Bank of America is offering cheap car loans

Bank of America is offering good deals on auto loans this fall, with rates starting as low as 2.34% APR on 60-month financing for new cars and trucks.

That's what you'll pay if you have a checking or savings account at the nation's second-largest bank. If not, you'll be charged a slightly higher 2.49% APR.

Both of those rates are considerably lower than the national average for 60-month loans — 4.02% APR, according to our latest survey of major lenders.

Borrow $25,000 for five years at 2.49%, and you’d pay $444 a month. Finance the same amount at the national average of 4.02%, and the monthly payment would jump to $461 a month.

Over the course of the loan, you'd save just over $1,000 in interest charges.

What really got our attention are the bank’s used car loans. You can borrow money to buy preowned autos and trucks for as little as 2.49% APR over five years with the customer discount, or 2.64% APR for non-account holders.

Most lenders charge much higher rates for used-car financing. In fact, our survey average for preowned auto loans is currently 4.73% APR. And that’s just for three years.

Search our database of the best auto loan ratesfrom dozens of other lenders in your area to see if you can find a better deal.

Then, you can use our auto loan calculator to help you budget your monthly payment.

These loans are only available for vehicles sold through new-car dealers, and you'll need good credit to qualify for the lowest interest rates. You have the best chance of qualifying if your FICO credit score is in the mid-700s and up.

You can apply online at Bank of America and receive a decision in as little as 60 seconds. There is no loan documentation fee.

Knowing about a deal like this makes it much easier to judge any loan you're offered by a dealer's finance manager.

If he or she can beat Bank of America’s terms, then you’ll know you negotiated a real bargain. If not, you can go with the bank’s offer.

If you're planning to buy a new car soon, our 5 simple steps to the best deal on a new car or truck can help you shop with confidence.

If you’re shopping for a preowned car, follow our 10 smart moves for buying a used car to help you avoid costly traps.