to make a down payment, even if you aren’t required to. Down payments reduce the amount of money you need to finance, which lowers the amount you spend on interest over the loan.

Does a Bank of America Auto Loan Have Prepayment Penalties?

There are no penalties for paying off a Bank of America auto loan early. Borrowers can make one-time payments online, on the mobile app, over the phone, by mail, or in person at a local bank branch. Customers can also sign up for automatic payments by either enrolling via a mail application or using the “Online Bill Pay” tool.

As a general rule of thumb, you should opt for an auto loan with the shortest terms and largest monthly payments you can reasonably manage. That’s because an auto loan – a type of simple interest loan – accrues interest daily from the beginning of the loan until the day it’s paid off. This interest is based on the remaining balance of the loan, or the principal. As you pay the balance down over time, the percentage of your monthly payment spent on interest decreases as well.

If you decide to make small monthly car payments over long terms like six years or more, you may end up spending thousands of dollars more on interest alone.

Bank of America vs. LightStream

Bank of America and LightStream are both great options if you’re shopping for an auto loan. Both lenders offer competitively low interest rates, and each finances vehicles in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Both programs also have few limitations, which isn’t the case with all lenders. With either institution, shoppers can buy cars from dealerships or private sellers, refinance their own vehicles, or purchase their car at the end of its lease.

Overall, LightStream emerges as a better financing option because it has even fewer limitations. LightStream loans have no vehicle or dealership restrictions, so you can consider a much larger pool of vehicles for sale – including classic cars, motorcycles, and RVs. The funds from a LightStream loan are also deposited directly into your bank account, so you can shop for a car with all the freedom of a cash buyer. There are also no down payment requirements.

There is one exception to this flexibility though. Consider a Bank of America auto loan first if you don’t have a high credit score. Bank of America tends to be more lenient when evaluating credit worthiness, whereas LightStream typically only finances applicants with good-to-excellent credit.

 

Bank of America

 

LightStream

New Car Rates as Low as

3.59%

 

3.34%

Used Car Rates as Low as

3.79%

 

3.34%

Prepayment Penalties?

No

 

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

 

Contact for amount

Bank of America vs. Chase

Chase offers a different and more involved take on car buying and financing than Bank of America. The Chase Auto program helps shoppers find a car and even provides guaranteed discounts on new vehicles for sale at participating dealerships. This means you don’t have to haggle over pricing with the dealer – a perk that a lot of customers may enjoy.

Additionally, the Chase Auto program doesn’t require a down payment, while Bank of America does in some instances. Chase also has a lower minimum loan amount of $4,000; Bank of America requires shoppers to finance at least $7,500 or more.

It’s not a homerun for Chase, though. Bank of America offers lower advertised interest rates and steep rate discounts for its rewards customers. Unlike Chase, Bank of America finances vehicles bought from a private seller.

Ultimately, the choice between these financing programs may come down to their restrictions. Both programs have dealership limitations, as well as restrictions for certain vehicle makes and models. Test the inventory tools of both programs to see which offers more options in your area.

 

Bank of America

 

Chase

 

New Car Rates as Low as

3.59%

 

4.33%

 

Used Car Rates as Low as

3.79%

 

4.57%

 

Prepayment Penalties?

No

 

No

 

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

 

Contact for amount

 

Bank of America vs. Capital One

Capital One is another option for those in search of a car loan, though its lending practices aren’t as flexible as Bank of America’s. Capital One doesn’t provide loans for private party sales or lease buyouts, and it has higher advertised rates than Bank of America. Capital One doesn’t offer financing to customers in Alaska or Hawaii.

There are some similarities between these programs. Both limit shoppers to vehicles available at participating dealerships, and both programs may also require a down payment in certain cases. The bottom line? Bank of America’s fewer restrictions and lower rates make it the better choice for most shoppers. Still, you should try out the inventory search tools of both programs to see which offers more vehicle and dealership options in your area.

 

Bank of America

 

Capital One

New Car Rates as Low as

3.59%

 

3.99%

Used Car Rates as Low as

3.79%

 

4.62%

Prepayment Penalties?

No

 

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

 

$1,500 – $1,800

myAutoloan

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

Company

Details

Requirements

Descriptions

myAutoloan

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

Disclaimer: All information provided here is based on Annual Percentage Rate estimates from the websites of the individual lenders on 12/18/2018. It is not a binding or guaranteed loan offer. Individual auto loan rates will vary.

Notes: In compiling this data, we used new-car purchase rates for Virginia.

*To meet LightStream's standard for good credit, you must have several years of credit history with a variety of account types, including credit cards, installment debt (vehicle loans), and mortgages. LightStream also prefers to see few, if any, delinquencies and a history of savings, evidenced by things like deposit accounts and manageable revolving credit card debt. You'll also want to provide proof of stable and sufficient income to repay current debt obligations as well as any new loan with LightStream.

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

If you need to do more research, our rankings and reviews are a great place to start. If you’re ready to buy, check out our new car lease deals and purchase deals pages.

Our Best Price Program can also save you money. You can get a pre-negotiated price on your car at a local dealer. On average, buyers have saved more than $3,000 off MSRP using the Best Price Program.

In addition to savings off MSRP, getting the best interest rate on your car loan can save you thousands. Compare rates from up to four lenders with myAutoloan to get the best deal.

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