The bottom line: Citizens Bank is good for borrowers with good credit, offering rate discounts and a co-sign option.
Min. Credit Score
6.78 - 20.88%
$5,000 - $50,000
Pros & Cons
Lacks flexible payment options.
Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
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To review Citizens Bank, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.
Update Nov. 12, 2020: Citizens Bank has temporarily stopped offering personal loans, according to a company spokesperson. Information in this review may be outdated.
» COMPARE: NerdWallet's best personal loans
Citizens Bank, whose lending business is marketed as Citizens One, offers personal loans to help you consolidate debt, but funds can be used for other reasons, too.
The bank operates about 1,100 branches across 11 states and has a large footprint in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York. You don’t have to visit a branch to apply for a personal loan.
How to qualify:
At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Puerto Rico).
Good credit history.
Minimum annual income of $24,000.
You don’t have to have an account with Citizens Bank to qualify, but you do need a good credit history. Citizens Bank doesn’t disclose specific credit score requirements for personal loans, but according to the bank’s 2018 annual report, borrowers’ average FICO score for retail loans, including personal loans, was 763, which is considered excellent.
The lender also offers co-sign loans. Adding a co-signer with a high credit score to your loan application can help improve your chances of approval and get you a lower rate. Your interest rate and loan terms are decided using the higher of the two applicants’ FICO scores.
» MORE: Citizens Bank banking review
No fees: Citizens Bank says it does not charge fees, such as origination, late payment or prepayment fees.
Rate discounts: The lender offers a 0.25 percentage point discount for setting up automatic repayments. If you have an existing account with the bank, you’ll also receive an additional 0.25 percentage point discount.
Loan example: For a borrower with good credit, a $20,000 personal loan with a repayment term of 48 months at 17.4% APR would carry a monthly payment of $581, according to NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.
How to apply for a Citizens Bank loan
You can fill out an application on Citizens Bank’s website, over the phone or in person at a branch. Citizens Bank conducts a soft credit check to see if you qualify for a loan. Once you proceed with your application, you will be subject to a hard credit check, which can temporarily lower your credit scores.
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Personal Loans Rating Methodology
NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.