bank rates

Drive Into Summer With A 2.39% Car Loan

BB&T is offering some of early summer’s best deals on auto loans, with rates starting as low as 2.39% for 36-month financing on new cars and trucks in 13 states from Maryland to Texas.

That’s considerably lower than the national average of 36-month new

car loans, which is 4.31%, according to our national survey of lenders.

Borrow $15,000 for three years at 2.39%, and you’d pay about $432 per month. Finance the same amount at the national average of 4.31%, and the monthly payment would jump up to around $445 per month.

The lower rate from BB&T would save you $13 a month, which adds up to $468 over the course of the loan.

That’s leftover money that can be used to save and invest in a 401(k) retirement account or 529 college plan.

The bank is offering great deals on used-car loans as well with rates starting at 2.49% over three years.

Most lenders charge much higher rates for used-car financing. In fact, the average for preowned 36-month auto loans is currently 5.20%.

Having an idea of how much you’d pay for a loan at a bank or credit union means you can bargain better with a car dealer’s finance manager.

Either the dealer has to beat the loan terms, or you can go with BB&T for auto financing. Either way, you’ll know you’re getting a good deal.

You can use this auto loan calculator to help figure what your monthly payment would be for a new car or truck.

It’ll also help you see how the term and down payment will affect your monthly payment.

BB&T loans from $15,000 up to 100% of the purchase price of a new vehicle. For used vehicles, it’s the lesser of 100% of the purchase price or up to 130% of the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Clean Trade Value.

Loans are available in 12 states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia – and Washington, D.C., and BB&T says you might actually be charged less than the advertised rate in some areas.

The application process can be completed by visiting a branch or calling 1-888-LOAN-BBT.

You can use Bankrate’s database of the best auto loan rates to find deals from other lenders in your area. It can help you see if you could score a better deal from another source.

BB&T requires a minimum Beacon credit score of 700 with debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less to get these rates. (Beacon is the scoring system created by Equifax Credit Bureau. It’s similar, but not identical, to the better known FICO credit score.)

If you’re financing a new vehicle, it must have 12,000 miles or less and be the current or previous calendar year.

Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to put at least 20% down on a new car, even if it isn’t required. Then the instant depreciation of driving a new car off the lot won’t put you upside down in your car loan – you won’t end up owing more than the car is worth.

Indeed, that’s part of the 20/4/10 rule – a very useful way to figure out how much you can really afford to spend on a new car or truck. It says you should put at least 20% down on a vehicle, finance it for no more than four years and not let your total monthly vehicle expense exceed 10% of your gross income.

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