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Offering the benefits of large, established brick-and-mortar lending institutions, both U.S. Bank and PNC Bank offer vehicle financing, refinancing and lease buyouts. These publicly traded lenders both rank in the Fortune 500.
With more than 2,000 branch locations across the United States and annual revenue in the billions, industry giant U.S. Bank offers an impressive range of loan amounts and repayment terms.
PNC, established over 170 years ago, balances traditional service through its 2,600-plus branch locations with a range of mobile banking apps that cater to customers virtually. For customers seeking balanced customer service both in person and online, PNC offers strength in both areas.
U.S. Bank vs. PNC Bank at a glance
These lenders offer similar interest rates but differing incentives that make each an attractive option for borrowers depending on their qualifications and priorities.
|Loans offered||New and used vehicle loans, refinancing, lease buyouts||New vehicle loans, used vehicle loans (dealer or private party), refinancing, lease buyouts|
|APRs||From 8.06%||6.84%-18.14% with autopay discount|
|Loan term lengths||12-72 months||12-72 months|
|Fees||Prepayment penalty if you close your account within one year (1% of original loan, minimum of $50 and maximum of $100).||No prepayment penalty|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified||Not specified|
|State footprint||All states (refi available in 26 states)||29 states|
|Time to funding||Not specified||As soon as 1 business day|
|Autopay discount?||Yes, 0.5%||Yes, 0.25%|
|Refinancing requirements||Vehicle age: Model year 2014 or newerMileage: Under 80,000 or 100,000, depending on credit score||Vehicle age: 8 years old or newerMileage: Under 80,000|
U.S. Bank auto loans
Whether you are looking to finance your teenage driver’s first used car or a luxury vehicle for yourself, U.S. Bank offers auto loans and auto loan refinancing to suit a variety of needs. You don’t need a specific vehicle identification number to apply for preapproval, so you may scope out this lender before knowing exactly what you are shopping for.
Customers who already use U.S. Bank have a juicy incentive on auto loans: a 0.5 percent interest annual percentage rate (APR) discount for those who set up autopay from a U.S. Bank checking account. However, eligibility criteria for these loans are more restrictive than auto financing through many other lenders.
- Flexibility in preapproval: You can get preapproved before choosing a specific vehicle, helping you set your shopping budget. U.S. Bank isn’t the only lender that allows this, but it’s a nice perk.
- Customizable loans: A wide range of loan amounts and term lengths make this lender a strong option for borrowers with widely different circumstances.
- Autopay discount: U.S. Bank’s interest rates are squarely average. But this discount may give this lender an edge when you’re comparison shopping, especially if you already have a U.S. Bank account.
- Best rates for existing customers: Borrowers who do not otherwise use U.S. Bank may miss out on the most competitive rate offerings.
- Strict eligibility for low rates: You’ll need a credit score of at least 800 to qualify for U.S. Bank’s lowest interest rate. But those with excellent credit may qualify for better rates elsewhere — the national average for those with prime credit score is 6.88 percent for new vehicles.
- Prepayment penalty: An early closure fee may penalize borrowers who look to aggressively pay down debt.
PNC Bank auto loans
Earning Bankrate’s badge for best 2023 auto loan from a bank, PNC’s competitive rates and swift financing make it a strong option for borrowers. With both physical and virtual customer service, PNC marries the strength of an industry giant with digital-age agility.
PNC offers numerous branches across 29 U.S. states. At the same time, digital tools help car borrowers with PNC to maximize the speed and convenience of online banking.
- Online and in-person resources: Borrowers benefit from both a national network of brick-and-mortar banking branches and a full suite of mobile banking tools.
- Car-shopping tool: The PNC Total Auto program helps borrowers locate a vehicle that fits their needs and budget, helping lenders both find and finance their car in one place. PNC partners with TrueCar to offer this service, as do other lenders, such as Consumers Credit Union.
- Speedy funding: This lender’s “Check Ready” offering allows borrowers to bypass visiting a physical banking location, instead overnighting them a check for up to $75,000 to shop with at qualifying dealerships.
- High minimum loan amount: You’ll need to borrow at least $7,500 whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, which may limit borrowers for whom PNC’s auto loans are the best fit. Additionally, refinancing loans require your car to be under 9 years old and 80,000 miles — many lenders set the limits at 10 years and 100,000 miles.
- Branch visits sometimes required: Customers who want to purchase a car from a private party will need to visit a banking branch to complete the financing process.
- Unclear eligibility requirements: PNC’s credit score and income requirements aren’t posted online. Because PNC doesn’t offer prequalification in all states, you may need to submit to a hard credit check to discover whether you qualify.
How to choose between U.S. Bank and PNC Bank
In short, U.S. Bank offers a wider range of loan amounts, with lower minimums and higher maximums. Consumers who feel that in-person service and cutting-edge online tools are equally important to their auto loan experience may appreciate PNC’s strength in both arenas.
Choose U.S. Bank if you are financing more than $75,000
With an advertised upper limit of $100,000, U.S. Bank may be the best fit for auto loan shoppers who are looking to finance more expensive vehicles. Though PNC provides loans of up to $100,000, borrowers exceeding $75,000 in financing can’t participate in the Check Ready program and must apply through a separate process.
Choose PNC Bank for competitive interest rates
Of the two lenders, PNC offers better interest rates. Customers who need a traditional bank with physical locations — but who are also shopping for an inexpensive loan — may find a better deal at PNC. You’ll likely need excellent credit to qualify for PNC’s best rates, along with a PNC account you can use to enable autopay for the 0.25 percent rate discount.
Compare more lenders before applying
When comparing auto loans through U.S. Bank and PNC, it is important to also consider other lenders, including those that operate exclusively online. Though traditional banks offer their own unique benefits — including in-person customer service — alternative lenders may offer lower interest rates or more flexible repayment terms.