BBVA Personal Loans Review

Regional bank BBVA offers competitively priced personal loans

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BBVA logo
overall rating
3.0

BBVA is a regional bricks-and-mortar bank, located primarily in seven states across the Sun Belt (half its branches are in Texas alone). The company offers a full suite of banking products, including deposit accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, and investment accounts. This review will focus on BBVA’s unsecured personal loan product—and everything you need to know about it before applying.   

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros & Cons
  • Fees
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 4.99% to 29.99% (includes 1% autopay discount)
  • Loan Amounts $2,000 to $35,000 (if applying online) or $100,000 (if applying at a branch)
  • Loan Terms 12-72 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not specified
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Competitive APR

  • Auto-pay discount

  • Ability to pre-qualify with a soft credit pull

  • Possible same-day funding

Cons
  • Need an invitation to apply online

  • Small maximum loan amount for online applicants

  • Need a BBVA account for auto-pay discount or same-day funding

Fees
  • Origination fee: none
  • Prepayment penalty: none
  • Late fee: unspecified

Pros Explained

  • Competitive APR – The bank offers some low interest rates; the minimum 5.99% is quite competitive. Of course, only the most creditworthy applicants qualify for the lowest rate. The highest rates offered are high at 29.99%. 
  • Auto-pay discount — If you opt for automatically debited payments, you may qualify for a full percentage point (1%) discount on your APR rate. 
  • Ability to pre-qualify with a soft credit pull — BBVA allows you to get a sense of what interest rate you might get, before formally applying; this "pre-qualifying" doesn't affect your credit score.
  • Possible same-day funding — Your loan could be approved, and you could even get the funds, the day you apply.

Cons Explained

  • Need an invitation to apply online —You can only apply for a personal loan online with an invitation received via mail or email.
  • Small maximum loan amount for online applicants — You can't apply for more than $35,000 online. You may apply for up to $100,000 by phone or in-person, though. 
  • Need BBVA account for auto-pay APR discount or same-day funding — These advantageous features are only available to BBVA checking account-holders. There is a $25 minimum deposit and credit check to open a BBVA checking account.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by BBVA

BBVA offers just one type: the unsecured BBVA Express Personal Loan.

Time To Receive Funds

Same-day funding may be possible if you have an existing BBVA checking account. But the process may take longer if BBVA needs additional documentation with your application, according to a bank representative. The exact timeline depends on how quickly you're able to provide the missing requested details. If you don't have an existing BBVA checking account, you can pick up a cashier's check at a local BBVA branch—which is currently open by appointment only.

BBVA Personal Loan Features

In addition to the features mentioned above, BBVA's loans also have these characteristics.

  • No restrictions on use: funds can be used debt consolidation, large purchases, medical expenses, etc.
  • Various application options: online, by phone, or in-person at one of BBVA’s 641 branches; applying online offers a prequalifying "soft pull" opportunity.
  • Loan repayment options: online, via the BBVA Mobile Banking App, by auto-pay, by calling the Loan Servicing Line, or at a branch.
  • Customer service options: The bank offers customer support both online and by phone. BBVA encourages clients to call via its mobile banking app "for faster service."

Apply For a BBVA Personal Loan

There are three ways to apply for a BBVA personal loan: online, by phone, or in-person at a BBVA branch. You need an invitation to apply for a loan online. The online application involves six steps:

  1. Click the “Respond to an invitation” button on BBVA’s personal loans page and enter your reservation code. You will specify whether you received the invitation by mail or email.
  2. Begin the application by entering personal details like your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and income. BBVA will perform a soft pull on your credit and show you a customized personal loan offer.
  3. After reviewing the customized offer, you may select your loan term. This will impact your monthly payment and how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan.
  4. You will see a preview of personal loan options, based on your choices and eligibility. This will include an estimated loan amount, the term, interest rate, and monthly payment.   
  5. If you see an option you like, you may apply for a personal loan. This will include a hard pull on your credit, which will temporarily lower your score. You should receive a quick response but BBVA may request additional information, according to a representative. 
  6. Same-day funding is possible if you already have a BBVA checking account. You will receive the money in one lump sum.

Can I Refinance a Personal Loan with BBVA?

Yes, it may be possible to refinance your personal loan in the future, scoring a lower APR or better terms, according to a representative.

Verdict

The BBVA Express Personal Loan perhaps best suits would-be borrowers who already bank there. They're the ones who qualify for the perks, like the 1% auto-pay discount (which gives an extra edge to the already competitive APRs) and the same-day funding. Any applicant can quickly become an account-holder: You may open a checking account directly following the online application, according to a BBVA representative for a $25 fee.

The second best-suited group might be borrowers who live in a state where BBVA has a brick-and-mortar presence. Only by visiting a branch in-person or by phoning can you borrow a sizeable sum, up to $100,000. Those applying online are only eligible for a $35,000 loan max—and they have to have an invitation to apply, to boot.

On the plus side, BBVA doesn't charge any fees or prepayment penalties on its loans (though you could argue that the $25 charge to open a checking account, which is necessary for the auto-pay discount and other perks, amounts to a kind of origination fee). Being able to pre-qualify is a pleasant, if fairly standard, feature.

The bank doesn't mandate a minimum credit score—which may be a plus for applicants with less-than-perfect credit—and their wide range of APRs (5.99% to 29.99%) implies they’re open to financing applicants with different degrees of creditworthiness. Of course, standard operating procedure among lenders is that only those with the highest credit scores qualify for the lowest APRs; BBVA openly says as much on its site. If your score is less than sterling, you find better rates elsewhere—certainly lower than BBVA's maximum 29.99%.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

Article Sources

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  1. BBVA. "Contact Us." Accessed June 6, 2020.