Skip to Main Content

Bank of America auto loans: 2024 review

2024-07-08 12:59:00

At a glance

3.7
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Compare auto loan rates
See rates

About Bank of America

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    Starting at $7,500

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    6.29%

  • Funds available in

    As soon as same business day

Best for those financing through the dealer

If you plan to finance through a dealership rather than fully online, check out Bank of America. While the loan itself is handled at the dealership, the funding comes from the bank. The rates offered are competitive, but to get the lowest possible rate you have to qualify for the discount awarded to preferred rewards members — which requires you to hold a high deposit or investment balance. 

If you’re looking to skip the dealership and don’t have $20,000 to keep in the bank for a rate discount, you may find better deals elsewhere.

Types of car loans that Bank of America offers

New/used car loans Traditional refinancing Cash-out refinancing Lease buyout
APR 6.29% 6.59% 7.69% 7.69%
Loan amounts Starting at $7,500 Starting at $7,500 Starting at $7,500 Starting at $7,500
Loan terms 48-72 months 48-72 months 48-72 months 48-72 months

New/used car loans

Financing for a new or used vehicle loan through Bank of America has a minimum loan requirement of $7,500 ($8,000 in Minnesota) and can be done online or in person. Loan decisions can be made within a minute of application if no additional details are needed. 

Bank of America no longer offers loans to purchase from a private seller.

Refinance loans

A Bank of America refinance loan must be at least $7,500 and can be done either online, over the phone or at a Bank of America branch office. It is a great option for drivers who previously held a loan with Bank of America or any other lender and for those who can benefit from member rate discounts.  

Lease buyout loans

If you have fallen in love with your leased vehicle and want to purchase it, Bank of America can help. The loan terms are the same as those offered for new and used purchases, with the same rates as refinance. 

Where Bank of America stands out

  • Long shopping window: Borrowers have the ability to lock in their rate for 30 days after they initially qualify. This allows you to shop around with other lenders and ensure that Bank of America is the best option and find the best car for your needs. 
  • Nationwide coverage: The financial institution has brick-and-mortar branches across the country, and its products can be used by residents in all states and Washington, D.C.
  • Minimal fees: Some lenders enforce fees for loan applications or paying off a loan early. Bank of America enforces neither and is great for borrowers who intend to make extra loan payments. 

Where Bank of America falls short

  • High minimum loan amount: Bank of America has a minimum loan amount of $7,500. This is on the higher side and can make it the wrong option for borrowers who are refinancing a smaller amount. 
  • Discount limitations: Available rate discounts are not available to every type of borrower. Instead, only those who are preferred banking members with at least $20,000 in an investment or deposit account can secure a discount. 
  • No prequalification: Unlike some other lenders on the market that allow you to view potential rates with only a soft credit pull, Bank of America does not. Borrowers who are interested in borrowing will undergo a hard credit check to see potential rates. 

Bank of America customer experience 

Customer support

If you prefer in-person communication, a loan with Bank of America can be a good option. Customer questions can also be answered on its website via live chat or by phone. Following loan approval, you will be matched with a loan specialist who can directly assist you with your needs.  

Bank of America customer assistance can be reached via phone Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Digital experience

Borrowers can easily apply for and manage their auto loans online. Bank account holders will be familiar with the navigation as it is the same ecosystem as banking. There is also a well-rated app available that can help users track and make payments.

What people are saying about Bank of America

Bank of America holds a very poor rating on Trustpilot, 1.3 out of 5 stars as of July 2, 2024. Although not all reviewers are auto loan borrowers, many complaints reference poor customer service and trouble making loan payments. 

How this lender compares 

Bank of America vs. Regions Bank

Another bank-backed auto loan option, Regions Bank, is a solid option for borrowers who prefer in-person assistance and the reliability of a long-standing financial institution. Securing funding from Regions Bank is an especially good option for those looking to finance a more expensive vehicle, as the bank has a $125,000 loan maximum. However, unlike Bank of America, Regions only serves drivers in the South and Midwest. 

See our Regions Bank vs. Bank of America guide

Bank of America vs. Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank boasts the same in-person convenience as Bank of America but offers a wider range of repayment terms — up to 84 months. This makes it an attractive choice for borrowers who plan to extend their loan term. However, the Cincinnati-based bank only provides direct loans in 10 states.

Do you qualify for a Bank of America auto loan?

To finance a vehicle with Bank of America, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. The vehicle itself has some specific requirements.  

How to get a Bank of America auto loan

There is no application fee when applying for an auto loan with Bank of America, and you can fill one out online, over the phone or in person at one of its branch offices.  

The process is simple and only takes a few steps to complete. You don’t even need to have your vehicle fully picked out when you apply. 

  1. Provide details about yourself and the loan: The first step to financing your vehicle with Bank of America is to fill out its online application with the loan amount and term you want, your personal and income details and whether you’re adding a co-applicant.  
  2. Lock in your rate: Bank of America has a 30-day rate lock which will enable you to shop around while having an idea of how much you can afford. 
  3. Finalize the deal: After you find a vehicle at an approved dealer, you can finalize the loan and walk out with your new keys and without the hassle of waiting in a finance office all day.    

How Bankrate rates Bank of America

Overall score 3.7
Availability 4.1 Bank of America offers a range of auto loans, but each has a high minimum amount.
Affordability 3.5 The starting rates Bank of America offers are middling, but it doesn't charge an application or origination fee.
Customer experience 4.8 Bank of America has an easy-to-navigate website and app, along with a 30-day rate lock option. But customer service assistance is not available seven days a week.
Transparency 2.5 Bank of America does not offer prequalification but does disclose some fees and starting rates.

 Methodology

Bankrate's trusted augo loans industry expertise

57

years in business

37

lenders reviewed

18

loan features weighed

666

data points collected

The Bankrate team assessed more than 35 auto lenders to find the best. Bankrate considered 18 criteria, such as acceptance criteria, loan amounts and APR range. These scores are broken into four categories.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Writer, Auto Loans and Personal Loans
Rebecca Betterton, a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠, is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021.
Edited by Editor, Personal Loans, Auto Loans, and Debt