Bank of the West

Bank of the West

Bank of the West has been a strong, well-managed bank for more than 135 years. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has changed names many times since its founding in 1874. Today, the company operates more than 600 retail, wealth, commercial and business banking offices in 23 states and has more than $80.7 billion in assets.

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#3 5.6 10 Read Review
#15 3.5 -- Current

The Good

  • Up to 150 percent loan-to-value ratio
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Automatic payment discount
  • Loan terms between two and seven years

Up to 150 Percent Loan-to Value Ratio

Most auto finance companies have a 125 percent loan-to-value ratio that must be met in order to receive approval. Bank of the West, on the other hand, states that it allows up to a 150 percent loan-to-value ratio. This is especially advantageous if you have any negative equity that you are trying to roll into your new loan.

No Prepayment Penalties

According to Bank of the West's website, the company does not charge any prepayment penalties, which means that you can pay off your auto loan early without having to pay any extra fees.

Automatic Payment Discount

Bank of the West offers a 0.25 percent discount when you set up automatic payments from your Bank of the West checking account.

Loan Terms Between Two and Seven Years

You have the option of choosing a loan term between two and seven years when financing your vehicle with Bank of the West. Additionally, the company website states that its monthly rates are fixed.

The Bad

  • Minimum loan requirement
  • Bad credit loans not accepted
  • Timeframe for approval or rejection not disclosed
  • Hefty loan fees

Minimum Loan Requirement

Bank of the West has a minimum loan requirement of $5,500, which means that if you want to finance a vehicle that is cheaper than this, you will either have to take out an unsecured personal loan from Bank of the West, which has a higher APR, or find a different company to work with.

Bad Credit Loans Not Accepted

Bank of the West states on its website that it prefers that its customers have a credit score of 660 or higher in order to be approved for an auto loan. It is possible that the company will accept those with a lower credit score on a case-by-case basis, but this appears to not typically be the case.

Timeframe for Approval or Rejection Not Disclosed

You can apply for a car loan with Bank of the West online or over the phone. However, it is unclear how long it takes for you to receive a decision about whether or not your application was approved.

Hefty Loan Fees

Unfortunately, Bank of the West charges some hefty loan fees depending on which state you live in. For example, the company's loan fees range from $50 to $150 in all states except for Colorado and Iowa, where there is no loan fee.

The Bottom Line

Bank of the West offers a relatively high loan-to-value ratio, an automatic payment discount, and loan terms ranging from two to seven years. In addition, the company does not charge any prepayment penalties. However, Bank of the West does charge hefty loan fees in most states, does not appear to accept bad credit loans, has a semi-high minimum loan requirement, and has not disclosed an approval timeframe.

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