Bank of America auto loans review
Dealership and private party financing with big loyalty discounts.
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Bottom line: Bank of America offers simple auto loans with helpful tools to guide your application and payments. Its rates compare to other large banks and you can qualify for a discount if you already have an account. But your options are limited to dealerships in this national bank’s network and private party purchases.
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Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
Bank of America is a good choice for current customers looking to snag a big discount — some may qualify for up to 0.5% off their APR. It offers a wide variety of loan amounts, too. And you may be able to buy out your current lease or refinance your current loan to snag a more competitive rate.
However, customer service is consistently cited as lackluster. BofA is also less upfront than other lenders about its maximum APR, so borrowers with fair credit may be stuck with much higher rates than advertised.
Before you commit, compare Bank of America to other car loans to find the best deal for your next ride.
- APR discount of up to 0.5% with qualifying BofA account
- Private party loans available
- Streamlined dealership car-buying process
- Offers loans for accessible vehicles
- Limited financing for independent dealers
- Not upfront about fees
- Mixed customer reviews
- Must apply in-person for private party loans
Bank of America reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1 out of 5 stars, based on 396 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||5,563 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||1.4 out of 5 stars, based on 376 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||16 October 2020|
Although most of the recent complaints against Bank of America have to deal with mortgages, there is one common theme: Poor customer service. Many people have had problems with long wait times, incorrectly applied payments and other issues that customer service failed to handle. If you decide to borrow a car loan with Bank of America, be aware of these common complaints and the long wait times others have cited.
How Bank of America compares to other lenders
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Bank of America rates, fees and terms
BofA offers more car loan options than most other banks, and it’s at least a little transparent about what its loans might cost you.
|Loan type||Starting APR|
|Private party sale||5.49%|
You can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000 for your vehicle. Loan terms may last anywhere from 12 to 75 months, although its website only allows you to select a term of 48, 60 or 72 months. If you already have a BofA checking or savings account, you may also qualify for a rate discount of 0.25%, 0.35% or 0.5% — provided you sign up from autopay.
It isn’t upfront about its maximum APR or other fees, so discuss these with your loan officer before signing any paperwork. Until then, you can use our calculator to estimate your monthly payments to see how much car you can afford.
Case study: Rhys’ experience
I got my auto loan with Bank of America in 2017, and it’s been as easy to deal with as it was to get. Working freelance means not having the typical income verification that’s usually required for a loan. I was able to get a loan with Bank of America at the dealership with a down payment that was less than 10% of the amount, and at a rate that was better than what my credit union offered.
Since then, it’s been a steady ride. When I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work as much one month, I called in to ask for an extension on my due date. They easily moved that payment to the end of the month — a time when I don’t have many bills due. This saved my credit score and helped me avoid a late payment.
Bank of America requirements
To borrow from Bank of America, you and your car will need to meet a few criteria.
BofA only has two basic requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- US citizen or permanent resident
But while it doesn’t specify a credit score or minimum income, lower rates tend to go to borrowers with better finances.
Bank of America will not finance vehicles that are:
- Older than 10 years
- Have more than 125,000 miles
- Valued at less than $6,000
- Used for commercial or business purposes
- Salvaged, rebuilt or have branded titles
- Motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats or aircraft
Independent dealers outside of BofA’s network are not eligible for financing. In addition, the seller must be the same as the registered owner listed on the vehicle title — whether the seller is an individual or a dealership. And the vehicle must be purchased directly from the seller or current owner.
How the application works
Start your application by visiting the BofA website and navigate to the auto loans page. From here, you can apply with or without information about your potential purchase and review the terms of your application before you submit.
Bank of America will review your application and give you an approval decision. If approved, you can start finalizing your application or searching for your next car.
Your loan approval and interest rate are locked in for 30 days from the date you submit your original loan. To access your loan application, log in to your online account. You can access your saved application for 30 days.
What sets it apart
Bank of America has a simple three-step process that can put your loan funds into your account in a matter of days. It could be a good option if you’re looking to keep all of your finances in one place — some checking account holders can qualify for an interest rate discount of up to 0.5%.
Bank of America offers simple auto loans with fast turnaround. But if you’re still unsure of where to turn, compare more auto loans before making a final decision.
Frequently asked questions
Our answers to other common questions about BofA auto loans.
What is the difference between a franchise dealership and an independent dealership?
Franchise dealerships sell new and used cars for auto manufacturers, while independent dealerships aren’t affiliated with an auto manufacturer and sell many different brands of vehicles.
How long will it take to receive proof my loan is closed and receive my title?
Once you pay off your loan in full, you’ll receive your lien release, paid-in-full letter and title within 7 to 10 business days after the bank receives and processes your payoff.
Car loan ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We rate car loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.
Read the full methodology of how we rate car loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.