Having a pre-approval letter for an auto loan in hand when you head to the dealership can give you a valuable bargaining advantage. While some loan providers require you to have already found the vehicle you want to buy before applying, U.S. Bank does things differently.
With a U.S. Bank auto loan, you can get pre-approved while you’re still shopping for that ideal car. This is just one of the many benefits that U.S. Bank loans offer.
U.S. Bank Auto Loans Review
U.S. Bank, established in 1863, has evolved into one of the largest banks in the country. Today, this financial institution offers a diverse range of services such as personal credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and auto loans.
Moreover, this bank provides more flexibility in terms of financing options by enabling you to apply for loans that can be used at any dealership you prefer, unlike some other lenders who limit your choices. Additionally, if you are considering purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you can also avail yourself of U.S. Bank’s auto loan options for private sales.
U.S. Bank Auto Loan Application Requirements
When you’re ready to apply for a loan, you’ll need the following information:
- Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Driver’s license, state ID, or military ID
- Employment information and annual gross income
- Year, make, model, and estimated value of the car you’ll be buying
Although U.S. Bank requires applicants to have “good credit,” it does not specify a minimum credit score, leaving it open to interpretation. Generally, a higher credit rating translates to a more favorable interest rate. Therefore, if you’re seeing a bad credit auto loan, U.S. Bank may not be the best choice for you.
To apply for a U.S. Bank auto loan, you will need to provide information about the specific vehicle you plan to purchase. However, if you’re still in the process of shopping for a car, U.S. Bank also offers a pre-approval process, which can help you gain a better understanding of your financing options.
By obtaining pre-approval, you can determine how much money you’ll be able to borrow and what your monthly payments will look like. Armed with this knowledge, you can focus your search on cars that fit within your budget.
Types of Auto Loans Available Through U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank provides auto loans for both new and used cars, regardless of whether you purchase from a dealership or an individual seller. Loans are available starting at a minimum of $3,000, up to a maximum of $100,000. Loan terms begin at 12 months, but the best interest rates can be obtained with a 36-month term.
Besides new loans, U.S. Bank offers auto loan refinancing as well. Refinancing your current loan can lead to a lower interest rate, which can save you money and reduce your monthly payments, depending on the loan term.
For those considering leasing a car, U.S. Bank offers AutoPay, which guarantees timely payments for your lease. AutoPay can also be used in conjunction with your U.S. Bank loan. By enrolling in AutoPay, your payments will be made automatically, in full, and on time, helping you maintain a good credit score while avoiding any late payment penalties or fees.
U.S. Bank Fees and Rates
At the writing of this article, U.S. Bank is offering auto loan rates starting at 2.59% APR, which are based on a 36-month new or used car loan of at least $10,000. The loan-to-value of the car is 80% or less.
According to U.S. Bank, your loan may incur a higher interest rate if:
- You’re financing a car that’s more than six years old
- You want to finance an amount that’s less than $10,000
- You’re buying a vehicle from a private seller, rather than a dealer
In addition, U.S. Bank auto loans also carry many fees:
- If you don’t set up automatic payments from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account, U.S. Bank will add 0.50% to your loan base rate.
- If the vehicle you buy is seven to nine years old, your base rate will increase by 1.0%.
- If you buy a vehicle from a private seller, your base rate will increase by 0.50%.
Additionally, if you pay your loan off early and close it within a year, you’ll face early prepayment fees. These fees are 1% of your original loan amount, with a $50 minimum and $100 maximum. There may also be a title registration fee, depending on your state of residence.
U.S. Bank Auto Loan Reviews
U.S. Bank’s auto loans have garnered a range of reviews from customers, some of whom have lauded the institution for its competitive interest rates and friendly service. Satisfied customers have also expressed appreciation for the bank’s easy-to-use online application process and the variety of resources available for loan management.
However, others have voiced their dissatisfaction with the bank’s services. Complaints have centered around lengthy wait times and unhelpful customer service representatives, as well as the institution’s rigorous credit requirements and costly fees. Some customers have also reported being burdened with high interest rates and supplementary charges on their loans.
Although the Better Business Bureau (BBB) currently accords U.S. Bank an ‘A+’ rating, it is important to note that this evaluation pertains to the bank as a whole and not specifically to its auto loan division.
U.S. Bank Auto Loan Application Process
If you’re still shopping for that perfect car, you can complete a pre-approval with U.S. Bank online. With their easy online pre-approval process, you can be one step closer to driving off in your dream car.
In just five minutes, you can complete the pre-approval application without needing to provide any specific car details. Soon after, you’ll receive a confirmation letter with your pre-approved loan amount, so you can shop with confidence.
The pre-approval process includes a hard credit inquiry, which may temporarily reduce your credit score by a few points. However, once you’ve found the perfect car, applying for a loan is simple and convenient. Apply online during business hours, and you could receive a response in as little as two hours.
U.S. Bank understands that getting an auto loan can be a daunting task, which is why they offer loans starting at just $3,000. This is a lower minimum than what many other banks and loan providers offer.
While the auto loan preapproval process does involve a hard credit check, it’s a great way to gain insight into what you can afford and help you narrow down your car search. With preapproval, you can confidently focus on cars that fit within your budget, and even use the letter as leverage to negotiate with car dealerships.
Additionally, U.S. Bank’s auto loan calculator is a helpful tool that enables you to estimate your monthly payments. You can easily adjust the loan balance and term to find the financing options that work best for your unique financial situation.
The rates offered by U.S. Bank are competitive and comparable to those of other auto loan lenders and car dealerships. So, a U.S. Bank auto loan may be a good fit for you if you:
- Have a good credit history
- Don’t plan to pay off your car loan early
- Have or are willing to set up a U.S. Bank account to make payments
- Want to get details on loan rates while still having the flexibility to shop around
You’ll get the best interest rates on a U.S. Bank auto loan if you:
- Borrow over $10,000
- Buy from a dealer
- Repay the loan in 36 months or less
- Make a down payment on the vehicle
As with any loan, it’s important to carefully read and understand the terms of your U.S. Bank loan. These auto loans do carry some additional fees that can increase your monthly car payments. Be sure that you understand the types of car loans with the lowest interest rates, and make sure that these loans work well for you.
Check out our other auto loan reviews below to continue exploring your options.