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Citizens Bank Personal Loan Review
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What is Citizens Bank?
Citizens Bank began as a small community bank in 1871. It was founded as Citizens Savings Bank by High Street Bank, and grew to 29 locations in and around the Rhode Island area by 1981. In 1988, Citizens Bank became a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBS Group. Over the next several decades, after continued growth and strategic acquisition of other financial institutions across the country, Citizens Bank decided to strike out on its own as a stand-alone, publicly traded bank under the name Citizens Financial Group Inc. in 2015.
Citizens Bank strives to have a customer-centric culture and a mindset of continuous improvement. It has received several awards, including:
- Best Bank in the Northeast for College Students by MONEY® Magazine in 2018
- Top Bank for Customer Experience by Temkin Experience Ratings in 2018
- Best Treasury and Cash Management Bank in the Northeast and Great Lakes Region by Global Finance in 2018
Citizens Bank sets itself apart by focusing on building strong relationships with its customers, colleagues and shareholders. It values thinking ahead and working together to find the best solution for you not just right now but for the long term.
Citizens Bank personal loan highlights
- No fees: Citizens Bank has a “no fees ever” policy attached to its personal loans. It also doesn’t require collateral to get a loan.
- Quick response: Citizens Bank offers electronic signing and uploading of documents and a quick approval process to get you the funds you need ASAP. Once approved, you can receive the funds as quickly as two business days.
- Customizable loan options: Choose your loan term (between three and seven years) to determine a monthly payment that fits your financial plan.
- Interest rate discounts: Its Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Benefit can earn you up to 0.25 percentage points off, respectively.
|Citizens Bank Personal Loan Details|
|Terms||Fees and Penalties|
|● Term lengths: 36 to 84 months
● APR range: 7.99% to 20.88%
● Loan amounts: $5,000 to $50,000
● Time to funding: Minimum 2 business days
● Credit check: Hard
|● Origination fee: None
● Prepayment fee: None
● Late payment fee: None
● Other fees: None
Citizens Bank product details
Citizens Bank offers several unique features for personal loan borrowers. First and foremost, it offers a rate quote before you complete the loan process, which can help you to determine what interest rate you can expect to pay over the life of your loan. Additionally, if you aren’t ready to apply but want to get an idea of interest rate ranges or monthly payments, it has created a rate and repayment example calculator that allows you to explore your options with Citizens Bank before applying.
There is no prepayment penalty if you choose to pay your Citizens Bank personal loan back early. In fact, it prides itself in being a no-fee lender — meaning there is no origination fee, prepayment fee or application fee.
Citizens Bank also has a number of benefits available to borrowers. It offers two different interest rate discounts, including its Loyalty Discount program (0.25 percentage points off your rate) and its Automatic Payment Benefit (0.25 percentage points off your rate). Citizens Bank also offers active-duty military service members custom repayment benefits depending on each individual’s situation.
- Minimum credit score: Not specified
- Minimum credit history: “Reasonably strong”
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified
It does have a few other eligibility requirements to keep in mind, including:
- Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico
- You must have reached the age of majority in your state of residence
- You must have a minimum income of $24,000 a year
Applying for a personal loan from Citizens Bank
If you’re interested in borrowing from Citizens Bank, you can start the application on its website by clicking here. It requires that you complete a personal information application and set up an application account. This is largely so that you can check the status of your application or loan at a later date. You will need to decide whether you want to apply as an individual or with a co-applicant. If you choose to apply with a co-applicant, you will need personal and financial information for both of you.
Citizens Bank will need your personal information if you don’t already have an account set up with it. This includes:
- Social Security number
- Phone number
Then, it’ll ask you for general information about your finances and your purpose for requesting the loan. These questions include:
- Your gross annual income
- Other annual income
- Employment status
- Loan amount
- Purpose for loan
You’ll then be able to customize your loan terms (repayment timeline) and submit your application for review. Citizens Bank may need supporting documents depending on the information you’ve submitted, such as bank statements or employment records. If you say you already have an account with Citizens Bank in another capacity, that is also subject to verification. Citizens Bank provides credit reviews quickly, often moving you through the application to receiving your funds in two business days.
|Pros and Cons of a Citizens Bank Personal Loan|
|● No fees: Too often, lenders have high fees attached with prepaying your loan, or applying for the loan in the first place. Citizens Bank is fee-free.
● Quick response and funding: Citizens Bank often takes two business days to move you through the application approval process to funding, which is helpful if you need cash ASAP.
● Easy application: Its applications are done entirely online. You can check the status of your loan or application through your online account.
● Customizable terms: You can pick the repayment term for your loan based on what works best for you.
|● Low borrowing amount: Citizens Bank personal loans max out at $50,000, which isn’t perfect if you need to borrow for a bigger purchase.
● No clear credit requirements: Although its loan estimating calculator does bottom out at a credit score of 680, there’s no clear credit requirements listed for eligibility.
● Minimum income requirement. Citizens Bank has a minimum income requirement of $24,000 a year. For some people looking for a loan to get them through a period of unemployment, this may not work.
Who’s the best fit for a Citizens Bank personal loan?
People who are looking to borrow a modest amount through a personal loan (between $5,000 and $50,000), have a solid credit history and want to be able to adjust their loan terms are likely going to find a good fit in Citizens Bank. Additionally, if a borrower needs funds quickly, Citizens Bank has a fast approval and funding timeline (usually two to seven business days) that meets the needs of many borrowers who need their loan funds ASAP.
Citizens Bank is also a good fit for people who want to avoid fees or are interested in prepaying their loan without getting hit with a penalty. Its fee-free lending model is incredibly convenient, and its online application process makes applying for and securing your loan easy and straightforward.
But Citizens Bank isn’t for everyone. Its fixed APR rates mean that your interest rate won’t fluctuate over the life of your loan. This can be positive because your APR won’t increase over time, but it also means that it won’t decrease, so you can always expect to have the same monthly loan repayments due. Citizens Bank also has a helpful loan calculator, but the calculator bottoms out at a credit score of 680 — and the lowest APR it lists is 7.99% (for a three-year loan of any amount with a 780-plus credit score). If your credit score is lower than 680, there’s a chance you may not qualify to borrow from Citizens Bank, or your APR may be notably higher than examples listed.
Keep in mind that when you’re looking for a personal loan, it can pay to shop around. LendingTree’s personal loan rate list — and its personal loan finder and comparison tool — can make it easy. Borrowers looking to simplify their search can simply plug in their desired loan amount, some information about their financial situation and location, and potentially get matched with offers that are personalized to them in a matter of minutes.
Alternative personal loan options
- APR: 7.16%–29.99%
- Credit requirements: 640 minimum
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
- Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%
RocketLoans often sends funds the same day for applications completed, and you can borrow up to $45,000. It boasts a fast preapproval process with no prepayment penalties. It offers a 0.50% discount with autopay. But it does have an origination fee, which Citizens Bank does not.
- APR: From 5.99% up to 35.99%
- Credit requirements: 700 minimum
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
- Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%
Best Egg has a lower credit requirement than many lenders, and you can see what rate it’s able to secure for your loan with a soft credit pull. It has fast funding and good interest rates. But it does require an origination fee, and its loan terms aren’t as flexible as some other lenders.
- APR: 6.99%–22.23%
- Credit requirements: 680 minimum
- Terms: 24 to 84 months
- Origination fee: None
SoFi is a popular lender, and for good reason. Its preapproval process is quick, it has no origination fee and its APR range is relatively low. But it can be strict with its approval process to offer these various benefits to borrowers.