Citibank mortgage review: High-powered preapproval features for home seekers

A couple at their kitchen countertop look into Citibank mortgage using a laptop.Image: A couple at their kitchen countertop look into Citibank mortgage using a laptop.
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Citibank mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loans: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: Yes
  • Fixed rates: Yes (15 and 30 years)

Citibank is one of the largest commercial banks in the U.S., with more than 650 branches around the country.


  • Preapproval includes “commitment to lend”
  • Discounts for Citi customers
  • Offers jumbo loans for larger loan amounts


  • Must contact a loan officer to get started
  • Loan officers not available in all areas
  • Limited mortgage rate information available online

5 things to know about a Citi mortgage

1. Preapproval includes a commitment to lend

Getting preapproved for a mortgage usually gives you an idea of what you’ll qualify for, but doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get the loan. Citi says its preapproval program, called SureStart®, includes a “commitment to lend,” so you and the seller have more confidence that you’ll be able to close the loan.

2. Discounts for Citi customers

If you’re already a Citi customer, you may be eligible to get a lower interest rate or a credit toward your closing costs, saving you money. Even if you’re not currently a customer, you can open a Citi account as you apply and potentially qualify for the discounts. Eligible accounts include checking, savings as well as money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

You can get a closing cost discount with just a single dollar in your Citi account balance, while you’d need at least $50,000 in your Citi account to get an interest rate reduction.

3. Some mortgage rate information available online

Being able to see current mortgage rates online helps you when you’re researching mortgage lenders that might work for you. Citi offers its current rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages online. Take note that the basic mortgage rates displayed at the site are subject to change and based on a specific location. If you’d prefer, you may request a custom rate. Doing so requires a loan officer to contact you.

4. Must contact a loan officer to get started

Citi doesn’t offer a completely online mortgage process. You won’t be able to jump straight into preapproval or an application. Instead, you’ll need to fill out a contact form to have a loan officer call you to get started, or call in yourself.

5. Loan officers not available in all areas

If you’re hoping for in-person service, Citi might not be the best option for you. Citi branches and mortgage officers are only available in limited areas, often in big cities.

Who is a Citi loan good for?

If you live in a hot housing market, it can be difficult to compete with all-cash offers. That makes Citi’s preapproval feature potentially attractive. Citi says its preapproval is a commitment to lend, something other lenders may not promise — though it’s notable that there’s little information beyond that available online.

A Citibank mortgage could also be good for people who already have accounts with the bank, or who are looking to switch banks and feel that Citi could be a good fit. Having an account with Citi can give you a discount on closing costs or even a reduction in your mortgage’s interest rate.

How to apply for a Citibank mortgage

To apply for a mortgage with Citi, you’ll first need to send in your contact information to have a loan officer call you, or call the bank yourself. Your loan officer will help guide you through the rest of the process of applying for a mortgage. This may begin by going through Citi’s SureStart preapproval program, which includes a commitment to lend where applicable.

Once you’ve found a home and are ready to formally apply for your mortgage, you can expect the application to take around 30 minutes. After that, it typically takes between 30 and 60 days to close on the loan.

Citi recommends having the following documents at the ready to speed the application process:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 tax forms
  • Tax returns for the past two years
  • Details of your employment for the past two years
  • Bank statements

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

If you want to compare rates with several lenders or your application is denied, keep in mind that you have a window of time where multiple hard credit inquiries by lenders only count as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Bank of America: If you appreciate the long track record of a big bank, Bank of America might also be worth a look. Bank of America offers closing cost assistance and down payment grants for borrowers who qualify.
  • Rocket Mortgage: If you prefer an online mortgage application, Rocket Mortgage could work for you. Like Citi, Rocket Mortgage also has an amped-up preapproval program that could help you with your offer.

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles,… Read more.