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Published 14 March 2024
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Santander Personal Loans Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Santander could be a good option if you want a personal loan and you don’t need the money quickly. You can apply whether you’re an existing Santander customer or not. Find out more in our review.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

Santander personal loans: At a glance

Santander is one of the better performing lenders that we’ve reviewed. It could be a good option for anyone looking for a loan, with a reasonable range of customer service options if you need help before you apply or during the loan term.

But while you can choose your repayment date when applying, other pitfalls in Santander’s application process stop the bank from placing higher in our ranking. In particular, it can take several days to get the money in your account, whereas some lenders we’ve reviewed can transfer the money on the same day.

To help you compare deals, lenders are required to display the total cost of a loan as a percentage, known as the annual percentage rate (APR). This tells you how much a loan will cost you over one year, taking into account the interest rate and any standard fees. You should consider this, alongside other features of a loan, to decide if a loan is right for you.

» MORE: Compare personal loan providers

NerdWallet Review Rating



See how we rate our lenders below.

Important information: Neither the review nor the star ratings considered the lender’s lending rates or representative APR, and therefore does not reflect how much they charge to borrow with them. The rates on this page have been provided as additional information. Always check and compare a lender’s rates against others on the market when considering a loan. The rate you are offered will be dependent on your personal circumstances, loan amount and term and may differ from the representative APR.

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Santander loans pros & cons


  • You can apply for a joint loan.
  • You can choose your payment date when applying.
  • You could get a decision on your application within minutes.


  • It could take up to two working days to get the funds in your account.
  • Santander applies interest charges to pay off your loan early.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert opinions from our research of the personal loans market and an exclusive survey of UK consumers conducted on behalf of NerdWallet UK in February 2023 to identify the features of personal loans that people feel are most important. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

Santander loans overview

Santander is a high street bank that entered the UK market in 2004 after acquiring Abbey National PLC. It offers a wide range of banking services, such as current accounts, credit cards, mortgages and personal loans.

You can apply for a loan from Santander whether or not you have an account with the bank, unlike some bank loans which are for existing customers only. You can also apply for a joint loan if you want to share the responsibility of making payments.

But when it comes to the speed of its application process, Santander is behind some of its rivals. Once accepted you need to enter a code online to release your funds, and this code is sent by first-class post. It can then take two working days before the money arrives in your account.

Amount borrowable£1,000 to £25,000
Term lengthOne to five years
Time to receive fundsTwo working days after you enter a code online, sent by first-class post.
Need to have an account with the providerNo
Customer supportPhone, live chat, branch, app, social media

How do we rate Santander personal loans?

We’ve assessed a selection of UK loan providers and rated each against a set of criteria that take into consideration what loan customers tell us are the most important product features. 

Here’s what we review and how Santander performs:

CriteriaStar rating
Flexibility4 stars
Application process5 stars
Available customer support4 stars
Overall (The overall score is weighted in favour of the features borrowers told us they consider most important)4.5 stars

NerdWallet’s star rating assessment criteria does not include the lender’s product lending rates or fees. Always check and compare a lender’s rates against others on the market when considering a loan.

Category definitions


A flexible loan gives customers a choice of funds, terms and payment options. That means offering a wide range of loan amounts and repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date and make overpayments, for example.

Application process

The best application processes are quick and easy, with clear eligibility criteria, soft checks and multiple ways to apply to suit different customers’ needs.

Available customer support 

Good customer support can include clear information on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached in multiple ways.

Where Santander personal loans stand out

You can apply for a joint loan

Santander allows you to apply for a loan with one other person. Not all lenders give you this option, so this could be useful if you want to share the repayments with a partner or family member, for example.

You can get a decision in minutes

Depending on when you apply for a Santander loan, you could get a decision within five minutes. It can take longer if you apply overnight or if Santander needs more information.

Where Santander personal loans fall short

It could take a few days to get the money

Getting a Santander loan isn’t a quick process. Once your application is approved and you sign your loan agreement, Santander sends you a code in the post. You need to enter this code in your online account to release the money, and it could then be a further two working days before the money arrives in your account.

Lower maximum loan amount

You can only get a loan of up to £25,000 from Santander, which is more limited than many lenders, with some offering up to double this amount. But you should only borrow the amount you need, so a lower maximum isn’t a downside if you only need a loan of up to £25,000.


Santander offers unsecured personal loans that range between £1,000 and £25,000. This is the minimum amount offered by most standard lenders, but many do offer larger loans if you want to borrow more.

You can repay a Santander loan over a term of one to five years. This is shorter than some lenders,  which may offer repayment terms of seven years or more.  

The interest rate on Santander loans is fixed, which means your monthly payments stay the same throughout your loan term.

Joint loans

You can choose to apply for a Santander loan with one other person, such as a partner or close family member. Santander will run credit and affordability checks on both applicants, which means a credit check will be recorded on both credit files.

If you take out a joint loan, you would both be jointly responsible for repaying the loan and your credit files will be linked. As a result, any missed payments will affect both credit scores.


You get some flexibility when you’re repaying your Santander loan, although other lenders we’ve reviewed may offer more.

You can choose your repayment date when applying, and change it during the loan term if you need to.

Bear in mind that changing your repayment date during your loan term could affect the amount of interest you pay.

