2023 Bank of America Auto Loan Review
Bank Of America auto loans at a glance
|New auto loans||Used auto loans||Refinance auto loans|
|Loan terms||Up to 72 months||Up to 72 months||Up to 72 months|
|Loan amounts||Minimum of $7,500||Minimum of $7,500||At least $7,500|
|See auto loan rates||See auto loan rates||See refinance rates|
Bank Of America offers competitively priced auto loans, with potential approval within minutes. The bank offers loans for purchasing new and used vehicles from a dealership, loans for purchasing from a private party, refinancing on current loans and lease buyouts.
To apply for a Bank of America auto loan, you can walk into any of its nearly 4,000 branches or apply online.
- Widespread availability: No matter which U.S. state you live in, you can apply for an auto loan — even if there isn’t a branch location in your state.
- Many ways to buy: You can use a Bank of America auto loan to buy a new or used car from a dealership, or even from a private party. This lender also offers lease buyout loans and auto refinancing.
- High minimum loan amount: Bank of America will only approve auto loans in amounts of $7,500 or more, which is higher than most competitors. If you’re looking to finance an inexpensive car, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Discounts for existing customers: Existing Bank of America customers who maintain a high daily balance in their accounts are eligible for interest rate discounts up to 0.5%. However, to qualify for the smallest discount (0.25%), you’ll have to maintain an average daily balance of at least $20,000, which is unattainable for many borrowers.
- Best for people who prefer big banks: Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the country — an appealing prospect if you’re wary of smaller lenders.
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Bank of America pros and cons
While Bank of America is well-regarded in the automotive finance industry, no lender is a perfect match for every borrower. As with any lender, it’s important to weigh both the benefits and drawbacks of Bank of America’s loan product.
Loans available in every state
Most loan decisions available in 60 seconds
All types of auto loans offered
Competitive interest rates
Doesn’t offer prequalification
High minimum loan amount
Rate discounts rather limited
Limited use at independent dealerships
You can get a run-of-the-mill auto loan to buy a car from a dealership from most lenders. It’s a bit more rare to find lenders similar to Bank of America that are willing to offer private party car loans, which can expand your buying options if you’re looking for a certain car or the best deal. Rarer still are lease buyout loans, which BofA also offers.
You can receive a rate discount of 0.25% to 0.50%, though most people probably won’t qualify. Borrowers must be existing members of Preferred Rewards, a program for high-balance customers that maintain $20,000 to $1,000,000-plus in a Bank of America deposit account or Merrell investment account.
Finally, while you can use a Bank of America auto loan at any franchise dealership, this lender doesn’t work with most independent dealers. Independent dealers aren’t directly affiliated with an automaker and sell many brands. The only independent dealers you can use a Bank of America auto loan with are CarMax, Carvana or Enterprise Car Sales.
A closer look at Bank of America auto loans
Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the country and has over 67 million customers across all of its divisions. In addition to the standard suite of personal banking deposit accounts, like checking and savings accounts, it also offers credit cards, investment accounts, mortgages and auto loans.
Compared to other lenders, Bank of America offers a wide range of auto loan products. You can refinance an auto loan with Bank of America or buy out your lease if you want to keep your car. It also advertises financing for electric vehicles (EVs) and cars specially outfitted with accessibility equipment for disabled consumers.
Bank of America has a few restrictions on the vehicles it will finance, but these rules are similar to what you’d find with any other lender. Bank of America will not finance:
- Vehicles older than 10 calendar years
- Vehicles more than 125,000 miles
- Vehicles valued at less than $6,000
- Salvage or branded title vehicles or lemon law cars
- Motorcycles, boats or aircraft
How to get a loan with Bank of America
Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn’t offer a prequalification option to check your rate before applying. You’ll need to submit a full loan application in order to learn about your loan options, although this is a pretty simple process.
If you’re comparing multiple lenders, be sure to keep all of your rate shopping within a two-week window to avoid excess damage to your credit score.
Here’s how to apply for a Bank of America auto loan:
- Understand your budget: Before applying for a loan with any lender, it’s important to understand how much you can comfortably afford each month. Use our auto loan calculator to estimate your potential monthly payment.
- Decide on your loan type: Are you buying a new car or a used car? Are you buying from a dealership or a private party? Or are you looking to refinance an existing auto loan or buy out your current lease?
- Gather your documents: Next, you’ll provide copies of personal financial documents — these could include W-2s, bank statements or recent tax returns. For lease buyout or refinance loans, you’ll also need to know your car’s VIN, mileage, make, model and year.
- Apply for the loan: You can apply online, at a branch or over the phone. You’ll need to submit the documents you rounded up in the previous step with your loan application.
- Get a decision: If you’re applying online, you should receive an automated decision within 60 seconds. However, in some cases, someone may need to look at your application and request more information before issuing a final decision.
- Find a car within 30 days: If you’re approved for a loan, you’ll find out how much you’re approved for and what your rate will be. Bank of America loan offers expire in 30 days. Even if you’re approved, you’re not obligated to finalize the loan; you’re free to go elsewhere if you find a better offer.
- Provide car details: Once you find the car you want, contact Bank of America again to finish the car portion of the loan application. You’ll need to provide copies of the car’s title, registration, bill of sale and a payoff letter (if buying from a private seller).
- Coordinate payment: Hand your loan approval letter to the dealership when you’re signing the final paperwork. If you’re buying from a private party, Bank of America will send you a check made out to the car’s seller. Once the financing is squared away, you can drive off into the sunset.
How Bank of America auto loans compare
Even if you believe that a Bank of America car loan aligns with your borrowing needs, it’s always smart to shop around and compare lenders. Here’s how Bank of America stacks up against a couple of competitors.
Is a Bank of America loan right for you?
Bank of America has some solid options for auto loans. Its starting interest rates are competitive and they offer loan types that many other lenders don’t, making them a good choice for most people. Plus, these loans are even more attractive if you’re already a Preferred Rewards customer. However, if you’re looking for a small auto loan, you might want to look elsewhere — Bank of America’s loans start at $7,500.
Make sure you shop around before making a decision about your auto loan. With LendingTree, you can fill out a single form and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders.