Ameris Bank Auto Loan Review
Known as the Lion Bank since its merger with Fidelity Southern Corp., Ameris Bank offers a wide range of vehicle loans covering cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, motorcycles and RVs. If you had an auto loan with Fidelity Bank, you’ll now make your car loan payments to Ameris. If you’re interested in opening an auto loan with Ameris, you can apply at a branch in one of eight Southeastern or Mid-Atlantic states, but with little public information, you’ll find that competitors are much more transparent.
- How Ameris auto loans work
- How to apply for an Ameris auto loan
- How to pay your Fidelity Bank or Ameris auto loan
- Is an Ameris auto loan worth it?
How Ameris auto loans work
Ameris Bank offers loans for new and used vehicles, but it doesn’t offer auto refinance. The advantage of an Ameris loan is that it could be used for a variety of vehicles, but the biggest disadvantage is not knowing what interest rate you will receive until you apply.
An Ameris spokesperson declined to provide information on the bank’s auto loan APRs, amounts and terms, which makes it difficult to compare rates with other lenders. To give you an idea, the average APR for a new 60-month car loan is 5.37%, according to the Federal Reserve.
How to apply for an Ameris auto loan
To apply for an Ameris auto loan:
- Gather documents. You might need to take your driver’s license or ID card with you.
- Visit a branch. You have to apply in-person at one of Ameris’ branches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia. Here’s the branch locator.
- Complete the application. A bank representative will help you complete the application.
Afterwards, you’ll hear about the status of your loan within one business day.
How to pay your Fidelity Bank or Ameris auto loan
An Ameris or Fidelity Bank auto loan payment can be made:
- Online. The Ameris Bank online auto payment site will accept payments up to $2,500. To log in, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, loan number, address, email and ZIP code.
- In person. Any branch could accept an auto loan payment.
- By night deposit at a branch. Payment would go towards your account on the next business day.
- By mail. You could mail a payment to Ameris Bank Atlanta Loan Center at P.O. Box 105690, Atlanta, Georgia 30348
- With automatic bill pay. You could set up your bank account at another financial institution to make an automatic payment on your auto loan.
What if I had a Fidelity auto loan? Fidelity Bank auto loans were transitioned to Ameris on Nov. 4, 2019. Automatic auto loan payments established with an authorization agreement didn’t have to be updated. If you made automatic payments on your Fidelity auto loan from another financial institution, you should have received notification on how to ensure your payments would continue.
How do I make an auto loan payoff? First, find out how much you still owe by going online, calling 833-875-2277 or visiting a branch, and then you can make the payment as appropriate. If you’re looking for the payoff amount because you want to refinance your auto loan, you’ll need to contact your local branch and request in writing that the payoff amount be sent to the third party.
Other questions? Call Ameris Bank customer service at 866-616-6020 or email [email protected].
Is an Ameris auto loan worth it?
Because Ameris declines to share rates, terms or even auto loan amounts, it’s hard to weigh the pros and cons. Former Fidelity Bank customers may not have a choice — if your auto loan was through Fidelity, it is now part of Ameris, which may have you wondering whether you should stay. There has been one complaint about the transition filed through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as of publication.
Existing customers. If you already bank with Ameris, the potential convenience of having your bank be your loan provider could make an application worth it. Whatever you do, shopping around for your auto loan is probably your best bet for getting the lowest rate auto loan.
Potential lenders include your bank, credit union, online lender and auto manufacturer. You could also fill out LendingTree’s online form and get up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.