BMW Financial Services
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BMW financial services has been offering auto loans to Americans since 1975. BMW vehicles are legendary for quality and performance—but how does their loan service stack up in comparison?

The Basics

The Financial Services arm of BMW offers financing and leases for BMW vehicles. Headquarters are in New Jersey, but residents of all 50 states can take advantage of this loan provider. Auto loans start around 0.9% APR rate, depending on credit score, and the longest loan term that BMW Financial Services offers is 72 months. They do allow you to pay off loans early. However, you will incur a prepayment fee if you do so.

Late payments do have a penalty fee, and there is also a loan origination fee to be paid. The minimum credit score you need to be eligible with BMW is 650, and loans are available to anyone over the age of 18 who has proof of citizenship or residence permit.

But, How Do BMW Financial Services Stack Up?

Although BMW financial services have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, they have incurred an unusually high number of complaints. In the last three years, there have been a total of 209 complaints, and only 56 of them have been closed in the last year.

Billings and Collections

The vast majority of these complaints are about billings and collection issues. These complaints range from unauthorized withdrawals from customer bank accounts to liens being put on vehicles by mistake and refunds that never appear.

Examples

In one complaint, where two overpayments had not been refunded despite multiple contacts by the customer, BMW Financial Services responded to the complaint with the worrying statement that it is “it is our policy not to refund payments that are more than 45 days old…any refund issued…is done as a courtesy to our customers.”

This is worrying precisely because the vast majority of complaints against the institution involve a difficulty reaching anyone helpful in their billing and financial department, even after multiple attempts to make contact. This makes it unlikely a customer could get a response within a limited timeframe. A number of the complaints lodged with the BBB report BMW Financial Services taking payments—or adding on unexplained or extra fees after vehicles are paid off or leases ended.

Product or Service

The other large category of complaints lodged against BMW with the BBB regard problems with service or with the product. These are not complaints about the vehicles, but complaints about service received in the process of loan application, leasing, or resolution. The same complaints turn up on Yelp, where BMW Financial Services’ rating remains at 1.5 stars, and customer complaints of poor service and deceptive financial practices abound.

The Upshot

BMW makes some of the finest cars in the world, but as frequent complaints with the Better Business Bureau and on sites like Yelp and Supermoney make clear, BMW Financial Services do not offer the same level of quality as their vehicles. At least among those who contact the BBB or leave a review on Yelp, there is a lot of regret about using this service.

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