KeyBank auto loans review: Auto-payment discount for bank customers

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In a Nutshell

KeyBank offers auto loans at competitive interest rates and an automatic-payment discount for qualifying bank customers. But if you want to pay off your loan ahead of schedule, you’ll be responsible for the prepayment penalty.

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Pros Cons
Competitive starting APR for those who qualify Prepayment penalty
Ability to finance from 12 to 72 months depending on the loan amount $5,000 minimum loan
Automatic-payment discount for existing customers Only offered in 15 states

What you need to know about KeyBank auto loans

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyBank offers new, used and refinance auto loans to people in 15 states. If you’re a current KeyBank customer and are able to lock in an auto loan discount, this may be an option worth considering. Here are some of the KeyBank auto loan features that stand out.

Range of car loan options

Key Banks’s auto loan offerings include the following:

  • Loan for a new car, boat, RV or motorcycle
  • Loan for a used car, boat, RV or motorcycle
  • Refinance your current auto loan

Competitive starting APRs

Compared to other lenders, KeyBank offers competitive interest rates for those who qualify. While KeyBank doesn’t specify lending requirements, lenders typically offer their most-favorable rates to applicants with higher credit scores, long and successful credit histories, and low debt-to-income ratio.

In addition to competitive interest rates, KeyBank offers an interest rate discount of 0.25% percentage points to KeyBank customers who participate in the optional automatic-payment deduction plan. Automatic payments must be established by using either a qualifying KeyBank checking account or savings account.

But even if you’re eligible for the interest rate discount, it’s wise to shop around for the best available rate that matches your credit history and financial situation. Keep in mind, this lender doesn’t offer a prequalification application — so if you apply, the bank will pull your credit reports, which will temporarily lower your credit scores.

If you want to shop for the best interest rates without affecting your credit scores, you should start with lenders that use a soft credit inquiry to estimate what you may be eligible for. 

Only offered in 15 states

KeyBank only offers loans for those living in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont or Washington. If you live elsewhere, you’ll have to find another lending option.

Early-prepayment penalty

If you decide to repay your total loan amount within 18 months of your loan agreement, KeyBank will charge a $150 early-prepayment fee. So before you pay off your loan early, calculate whether the additional payment offsets the savings in interest.

A closer look at KeyBank auto loans

Here are some of the finer details to know when comparing KeyBank with other auto lenders.

Is a KeyBank auto loan the right fit for you?

A KeyBank auto loan is worth considering if you’re already a customer. For people who don’t like the hassle of dealing with multiple financial institutions, having your banking and auto accounts serviced by one bank could help streamline your money-management efforts. And you may also be able to take advantage of the automatic-payment discount.

It’s wise to find lenders who offer prequalification so you can check your estimated rates and terms beforehand. But if you want to shop around without affecting your credit scores, KeyBank isn’t for you. That’s because the lender conducts a hard credit inquiry, which can negatively affect your credit scores.

How to apply for a loan from KeyBank

You can choose where you apply, either online, over the phone or at one of the bank’s branches. Take note: If you already have an account with KeyBank, you can log in as a current online banking user. But if you’re not an existing bank customer, you’ll have to provide personal information like your address, Social Security number, identification, employment status and date of birth. You’ll also want to indicate if you have a co-signer.

If you’re approved, a bank representative will contact you with your loan offer. If you’re not approved, you’ll receive a notification in the mail within seven to 10 business days with a reason.

Not sure if KeyBank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re considering purchasing a new or used car or motorcycle, KeyBank offers competitive interest rates and an automatic-payment interest rate discount. But if you plan to pay off your loan early, watch out for the prepayment penalty.

If you’re not sure whether a KeyBank auto loan is right for you, here are some other options to consider.


About the author: Ashley Chorpenning is a personal finance writer and content creator. In addition to being a contributing writer at Credit Karma, she writes for solo entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 compani… Read more.