Citizens Bank Personal Loans Review

Competitive rates if you have good to excellent credit

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Citizens Bank logo
overall rating
3.6

One of the oldest and largest financial institutions in the U.S., Citizens Bank offers a variety of bank products, including personal loans. Those products and the rest of the lending side of the company is branded as Citizens One. The company's personal loan rates can be competitive for those who have good to excellent credit. Those applicants may be able to borrow up to $50,000.

Our Citizens Bank personal loan review dives into the details, to help you decide if this lender is a good fit for your financial needs.

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros & Cons
  • Fees
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 7.99% to 20.89%
  • Loan Amounts $5,000 to $15,000 (through Citizens One) or $50,000 (residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont)
  • Loan Terms 36 to 84 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score unspecified (there are reports of it being 670)
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No fees or penalties

  • Discounts for qualified applicants

  • Option to include a co-applicant

Cons
  • Strong credit recommended to qualify

  • Inability to change due date

  • Minimum income requirements

Fees
  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment penalty: None
  • Late fee: None

Pros Explained

  • No Fees or Penalties – Citizens Bank has no late or origination fees, or any prepayment penalties, on its loans. These sorts of charges impact the overall cost of your financing, so even if you find a lender that offers a slightly lower annual percentage rate (APR) but also charges fees, Citizens Bank may be the more affordable option.
  • Discounts for Qualified Applicants – Discounts are available for borrowers who enroll in autopay and Citizens Bank customers who have a qualifying account.
  • Option to Include a Co-Applicant – Borrowers who may not qualify on their own may be able to do so by adding a co-applicant with a better credit profile.

Cons Explained

  • Strong Credit Recommended to Qualify – Though it doesn't specify a minimum credit score, Citizens Bank prefers applicants with "reasonably strong" credit profiles, to quote the company's website. To qualify for the current lowest rate (6.79%), you'd need a FICO score in the very good–to-exceptional range—740 and up. A merely good score of 670 to 739 would get you 9.96% to 12.61%, depending on the loan duration.   
  • High minimum loan amount: Citizens Bank offers personal loans starting from $5,000. For those who are looking for lower loan amounts, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
  • Minimum Income Requirements – Applicants need to provide proof of income—you need to make at least $24,000—to qualify for a personal loan.

COVID-19 Assistance

Personal loan borrowers affected by the coronavirus pandemic can request a deferment by calling 1-855-819-7137 if you applied before 7/13/19 or 1-866-999-0107 if you applied after 7/13/19.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank lets borrowers use their personal loans for a myriad of purposes. Among them: remodeling projects, debt consolidation, weddings, vacations, and purchasing recreational vehicles. In short, how you use the loan proceeds is mostly up to you.

However, Citizens Bank does set some restrictions. You can't be borrowing the proceeds for:  

  • Business-Related Purposes
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Securities Purchases

Time to Receive Funds

Citizens Bank borrowers will usually receive funds within two business days via an automated clearing house (ACH) payment.

Citizens Bank Personal Loan Features

Apply for a Personal Loan With a Co-Applicant

Citizens Bank allows joint applications, and both the primary borrower and co-applicant can request separate rate quotes. When submitting a personal loan application, the final rates and terms will be based on whoever has the higher FICO score.

Initial Soft Credit Inquiry

Citizens Bank offers what the lender calls its "Rate Quote," a sort of prequalification process that allows you to see rates and terms you may qualify for in advance. It uses a soft credit check, so your credit score won't be impacted until you submit a full application, when Citizens Bank will conduct a hard inquiry (and your score could be affected, at least temporarily).

Apply For a Citizens Bank Personal Loan

As mentioned above, you can discover whether you're eligible for a Citizens Bank personal loan first, and on what terms, before you apply. Here's what the entire application process looks like, using the bank website. 

  1. Provide some initial information through the online form, which includes your name, physical address, and preferred loan amount. Once you check the box where you agree to bank's terms, you'll be able to see more-specific rates and terms.
  2. Review the terms and rates offered before moving onto the application page. There's an option to change the loan amount on the bottom of the screen before proceeding.
  3. Log into your account if you're already a Citizens Bank customer to save time from filling in additional personal information.
  4. Indicate whether you're applying as an individual or with a co-applicant. Each applicant will need to provide details, such as income or employment information, email address, and citizenship status. You need to be the age of majority in your state to be eligible for a personal loan.
  5. Review loan terms and submit the full application if you're satisfied with the offer. At this point, Citizens Bank will conduct a hard inquiry. Additional documentation may be needed, such as proof of income and a copy of your state-issued ID.

Once your loan is approved, sign your loan agreement and receive your funds within a few business days in most cases. Prefer a personal touch? You can also apply at any one of the 1,100 Citizen Bank branches in 11 states (they're often in supermarkets) throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest. The application process will be similar to what you'll do online.

Can You Refinance a Personal Loan with Citizens Bank?

There doesn't seem to be an option to refinance your personal loan with Citizens Bank. However, you can consolidate your personal loan into a new loan. Loans are limited to one open and active loan per borrower.

Verdict

A personal loan with Citizens Bank carries no fees and features competitive interest rates, so it's worth a look if you're already shopping around for personal loans. A venerable bricks-and-mortar institution, it's good for borrowers who want to apply for a personal loan in person—though, unfortunately, their physical branches are just in a handful of states.

The "Rate Quote" feature is a risk-free way to get a preview of the financing terms for which you might qualify, and it makes it easy to compare options from other lenders without affecting your credit score. However, if your credit score isn't considered in the good range at the very least, you may need to look elsewhere, as Citizens Bank tends to favor those with better credit. 

Taking out a personal loan at Citizens Bank—or any institution—might be a good idea if you're looking to cover large (perhaps unexpected) purchases or consolidate high-interest debts. Before applying for any type of loan, though, first, consider carefully whether it's an absolute necessity and make sure that you have enough room in your budget to cover the monthly payments.

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. CitizensBank.com. "Citizens Bank Personal Loans." Accessed April 11, 2020.

  2. CitizensBank.com. "Ask a Citizen: What is the minimum income required for a personal loan?" Accessed April 11, 2020.

  3. CitizensBank.com. "What to Know About Getting a Personal Loan: How does the Citizens Bank Personal Loan affect my credit?" Accessed April 11, 2020.

  4. CitizensBank.com. "Ask a Citizen: Do you accept cosigners on personal loans?" Accessed April 11, 2020.