Santander personal loans review: Competitive rates, discount for existing customers

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In a Nutshell

Santander personal loans offer competitive rates, and an interest rate discount to customers who sign up for autopay using any Santander checking account. But the minimum you can borrow is $5,000 if you’re approved — and Santander only serves the Northeast U.S.

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Pros Cons
Competitive interest rates, and APR discount for existing checking-account holders with autopay setup No prequalification option
Up to 60 months to repay Available only to residents in Mass., R.I., Conn., N.H., N.J., Pa., N.Y., Del., Maine, Vt., Md. or D.C.
No origination, closing or prepayment fees Loan minimum of $5,000

What you need to know about a Santander personal loan

Santander is a retail and commercial bank with more than 650 branches in the Northeast region of the U.S.

Santander offers unsecured personal loans to qualified applicants that can be used for a variety of purposes such as debt consolidation, auto repairs or major purchases. If you’re trying to decide whether a personal loan from Santander is right for you, here are a few things to consider.

1. Competitive interest rates

Santander Bank offers competitive rates on its personal loans based on your credit history, debt-to-income ratio and other factors. Even its highest rates are lower than what some other personal loan lenders charge. But keep in mind that you typically need to have excellent credit to qualify for the better rates.

2. Automatic-payments discount

Automatic payments can simplify your finances and help ensure you make your payments on time each month. When you set up and maintain autopay from a Santander checking account, you’ll receive a 0.25% interest-rate discount on your personal loan.

3. No origination or prepayment fees

Some personal loan lenders charge origination fees, which can eat into your loan funds before you even get them. Santander doesn’t charge these fees, nor does it charge a loan-closing or a prepayment penalty if you pay off your loan early. 

4. No option to apply for prequalification

Many lenders give you the ability to apply for prequalification to see your estimated interest rates and loan terms — without impacting your credit scores — before you submit a formal application. But Santander doesn’t offer a prequalification option. So applying for a personal loan from Santander will result in a hard credit inquiry, which can impact your credit scores.

A closer look at a Santander personal loan

If you’re considering a personal loan from Santander, here are a few more features you should know about.

  • Santander personal loans are available only to residents in …
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    • Connecticut
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • New York
    • Delaware
    • Maine
    • Vermont
    • Maryland
    • Washington, D.C.
  • Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000. If you want a smaller or larger loan, you might want to consider working with a different lender.
  • Santander offers repayment terms of 24 to 60 months with fixed interest rates. Just remember, although a longer term may result in a lower monthly loan payment, you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
  • You can apply with a co-applicant.
  • Qualifying existing customers who have a Santander checking account might receive funding in as soon as two days if approved for a loan.
  • Santander doesn’t offer secured personal loans. All personal loans are unsecured and don’t require collateral.

Who is a Santander loan good for?

With its competitive rates, Santander could be a good option if you’re an existing checking-account holder who needs extra cash for just about anything and can take advantage of the bank’s autopay loan-rate discount.

Because Santander doesn’t charge an origination fee, it could be a particularly good choice if you want to consolidate balances from high-interest credit cards. But in order to apply, you’ll need to live in a state it serves in the Northeast region.

And if you want to compare loan options without affecting your credit scores, you may want to consider other lenders that offer an option to apply for prequalification.

How to apply with Santander

Santander says that the loan application process can be completed online in about 10 to 15 minutes if you have all the necessary information. To complete the online application, you’ll need to provide some information.

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Country of citizenship
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Income information
  • Employer information

After Santander reviews your application, you might be required to provide additional information before receiving a loan decision.

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

If you’re shopping for a personal loan and you’re not sure Santander is right for you, check out these lenders instead.

  • Marcus: A Marcus personal loan might be a good choice if you want to see estimated interest rates and loan terms without affecting your credit scores before you apply.
  • Avant: An Avant personal loan may be a better option if you’ve had credit difficulties in the past. This lender considers people who have a wide range of credit scores.