For existing Citizens Bank customers with good credit, Citizens Bank can be a great option for a personal loan. The bank offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $50,000 with fixed or variable interest rates, with rates usually around 6% to 16.25%. Citizens Banks looks for borrowers with good credit history and annual incomes of at least $24,000. One downside to Citizens Bank is that its personal loans cannot be used for home improvement, educational or business purposes.
- Review: Should You Apply?
- Eligibility Criteria
- Personal Loan Terms and Requirements
- Application Process
- How Does Citizens Bank Compare to Other Lenders?
Citizens Bank Personal Loan Review: Should You Apply?
We'd recommend a Citizens Bank personal loan as a good option if you have good to excellent credit, especially if you are an existing customer of the bank. One disadvantage we found is that there are restrictions on the use of funds - you cannot use a Citizens Bank personal loan for home improvement, educational or business purposes.
|Good for...||Bad for...|
Citizens Bank is not a good choice for borrowers with average or lower credit scores. The bank looks for borrowers with strong credit history, which means a few or more years of credit history and a credit score of at least 680. The bank also requires borrowers to have a minimum annual income of $24,000. However, these stricter eligibility requirements do translate into better rates and terms. APRs at Citizens Bank typically range from 6% to 16.25%, and borrowers have the option of getting a fixed or variable interest rate. Borrowers can also choose between three and seven years for their loan maturity.
If you already have an account with Citizens Bank or plan to pay automatically, you could qualify for a lower interest rate. Citizens Bank offers two interest rate discount programs, allowing you to reduce your interest rate by up to 0.50%. You can receive a 0.25% deduction on your interest rate if you have an existing account with the bank, including a checking account, savings account, money market account, CD, auto loan, home equity loan or line of credit, mortgage, credit card, student loan or personal loan. You can receive an additional 0.25% deduction if you elect to enroll in automatic payments on your personal loan. For example, on a $20,000 five-year loan with a 9.54% APR, you would repay a total of $25,226. If you received both deductions, you would only repay a total of $24,933, saving $293 over the life of the loan.
Personal loans from Citizens Bank come with restrictions on their use, so if you’re planning on remodeling your home, paying for postsecondary educational expenses or starting a business, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a personal loan. Currently, you can only use a Citizens Bank personal loan for debt consolidation, vacation or wedding expenses, major purchases, special occasions or adoption. However, Citizens Bank is available to residents in all states and Puerto Rico.
To be eligible for a Citizens Bank personal loan, you must meet the following criteria:
|Minimum Criteria||Recommended Criteria|
Meeting the criteria above won’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a loan, but it will improve your chances of getting approved.
Citizens Bank Personal Loan Terms and Requirements
Citizens Bank makes unsecured personal loans up to $50,000 with fixed or variable rates generally ranging from 6% to 16.25%. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.
|Loan Amount Range||$5,000 - $50,000|
|APR Range||6.00% - 16.25%|
|Loan Terms||3 to 7 years|
|Direct Payment to Creditors||No|
You can receive a rate quote within a few minutes on the bank’s website (you can also apply by phone or in person at a branch location). You’ll begin the application process at Citizens Bank by filling out a quick form. The form asks for your personal information, your address, Social Security number, contact information, employment and income information, your housing situation and the details of the loan. You’ll also need to specify whether you are applying with a co-applicant and if you are a current Citizens Bank customer.
|Application Process||Online, by phone or in person|
|Time to Get Funds||3+ days|
Once you enter this information, you’ll be able to review the information before submitting it to the lender. Citizens Bank will conduct a soft credit check when you submit this information and if it’s satisfactory, present you with a personal loan offer. If you choose to accept this offer, Citizens Bank will conduct a hard credit pull before approving your loan and disbursing funds.
How Does Citizens Bank Compare to Other Lenders?
If you’re thinking about taking out a personal loan with Citizens Bank, we suggest shopping around before you commit. We evaluated some of the bank’s top competitors below.
Citizens Bank vs. Discover Personal Loans
In general, we’d recommend a personal loan from Citizens Bank over Discover. In comparison with Citizens Bank, Discover has lower loan amounts and higher rates: you can only borrow up to $35,000 and rates range from 6.99% to 24.99%. However, you can use a Discover personal loan to make home improvements, which is something you cannot do with a Citizens Bank personal loan. Moreover, some borrowers taking out a debt consolidation loan may prefer their lender to directly pay their creditors -- this is something Discover has, but Citizens Bank does not.
Citizens Bank vs. SoFi
If you need to borrow more than $50,000, consider a personal loan from SoFi. Like Citizens Bank, SoFi offers unsecured personal loans for borrowers with strong credit history, but you can borrow up to $100,000 through this lender. Rates and terms at SoFi are similar to those at Citizens Bank. Fixed and variable interest rates are available and annual percentage rates are generally between 5.7% and 14.24%, with the average rate being 8.5%. SoFi personal loans come with three-, five- or seven-year terms. SoFi also has fewer restrictions on loan use, allowing borrowers to use a loan for almost any purpose besides postsecondary educational expenses, making SoFi a better choice if you need a personal loan for home improvement or your business.
Citizens Bank vs. Citibank
Personal loans from Citizens Bank and Citibank are very similar, and you’ll likely qualify for comparable terms at each bank. You may want to choose the bank that you already have an account with to get any extra perks or discounts for existing customers. We’d only recommend Citizens Bank over Citibank if you think you can qualify for the lowest rate. Rates start slightly higher at Citibank -- at 7.99% -- but the maximum rate at 16.49% is very similar to what is offered by Citizens Bank. Like Citizens Bank, Citibank makes personal loans up to $50,000. You can borrow money for one to five years. If you have a checking account with Citibank, you may be able to earn ThankYou Points if you take out a personal loan. One downside to Citibank is that you’ll need apply by phone or in person if you want a personal loan over $30,000.