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Securing the best financing for your needs means considering more than just available rates. Instead, you must step back and consider state availability, potential restrictions and even your preferred customer experience. All of these facets come together to create your perfect auto loan.
Regions Bank and Fifth Third Bank present borrowers with similar products, both serving new, used and refinance purchases and both with in-person or online capabilities. So when choosing which is best for you, it is better to weigh the specific nuances that each financial institution has to offer.
Simply, Regions Bank is best for a borrower looking to finance an expensive vehicle who resides in the Southern or Midwestern United States. Fifth Third Bank is great for borrowers who prefer an extra helping hand with their finances.
Regions Bank vs. Fifth Third Bank at a glance
Consider the specifics of both lenders before gathering any documentation to hit apply.
Fifth Third Bank
|Better for||•Financing larger loan amounts
•Regions Bank account holders
|•In-person customer support
•No fees for extra loan payment
|Loans offered||New and used, refinance||New and used, refinance|
|Loan amounts||$5,000-$100,000||Up to $80,000|
|Loan term lengths||Not specified||48-84 months|
|Fees||Not specified||Origination fee and fee for late payments|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified||Not specified|
|State footprint||15 states||10 states plus indirect lending in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana and Wyoming|
|Time to funding||Not specified||Same day as closing|
|Autopay discount?||Yes, 0.25%||Yes, 0.25%|
|Refinancing restrictions||•Vehicle age: No more than 7 years old
•Fewer than 90,000 miles on odometer
Regions Bank auto loans
Regions has been serving the South and Midwest since the early 1970s and offers new, used and refinance loans.
Although the lowest rate will be offered to borrowers with strong credit, a minimum APR of 6.49 percent is competitive in the auto space. In the first quarter of 2023, Experian data had an average of 6.58 percent for new vehicles, placing Regions slightly under the norm. And the regional bank boasts a simple application that can be handled online or in person — ideal for a borrower who wants a helping hand.
Unfortunately, Regions does not disclose potential fees until after you apply.
- Wide range of loan amounts: A max of $100,000 puts many luxury vehicles in reach. Plus, you can fund up to 130 percent of the vehicle’s value to cover closing fees and other costs.
- Long shopping window: After you’re approved, your rates are locked in for 30 days.
- Autopay discount: Connect your Regions checking account for 0.25 percent off.
- Undisclosed fees: Because there’s no prequalification option, the only way to see the rates and fees you’ll pay with Regions is to complete a full application. That also means a temporary, small hit to your credit score.
- Limited state coverage: Regions operates in only 15 southern and midwestern states.
- Restrictive refinance qualifications: Most lenders will refinance vehicles that are up to 10 years old, while Regions limits it to seven years.
Fifth Third Bank auto loans
Another regional financial institution, Fifth Third Bank offers borrowers new, used and refinance auto loans. The Cincinnati-based bank serves members that hold checking and savings accounts in 10 states.
Along with a catalog of direct loans, Fifth Third also offers indirect loans through its partnered dealerships. Indirect financing is an excellent choice for borrowers that prefer in-person support, as the financing is handled directly on the dealership lot. These loans are available in all but four states.
Fifth Third Bank has minimal information disclosed on its website regarding expected APR, required credit score or loan amount. Instead, much of the information will not become available until you dive into an application. This structure can make it difficult for borrowers with poor credit to grasp expected rates and terms.
- Customer support: Like Regions, Fifth Third offers customer support by phone and in person six days a week. But they also offer 24/7 help via online chat — a perk Regions doesn’t provide.
- Indirect auto loans: If you want to fund through Fifth Third but don’t live in a state it serves, having a dealership as a middleman may make it possible.
- Fast funding: You can get your funding the day you close on a loan.
- Limited state coverage: Fifth Third operates in only 10 southern and midwestern states. Its footprint largely overlaps with Regions’.
- No prequalification: As with Regions, you must complete the application process to see possible rates and fees.
- Unknown interest rates: Fifth Third doesn’t post its range of available interest rates online. That makes comparison shopping difficult.
How to choose between Regions Bank and Fifth Third Bank
Regions and Fifth Third Bank share a state footprint and menu of products, but one may excel over the other depending on your needs. If you plan to finance a more expensive vehicle, Regions takes the gold. Fifth Third boasts fast funding and expansive customer support, in-person and online.
Choose Regions Bank for a large vehicle purchase
Americans spent an average of $48,528 for a new non-luxury vehicle in May, according to Kelley Blue Book. Luxury vehicles averaged $64,396. With this in mind, it is important to find a lender that offers a wide range of loan amounts — especially if you intend to drive off in a luxury option.
Regions Bank allows borrowers to finance as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000 for their new vehicles. Along with this, Regions Bank offers discounted rates for electric vehicle loans. As these vehicles tend to cost slightly more than gas vehicles, the discount counts.
Choose Fifth Third Bank if you prefer in-person customer support
Although completing the financing process online works for many borrowers with advanced technology skills, it is not right for everyone. Fifth Third Bank requires you to visit a brick-and-mortar location to apply. That means that if you encounter snags in the process, you’ll have a real human on hand to offer guidance.
The indirect lending model offered by the bank also enables borrowers to finance with a partnered dealership — which can be attractive for those who prefer a helping hand. But you’ll have to do some extra legwork to comparison shop because the bank does not disclose much information about its loans until after you’ve applied.
Compare more lenders before applying
Either Regions or Fifth Third Bank could be a strong first step in getting behind the wheel of your new vehicle. Though undisclosed specifics from Fifth Third present additional risks that Regions does not carry. And refinance restrictions from Regions are slightly more extensive than other lenders, meaning other lenders may provide a better experience. Make sure to check out alternatives, too — credit unions may offer the same level of in-person support coupled with even lower rates.