Bank of America auto loans review: Low starting interest rates and bonus discounts for current customers

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The bottom line: Bank of America's auto loans have lower interest rates than competitors, and customers who already have an trương mục with Bank of America have an additional incentive to borrow from the lender with interest rate discounts of up to 0.5%.

Pros and cons of Bank of America auto loans

ProsCons

 

  • Lower interest rates than competitors

  • No prepayment or origination fees

  • Several different types of auto loans to choose from

  • Interest rate discount if you meet certain requirements

  • Mobile app

 

  • Discounts require high trương mục balances with Bank of America
  • High minimum loan amount

Bank of America auto loans

Bank of America Auto Loan

Regular APR

New: Starts at 3.79%, Used: Starts at 3.99%, Refinance/Lease Buyout: Starts at 4.89%

Bank of America Bank of America Auto Loan
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4.75

/5

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A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.75 out of 5 Stars

Editor's Rating

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Bank of America Auto Loan

Bank of America Bank of America Auto Loan
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4.75

/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.75 out of 5 Stars

Editor's Rating

Apply for a loan

Regular APR

New: Starts at 3.79%, Used: Starts at 3.99%, Refinance/Lease Buyout: Starts at 4.89%

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • Highly competitive APR
  • High maximum loan amount
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Available to borrowers in all 50 states

Cons

  • High minimum loan amount
  • Rate discounts require you to be a Bank of America member

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Details

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More Information

  • Repayment terms between 12 months and 75 months
  • Customer service available by phone
  • $7,500 loan minimum, up to $150,000 loan limit
  • Loans are made by Bank of America, member FDIC
  • To receive rate discount, you must have a three-month average balance in Bank of America accounts or Merrill Lynch investment accounts greater than or equal to the following balances: Gold members (minimum $20,000 balance) : .25% off listed APR,  Platinum members (minimum $50,000 balance): .35% off listed APR, Platinum honors members (minimum $100,000 balance): .5% off listed APR

One of the big draws of Bank of America auto loans are the low interest rates. Rates for both new and used cars start well below the competition. While Bank of America auto loans come with perks for customers who already have accounts, low interest rates mean that they're often a good bet for anyone.

Some lenders charge fees when originating new loans, or charge prepayment fees for anyone who pays off the loan early. Bank of America auto loans don't involve any prepayment or origination fees. 

Keep in mind that Bank of America requires a minimum loan of $7,500 (and $8,000 in Minnesota), which is relatively high. The minimum car value Bank of America finances is $6,000, but the minimum loan amount is $7,500. If your budget is under $7,500, you could end up upside down on your loan so that the car worth less than the value of the loan.

How Bank of America auto loans work

Bank of America offers several types of auto loans, including loans for purchasing a car either new or used from a dealership, buying your current leased car, and buying a car from a private seller. Additionally, Bank of America offers auto loans for customers who need an accessible vehicle. This lender doesn't finance motorcycles or RVs with auto loans, nor commercial vehicles, though a separate small business auto loan is available.

Loan terms range from 12 to 75 months. Buyers in all 50 US states are able to use Bank of America auto financing. The car you're looking to purchase will need to meet a few requirements. It must:

  • Be fewer than 10 years old 
  • Have fewer than 125,000 miles
  • Have a value over $6,000 according to NADA
  • Not have a rebuilt, salvage, or branded title

This lender is best for anyone who already has a Bank of America trương mục. Not only will it be easy to see your auto loan with the same login information as the rest of your banking, but you'll also have some perks if you have an elite status with the bank. 

Instead of auto pay discounts, Bank of America offers incentives to customers who already use its services. Customers with gold, platinum, or platinum honors status will receive up to 0.5% off their auto loan's APR. To achieve each status, you must have a three-month average balance in Bank of America accounts or Merrill Lynch investment accounts greater than or equal to the following balances:

  • Gold members (minimum $20,000 balance) : 0.25% off listed APR 
  • Platinum members (minimum $50,000 balance): 0.35% off listed APR
  • Platinum honors members (minimum $100,000 balance): 0.5% off listed APR

While this lender is an excellent choice for current customers, anyone can apply for an auto loan. And, with starting interest rates from this lender so low, it may still beat the competition, even without the discount. 

Only buyers with the best credit scores will get the lowest possible interest rate. Before settling on a car loan, remember to shop around and compare all of the offers. Look beyond the monthly payment, too, and consider the interest rate and the length of the loan. 

Is Bank of America trustworthy?

Bank of America is rated an A+ by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, determines its ratings by evaluating a business' responses to consumer complaints, honesty in advertising, and clarity about business practices. 

Keep in mind that a top-notch BBB score doesn't ensure you'll have a good relationship with a company. Additionally, Bank of America does have some recent public controversies:

  • Bank of America paid $75 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the bank of pulling excess overdraft fees and overcharging customers (2021).  
  • The Department of Justice claimed that Bank of America unfairly refused home loans to adults with disabilities, even though they qualified for loans. Bank of America paid around $300,000 total (2020).
  • The Department of Labor required Bank of America to pay $4.2 million to people who claimed the bank discriminated against women, Black, and Hispanic applicants (2019).

You might want to go with a different lender if these issues bother you. 

How Bank of America auto loans compare

Compared to other lenders, Bank of America has some of the lower starting interest rates available for new cars and used cars bought from dealers. Here's how the bank stacks up against Capital One and Lightstream.

Bank of America
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Bank of America

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Capital One

Lightstream® a division of SunTrust Bank logo
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Lightstream

Loan APR

New: Starts at 3.79%, Used: Starts at 3.99%, Refinance/Lease Buyout: Starts at 4.89%

Loan APR

New: Starting at 2.99%, Used/Refinance/Lease Buyout: Unspecified

Loan APR

New/Used/Refinance: 3.49% to 9.49%, Lease Buyout: 4.49% to 10.49%

Loan range

$7,500 to $150,000

Loan range

Starting at $4,000, maximum not disclosed

Loan range

$5,000 to $100,000

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Capital One's auto loan options don't beat the starting interest rates available through Bank of America for most buyers with good or better credit scores. However, Capital One could be a good option for anyone with bad credit. Capital One makes loans to people with FICO credit scores as low as 500. Bank of America doesn't have a minimum credit score it considers, so it may still be worth applying even if you have a low credit score.

Both Lightstream and Bank of America are solid choices, but Bank of America has an advantage with lower starting interest rates. If you're already a Bank of America customer qualifying for discounts, the deal could be even sweeter. 

LightStream only works with borrowers with good or better credit scores and requires a credit score of 660 or better. Bank of America doesn't have a minimum credit score requirement, so it could be more flexible with some borrowers. However, remember that lower credit scores often mean higher interest rates.