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Citizens Bank business loans review

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Local banking with a personal touch — that you might pay for with higher interest and fees.

finder.com’s rating: 2.87 / 5.0

★★★★★

There are two types of business owners: those who want money fast, and those take comfort in a more involved borrowing process.

$10,000

Min. Amount

$12,000,000

Max. Amount

Details

Product NameCitizens Bank Business Loans
Min. Amount$10,000
Max. Amount$12,000,000
RequirementsLocated in an eligible state, in business for 6+ months, $150,000+ in annual revenue, ages 18+

Do I qualify for a business loan with Citizens Bank?

Citizens Bank doesn’t have any hard requirements for its business loan applicants. However, you’re more likely to be approved if:

  • Your business has been up and running for at least six months.
  • Your business makes at least $150,000 in annual revenue.
  • You’re located in a state where Citizens Bank is a licensed lender.

Citizens Bank is available in:

Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

What are Citizens Bank business loans?

Citizens Bank is one of the largest financial groups in the Northeast. It offers a variety of borrowing options for many uses, including those specifically for your business.

Through Citizens Bank you can get:

  • Business lines of credit. Have access to funds for ongoing expenses or to make up for an off season.
  • Business term loans. Take out a fixed sum to cover one-time expenses or consolidate your business’s debt.
  • Business or equipment flex loans. A hybrid line of credit and term loan for businesses looking to make multiple large purchases over a short time. Business flex loans act like a line of credit for the first six months — 12 months for equipment loans — after which it turns into a term loan.
  • SBA loans. These government-backed loans come with lower interest rates, larger amounts and longer terms than most. They’re difficult to qualify for, however, and can take some time.
  • Business mortgages. Citizens Bank also offers financing to buy, renovate or refinance commercial property.

What makes Citizens Bank business loans unique?

Citizens Bank’s personal touch makes it stand out from other lenders. While not as fast as online lenders, your application is completed in person with a local representative that understands the needs of local businesses in your area. You also have a chance to explain any financial setbacks on your credit record.

What are the benefits of a business loan from Citizens Bank?

  • One-stop banking and financing. Use Citizens Bank for virtually any financial need you might have, from opening an account to refinancing your student loans. At the end of the day, a lot of people value familiarity.
  • Get lower rates with an account. Get a lower rate on your Citizens Bank loan if you pair it with a checking account.
  • Personalized lending. In a world of online lenders, it’s nice to have a human touch. With Citizens Bank, people — not algorithms — decide if you qualify for a loan.

What to watch out for

Local and regional banks can have the reputation of being poorly run. Unfortunately, Citizens Bank doesn’t sound like an exception.

Here are some reasons why you might want to consider applying somewhere else:

  • Awfully-rated customer service. Users complain about Citizens Bank’s rude and unhelpful customer service. When we called with questions, it took us a long time to get a straight answer from Citizens Bank too.
  • Available in 11 states only. You can’t get financing through Citizens Bank if you don’t live in the Northeast.
  • No online application. You must start your application over the phone or in a branch location.
  • Slow funding. It can take up to a month for you see your loan money.
  • Many fees. Nearly all of Citizens Bank’s business loans come with an origination fee of 0.5% of your loan amount — which you pay up front — and a $295 documentation fee. You’ll also pay an annual fee of $150 for lines of credit of $50,000 to $100,000 or 0.3% for loans between $100,001 and $1 million.
  • Limited amounts for term loans. You’re capped at 75% of your business’s annual revenue for regular term loans — although SBA loans can get you millions, if you qualify.
  • Possible spamming. It’s difficult to unsubscribe from Citizens Bank emails, and the bank sometimes gives your contact information to affiliates, which can fill up your inbox with useless spam.

