Citibank business loans review
This international bank offers term loans as low as $5,000 to current customers. But it's not transparent about costs.
Bottom line: Citibank offers installment loans and lines of credit to current small business customers for a wide range of needs. But you’ll need to reach out for basic information. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.
- Wide range of financing from $5,000 to $5 million
- Two line of credit options
- Special financing program for healthcare industry
- No information about rates and fees online
- Requires Citi checking account
- No online application
Our take on Citibank small business loans
Citibank’s small business loans and credit lines could be a good option if you already have a Citi account and you prefer working with a lender that knows your business. Borrowing from your bank has advantages, like a faster turnaround and fewer documents than applying with another lender. Your banker will also have a better idea of what type of financing your business can benefit from — or how long you should wait to apply if it’s not the right time.
But like other large national banks I’ve reviewed, there’s minimal information about the rates and fees available on its loans and lines of credit. It’s also one of the few banks that still requires a branch visit to open an account. And because international banks like Citi typically don’t see small business as their primary clients, a regional or community bank could be a better option if you’re looking to start a new banking relationship.
Citibank installment loan rates, fees and terms
Citibank offers small business term loans from $5,000 to $5 million with terms as long as seven years. These loans come with fixed interest rates but otherwise there’s little information available about the interest rates or fees you can expect.
Typically, big banks offer the lowest rates available. But it’s unclear how Citi’s rates and fees compare to other similar banks like Chase.
Citibank line of credit rates, fees and terms
Citibank offers two types of credit lines to small businesses.
- Citi’s Business Credit Account offers credit limits from $10,000 to $250,000 for short-term working capital needs.
- Citi’s Relationship Ready Credit line offers credit limits from $250,000 to $5 million for long-term projects and working capital.
Both are revolving lines of credit, meaning that they replenish as you repay the funds. And like most lines of credit, both lines of credit come with variable interest rates.
Like with the term loan, you’ll have to reach out to Citibank for quotes on interest rates and fees.
Other Citibank business loans
Citibank also offers two more financing options to small businesses.
- Healthcare Practice Finance offers term loans from $250,000 to $5 million for costs like purchasing equipment, refinancing debt, buying real estate or acquiring an existing practice.
- Commercial Mortgages from $250,000 to $5 million can fund a new real estate purchase or restructure an existing commercial loan. Terms run from five to 20 years with amortization up to 25 years.
How Citibank compares to other providers
Here’s how Citibank stacks up to two alternatives: SmartBiz and Bank of America.
SmartBiz is an online connection service that can help your small business connect with a bank in your area. It’s one of the few services that allows you to compare multiple offers from banks, which rarely disclose rates and fees before you apply. But it may charge a broker fee.
Bank of America is another large bank that’s unusually transparent about rates and doesn’t require you to have an account to apply — though it offers relationship discounts. It also only requires two years in business and $100,000 in annual revenue, making it more friendly to small businesses than most big banks.
Not yet rated
|Find out more|
$5,000 to $5,000,000
Up to 7 years
$30,000 to $5,000,000
4.75% to 7%
120 to 300 months
640+ personal credit score, US citizen or permanent resident, 2+ years in business, $50,000+ annual revenue, no outstanding tax liens, no bankruptcies or foreclosures in past 3 years
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Citibank small business loan reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1 out of 5 stars, based on 340 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||5,607 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 112 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||16 August 2021|
Citibank gets overwhelmingly negative customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. But the majority are from consumer banking and credit card customers. You may want to reach out to other small business owners who bank with Citi to learn about their experience before you open an account or apply for a loan.
Citibank also gets a failing grade from the BBB due to its recent trouble with regulators. In 2020, it settled with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) after a design flaw in its audio recording system deleted several audio files that regulations require the bank to maintain.
How to qualify
Small businesses must have an active Citi business checking account and operate an established business in the US to qualify for a loan or line of credit. Citi also requires personal guarantees from owners with a 51% stake in the business or more.
Like most big banks, Citi likely has other requirements. Banks prefer to work with business owners that have good or excellent credit — typically a minimum credit score of 670. Your business usually must be around for a few years and be profitable before it can qualify for a bank loan.
How the application works
Get started on a small business loan application by setting up an appointment with a Citibank loan officer. If you don’t have a Citi business checking account, your banker will walk you through that process first.
Typically, bankers ask to see documents like:
- Business and personal financial statements.
- Tax returns from the most recent tax year.
- Balance sheets.
Traditional bank loans often take a few weeks to a month from start to finish. If you need funding faster, consider a lender with an online application.
What sets it apart
Citibank offers a wider range of loan amounts than your average lender — even compared to other banks. Where many banks start small business loans at around $10,000, Citibank’s start at $5,000.
Other than that, there isn’t enough information available to noncustomers to compare it to other similar lenders. And this isn’t particularly unique — most big banks decline to disclose interest rates, fees and even loan terms.
Citibank may be a good option if you already have a business account and like the service. Otherwise, compare more business loan options before you decide on a lender.