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U.S. Bank auto loans: 2024 review

2024-01-01 13:59:00

At a glance

3.8
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 2.8 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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About U.S. Bank

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $5,000 to $100,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    7.26%

  • Funds available in

    Not specified

Best for flexible loan terms

While extending your loan term isn’t always the best financial move, buyers who need the smaller monthly payment appreciate lenders that offer that flexibility. Borrowers can finance their new or used vehicles for up to 72 months when working with U.S. Bank. This is great for a borrower who has good credit and is confident in their ability to pay off their loan but prefers to pay less money each month.  

U.S. Bank pros and cons

U.S. Bank offers the convenience of in-person support. However, it is important to shop around before signing off, because many lenders offer better starting rates for well-qualified borrowers.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Wide range of term lengths

  • Checkmark

    Discounts for U.S. Bank customers

  • Checkmark

    Preapproval without vehicle information

CONS

  • Close X

    Early closure fee

  • Close X

    High minimum loan amount

  • Close X

    Strict eligibility for the lowest rates

With a nationwide footprint and a large branch network, U.S. Bank may appeal to auto loan borrowers who prefer the convenience of in-person customer service. 

U.S. Bank offers a selection of repayment terms, and applicants can receive approval the same day they apply. The bank has a special discount for users who already have a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account. However, other national banks, such as Bank of America, offer better starting rates. 

Do you qualify?

U.S. Bank does not specify its eligibility requirements for credit score or minimum income, but in order to apply, drivers must be a legal resident of the United States and be at least 18 years of age.

In order to qualify for the best rates, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Request a term of 60 months or less
  • Credit score of 800 or higher
  • Vehicle is less than 12 months old
  • Loan amount of $35,000 or more 
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) percentage of 111% to 115.99%
  • Set up autopay from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account

When it comes to U.S. Bank refinancing, consider the following to get the best rates:

  • Loan term of 36 months or less
  • Loan amount of $30,000 or more
  • Financing of 80% or less of the car’s value
  • Credit score of 800 or higher
  • Vehicle is less than 12 months old
  • Set up autopay from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account.

U.S. Bank versus PNC Bank

Both lenders offer the benefits of borrowing from a large financial institution. PNC Bank also provides the PNC Total Auto program. Through this program, drivers can get assistance while navigating the shopping, buying and financing process — great for those who need extra guidance. But both banks have the same wide range of funding amounts and similar APRs. 

See our U.S. Bank vs. PNC Bank comparison

U.S. Bank versus PenFed

Both PenFed and U.S. Bank offer borrowers across all 50 states options to buy new, used or refinance their vehicles. However, PenFed boasts a significantly lower starting rate along with the ability to finance a bit more — up to $150,000. But it is not the perfect lender for every buyer. U.S. Bank is the better option for those who prefer in-person customer service and are looking to buy out their leased vehicle, a program not offered by PenFed. 

See our U.S. Bank vs. PenFed comparison

What we like and what we don’t like

While U.S. Bank offers discounts to its account-holders, its rates aren’t impressive, even for those who meet its intense eligibility standards.

What we like

  • Wide range of term lengths. U.S. Bank auto loans have six repayment term options, ranging from 12 to 72 months. This gives drivers more flexibility in their monthly payment.
  • Discounts for U.S. Bank customers. U.S. Bank offers up to a 0.20 percent rate discount to those who enroll in U.S. Bank Smart Rewards checking account. 
  • Preapproval without vehicle information. You can get preapproved for a U.S. Bank auto loan while still shopping for a vehicle. Once you decide on a car, you can finalize your loan at a U.S. Bank branch.

What we don’t like

  • Early closure fee. In addition to standard loan fees, U.S. Bank charges an early closure fee if you close your account within one year. This fee equals 1 percent of your original loan amount, with a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $100. 
  • High minimum loan amount. U.S. Bank has a relatively high minimum loan amount for new and used vehicles at $5,000. If you are hoping to finance an inexpensive used vehicle, U.S. Bank may not be the best option. 
  • Strict eligibility for the lowest rates. U.S. Bank’s lowest rates are mediocre, and they go to drivers with a credit score of at least 800 who are financing 80 percent or less of the car’s value. These borrowers are likely eligible for better rates elsewhere.

How to contact U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank encourages customers to make an appointment at a local branch with any questions, but you can also call 800-872-2657. If you have questions about your application, you can reach specialists at 800-479-4749 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. You can also use the U.S. Bank website or app to check the status of your application or manage your loan. 

Auto loan types offered

U.S. Bank offers loans for new and used cars and auto loan refinancing. You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000, and you can finance for up to 72 months. 

New and used vehicle loans

  • Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Terms: Up to 72 months
  • APR: starting at 7.26%

U.S. Bank offers loans for amounts anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. However, you’ll need to shop through a participating dealership. A starting rate of 7.61 percent is slightly above national averages surveyed by Bankrate. Borrowers financing a new car for 60 months had an average of 7.72 percent as of Dec. 13. 

Refinance

  • Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Terms: Up to 72 months 
  • APR: From 8.16%

In order to qualify for the best refinancing rate, U.S. Bank has a fairly strict credit score requirement — a score of 800 or higher needed. Consider how this would affect your potential rate and only sign off on a refi loan through U.S. Bank if you are confident in your credit history. Depending on your credit score you may be able to secure a better refi rate elsewhere. Autopay, for example, has a minimum of 4.67 percent — much lower than U.S Bank’s. Refinancing loans are also only available in 26 states. 

How to apply for a loan with U.S. Bank

You can apply for a loan with U.S. Bank online, by phone or at a branch, although if you want to use the preapproval process, you’ll need to complete your loan at a branch.

Applying online should take about five minutes. After you’ve submitted your application, U.S. Bank will review your application and potentially reach out regarding auto insurance and proof of income. From there, you should receive a credit decision within two hours.

Features and perks

Outside of the range of repayment terms and range of products offered by U.S Bank, the institution carries some additional perks to consider. If you are just starting your car shopping process, U.S Bank can assist you with finding the right car. U.S. Bank’s vehicle marketplace uses your location to present available vehicles in your area. Finally, U.S. bank account holders who agree to autopay will benefit from additional discounts. 

Fees and penalties

U.S. Bank enforces a prepayment penalty of 1 percent of the original loan amount if the account is closed within the first year. Outside of this, borrowers can expect to pay a title or registration fee that will vary based on their home state. 

U.S. Bank FAQs

How Bankrate rates U.S. Bank

Overall score 3.8
Availability 4.5 U.S. Bank has a relatively high minimum loan amount but a wide range of repayment options.
Affordability 2.8 U.S. Bank has a middling minimum APR and has several fees.
Customer experience 4.8 U.S. Bank caters to borrowers through a good online experience and a mobile app, though its customer service hours are limited.
Transparency 3 U.S. Bank shares available rates but doesn't offer prequalification.

Methodology 

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.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category. Lenders that serve customers nationwide with flexible loan amounts rank higher.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and most generous acceptance criteria receive higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at how easy it is for customers to apply for and manage their loans. Criteria include how long you have to shop, customer service hours, whether there’s an app and autopay availability.
  • Transparency: This includes prequalification and disclosure of rates and fees. We favored lenders that make it easy for customers to preview possible costs.

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 is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021. Through her writing, Rebecca aims to provide clarity and accessibility to the automotive loans industry as the cost to finance new and used vehicles continues to climb due to steep inflation.

Edited by Editor, Auto Loans