Citizens Bank personal loan review: Interest rate discounts, no late fees

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In a Nutshell

Personal loans with Citizens Bank come with no application, origination or late fees. And you get an opportunity to get two interest rate discounts. But qualifying may be tough unless you have a reasonably strong credit history.

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Citizens Bank isn’t taking new online personal loan applications at this time. If you want to explore other options, check out our recommendations for the best personal loans from banks.

Pros Cons
No application, origination or late fees No small-dollar loans
Interest rate discounts $24,000 minimum-income requirement
  “Reasonably strong” credit history requirement

What you need to know about personal loans with Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank personal loans are designed for people with reasonably strong credit who want to borrow at least $5,000 and don’t want to worry about upfront or one-off fees, such as an application fee or late fees.

The lender doesn’t have an online application for borrowers who live in the 11 states where it has branches, so you’ll have to contact a local branch or call a customer service number if you’d like to apply.

High loan minimum

Citizens Bank offers unsecured personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. That means you’ll have to look elsewhere if you need just a few thousand dollars or less.

If you need to borrow a large amount, Citizens Bank won’t be a good fit either. But there are other personal loan lenders that offer maximum loan amounts of $30,000 or more, so it’s worth shopping around.

But if Citizens Bank’s loan amounts fit your needs, know that the lender’s repayment terms are relatively flexible, ranging from three to seven years.

Generous rate discounts, fewer fees

Fixed interest rates with Citizens Bank are relatively competitive and can include up to two discounts. The first is an autopay discount, which gives you a small percentage off your rate just by setting up automatic payments.

The second is a loyalty discount, which can give you an additional small percentage off your rate for having another qualifying account with Citizens Bank when you apply. Eligible accounts include any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, auto loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card, student loan or other personal loan.

And unlike with some other lenders, personal loans with Citizens Bank have no application, late or annual fees. You may find that some other lenders also charge origination fees, which they typically deduct from your loan funds.

Somewhat high eligibility requirements

Citizens Bank doesn’t specify a minimum credit requirement, but you will need to have what the bank calls a “reasonably strong” credit history to get approved. There’s also a minimum income requirement of $24,000.

If you don’t qualify on your own, you can apply with a co-signer. The loan terms will be based on the higher of your and your co-signer’s FICO® scores. If you don’t know your credit score range, it’s a good idea to check before applying for a loan, so that you have an idea of where you stand.

A closer look at Citizens Bank personal loans

Citizens Bank dates back to 1828 (as High Street Bank), and its branch network is primarily in the northeastern United States.

Here are a few other important details to know.

  • Potentially fast funding — If you get approved, you can receive your loan funds quickly — sometimes within two business days — as a deposit into your U.S. bank account.
  • Eligibility requirements — To apply, you’ll need to be the “age of majority” in your state (typically 18 years old), a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and have a Social Security number.
  • Loan uses — You can use the funds for such things as debt consolidation, home renovation, weddings, vacations, recreational vehicles and more.

Who is a Citizens Bank personal loan good for?

Because personal loans with Citizens Bank come with minimal fees, they’re a great option for many uses. They can be especially sensible for debt consolidation, where the alternative may be a loan with an origination fee or a credit card with a balance transfer fee.

It can also be a good fit if you want some flexibility when requesting your repayment terms — though keep in mind that the longer your repayment term is, the higher your interest rate may be and the more the loan is likely to cost you.

If you need less than the $5,000 minimum, you may be better off checking out other lenders instead of borrowing more money than you need. Also, remember that you’ll need reasonably strong credit and at least $24,000 in income — or a co-signer who meets those requirements — to have a chance at getting approved.

How to apply with Citizens Bank

If you want to apply for a Citizens Bank personal loan, you’ll have to contact a local branch or call a customer service number — something to consider if you’d prefer an online-only process.

Here’s the information you’ll likely need to apply.

  • Full name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Email address and phone number
  • Desired loan amount
  • Income and employment information
  • Residence

Not sure Citizens Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sure this lender is for you, here are some other options to consider.

  • Avant: An Avant personal loan may be good for someone who wants a smaller loan amount and whose credit isn’t as strong as Citizens Bank says it requires.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: A Marcus personal loan may be good for someone who wants incentives for on-time payments.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Cr… Read more.