Compare Citizens Bank to top business loan providers

Updated February 17th, 2020
Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount Requirements
LoanBuilder, A PayPal Service Business Loans
$5,000
$500,000
Annual business revenue of at least $42,000, at least 9 months in business, personal credit score of 550+.
Customizable loans with no origination fee for business owners in a hurry.
Become Business Loan Marketplace
$5,000
$500,000
12+ months in business and $10,000+ monthly revenue
Compare loan offers from top lenders using this marketplace. It’s free & won’t affect your credit.
National Business Capital Business Loans
$10,000
$5,000,000
Your company must have been in business for at least 6 months and have an annual revenue of at least $100,000.
Get a large business loan to cover your financing needs, no matter what the purpose is.
OnDeck Small Business Loans
$5,000
$500,000
600+ personal credit score, 1+ years in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Kabbage Small Business Line of Credit
$500
$250,000
1+ years in business, $50,000+ annual revenue or $4,200+ monthly revenue over last 3 months
A simple, convenient online application could securely get the funds you need to grow your business.
BlueVine Term Loan
$5,000
$5,000,000
6+ months in business, $100,000+ annual revenue, 600+ credit score.
Get approved for a business loan in as little as 5 minutes. Applications won't affect your credit score.
Sheer Funding Business Loans
$5,000
$2,000,000
6+ months in business, 550+ credit score, $150,000+ annual revenue, eligible industry
Multiple financing options available for business owners with less-than-perfect credit scores.
Efundex long-term business loans
$50,000
$1,000,000
2+ years in business, 620+ credit score, not a sole proprietorship or nonprofit, strong financial history
Financing for high-risk industries with transparent rates and terms.
First Union Lending Unsecured Long-Term Business Loan
$5,000
$5,000,000
450+ credit score, 3+ months in business, $15,000+ monthly revenue, no open bankruptcies
Unsecured funding and more for all credit types.
LendingTree Business Loans
Varies by lender and type of financing
Varies by lender and type of financing
Varies by lender, but many require good personal credit, minimum annual revenue and minimum time in business
Multiple business financing options in one place including: small business loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment financing and more.
Lendio Business Loan Marketplace
$500
$5,000,000
Must operate a business in the US or Canada, have a business bank account and have a personal credit score of 560+.
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 75 legit business lenders.
First Down Funding business loans
$1,000
$300,000
Varies by type of loan
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.

Compare up to 4 providers

What does the Internet say about Citizens Bank?

Citizens Bank’s online reputation is mixed. It’s not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, which gives it an F based on 91 mostly negative reviews. Almost every customer complaint is attributed to terrible customer services. More worrying are complaints that Citizens Bank shares customer information with its affiliates — including Social Security numbers.

Citizens Bank has no reviews on Trustpilot, but customers are equally negative in online forums. Other complaints concern hidden fees, receiving counterfeit currency from its ATMs and inconsistencies when it comes to loan rates.

Citizens Bank partners with Fundation for business loans

At the 2017 Digital Lending and Investing conference in New York, Citizens Bank announced that it would partner with Fundation to serve more business loan customers. In the event that Citizens can’t fund your loan directly, you’ll be connected with Fundation — a leading online business loan provider — for more financing options.

Am I eligible?

You may not qualify for a business loan with Citizens Bank unless you meet these requirements:

  • You’ve been in business six months. If you’re looking for a large business loan, you’ll need to have been in business for a few years.
  • You bring in at least $150,000 in annual revenue. This mainly applies to lines of credit. Term loans are restricted to 75% of your business’s annual revenue.
  • You’re located in an eligible state. Citizens Bank is a regional provider. If you don’t live in the 11 states it services, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

How do I apply?

Applying for a Citizens Bank loan takes some time, but it’s pretty straightforward.

  1. Call Citizens Bank. Speak to business banking assistance at 800-862-6200.
  2. Set up a local consultation. Indicate your local branch, asking about any documents that you need to bring along.
  3. Complete your application in person. Take your documents for a consultation to apply. You’ll also schedule a site inspection so that Citizens Bank can verify your business’s physical location.
  4. Submit your application for underwriting. Your underwriter may get in touch with you to request additional documents.
  5. Coordinate your loan closing. At this point, you pay a $295 documentation fee (for loans up to $100,000) and a 0.5% origination fee, if you’re taking out a term loan.

The whole process typically takes from two to four weeks, after which Citizen Bank disburses your funds.

What documents do I need to apply?

The documentation Citizens Bank requires depends on how long you’ve been in business, how much you’re requesting and your business’s annual revenue.

You might be asked to provide:

  • Business bank statements.
  • Personal bank statements.
  • A business plan.
  • Financial projections.

I got a business loan from Citizens Bank. Now what?

Keep an eye on your account. Past customers report erroneous charges on checking accounts and delays in processing payments. Watch your account like a hawk, and take screenshots every time you make a repayment.

It’s always a good idea to set up autopay to avoid missing repayments. But autopay is more critical with Citizens Bank — you might have trouble with payments going through if you do it manually. Contact Citizens Bank immediately if you notice any inconsistencies.

Bottom line

Citizens Bank could be an attractive choice for someone who values supporting local institutions and personalized business transactions. But it’s not all rosy: Make sure you understand what’s required of you, and prepare to be more vigilant with this specific lender.

Frequently asked questions

Business loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.

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