bank rates

PNC Car Loans Start At 2.34% For 5 Years

PNC Bank has some of February’s best deals on car loans with rates as low as 2.34% APR for five years.

Although that’s one-tenth of a point higher than PNC was offering last summer, it’s still way below the current national average for new-car loans – 4.07% for 60 months, according to our latest national survey of lenders.

If you borrow $20,000 for 60 months at the national average rate of 4.07%, the monthly payment would be about $369.

But if you finance the same amount at the PNC Bank rate of 2.34% for a five-year loan, your payment would drop to about $354.

That may not sound like a lot. But over the life of the loan it will save you $900.

Go ahead and search Bankrate’s database of the best auto loan rates from dozens of other lenders in your area to see if you can find a lower rate.

If you do, you’ll know you’re getting a very good deal.

You can use this auto loan calculator to determine what your monthly payment will be for pretty much any financing.

Beyond a low rate, PNC has also a blank check program called PNC Check Ready.

When you’re approved for financing, you’ll get a PNC check that you can take to the dealer. You can write the check for up to the approved auto loan amount after you pick out your vehicle and agree on a price.

Getting preapproved for a loan, and having an idea of how much you’d pay, allows you to negotiate more effectively with a car dealer’s finance manager.

If he or she can beat PNC’s rate, then you know you’re driving home with a serious bargain. If not, you’ve got PNC’s check in your pocket and are ready to close the sale.

PNC offers new-car loans from $7,500 to $50,000, but to qualify for the best interest rates, you must borrow at least $15,000. PNC is offering these loans in the 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) where it has more than 2,700 branches.

(Just for the record, those states are: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.)

You can apply at a branch, online or by phone.

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.

If you’re in the hunt for a new auto, read 5 simple steps to the best deal on a new car or truck to shop smart.

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