Unlike some lenders, Santander doesn’t advertise payment holidays if you want to take a break from making payments during your loan term. 

While it may be comforting to know you have the option of applying for a payment holiday, taking a payment break means it will take longer and cost more to pay off your loan. So it’s always better to continue making your scheduled payments if you can.

Extra repayments

You can make overpayments on a Santander loan without facing any fees. This will reduce the amount you owe and can save you money on interest. Make sure you check the terms of your loan agreement for any limits on the amount you can overpay.

If you make an extra repayment, your loan term will automatically reduce and your usual monthly payment will stay the same. If you wish to reduce your monthly payment you will need to contact Santander.

You can also pay off your Santander loan in full before the end of the term. Like most lenders, Santander may charge you up to 58 days’ interest to do this, but you should still pay less interest than if you continued to make your regular payments unless you only have one or two payments left to make.

To pay off your loan early, you’ll need to contact Santander for a settlement figure, which will be valid for 28 days.

Additional borrowing

Santander may allow you to borrow more, in addition to your existing loan. It will involve a new loan application and will only be an option if you pass Santander’s usual credit and affordability checks.

If you want to borrow more, you could take out a separate loan. This means you would keep your existing loan and take out a new loan agreement alongside it. 

Alternatively, you could take out a new loan to pay off your current loan and give you the extra money that you need. You can only request this in a Santander branch or over the phone.

This option means you would only have one monthly payment to keep track of. But you should consider the repayment term and interest rate of the new loan to see how much it costs, as well as any early repayment charges that you may face by paying off your existing loan.

Application process

Santander’s application process is only let down by the time it may take to receive your money when compared with other lenders we’ve reviewed that offer same-day payouts. 

However, during the application process you should be able to check how likely it is you’ll be approved for a loan without it affecting your credit score.

The bank also has a loan calculator that you can use to get an estimate of what your repayments could be.

Rather than applying for a loan directly from a lender, you could consider using a loan eligibility service.

This conducts a soft search across multiple lenders so you can see the likelihood of a successful application against several different loans, without affecting your credit score. But do check the details of the service you use, to make sure it only uses soft searches and to see how many lenders it checks.

» MORE: Tips for applying for a loan

How long does it take to apply?

If you apply for a Santander loan online before 11.30pm, you should get a decision within a few minutes. But if you apply between 11:30pm and 6:30am, you may not get confirmation until 7.30am the next day. If Santander needs more information to assess your application, it will take longer. 

While you could get a decision on your loan application within minutes, it may take several days before you get the money in your account. 

This is because Santander needs to send you a code in the post before releasing your funds, and then it could take up to two working days for you to receive the money once it has been released. 

Santander is unlikely to be your first choice if you need the money quickly, considering other lenders could transfer the loan on the same day you apply.

What information do I need?

When you apply for a loan from Santander, you’ll need to fill in some personal details and information about your finances, including your:

  • name and address
  • contact details
  • employment status
  • income

You’ll also need to say how much you want to borrow, how long you need to make repayments and what you want to use the money for.

Santander will look at this information and the results from a credit check to decide whether to offer you a loan.

Availability of customer support

Santander offers a good level of customer support, with multiple ways to get in touch with the bank.

You can call the customer service team on the relevant phone number, or you could visit a branch to speak to someone in person. There is also the option of live chat for existing customers, but you need to be logged on to online or mobile banking to get put through to a customer service assistant. 

Santander also has an X account designed to answer any customer questions. The team isn’t able to discuss specific details about your loan or account, but they can let you know who to contact or answer any general queries you may have.

Customer ratings

On Trustpilot, Santander has a poor rating of 1.4 stars based on more than 6,900 reviews.

The bank fares better with ratings for its mobile app. The app has 3.1 stars on Google Play, based on more than 146,000 ratings, and on the App Store it has 4.8 stars from more than 2,400 ratings.

Bear in mind these ratings are for Santander’s app and banking as a whole and not specifically related to its personal loan product.

Fairer Finance is a review site that rates Santander solely on its personal loans. Santander is one of the lower-ranked lenders it’s reviewed, with a customer experience rating of 60%.

This information is correct as of 14 March 2024.

Am I eligible for a Santander loan?

To be considered for a personal loan from Santander you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be aged 21 years or older.
  • You must be a permanent UK resident and on the electoral roll.
  • You need a regular annual income of at least £10,500 (or £20,000 for loans of more than £20,000).
  • In the past six years, you must not have been declared bankrupt or have any individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) or county court judgments (CCJs).
  • You must be able to repay the loan by direct debit.

Santander frequently asked questions

Is Santander a good lender?

Santander is a well-known high street bank that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). But the question of whether it is a good lender depends on what you want from your loan. Research Santander to learn more about its loans, and read customer reviews to find out about their experiences with the lender.

What credit score do you need for a Santander personal loan?

There isn’t a set credit score that you need to have to get a Santander loan. But, the better your score, the more likely you are to be approved.

You won’t be able to get a loan if you’ve been made bankrupt or had an IVA or CCJ within the last six years.

How quickly can I get a Santander loan?

In most cases, you should get a decision on your Santander loan application in minutes. But it could take several working days before the loan arrives in your account.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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