Citizens Bank business loans review February 2018 | finder.com

Citizens Bank business loans review

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

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

Citizens Bank is for that second type of business owner, the one that craves personal touches like site inspections, meetings and handwritten signatures. But you could end up paying for that service with extra fees and poor management of your finances.

Product NameCitizens Bank business loans
Min Loan Amount$10,000
Max. Loan Amount$12,000,000
Min APR From 6.25%
  • Must be 18 or older
  • Must be located in an eligible state where Citizens Bank operates
  • Must be in business at least six months
  • Bring in at least $150,000 in annual revenue

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

Rates last updated February 23rd, 2018
Name Product Product Description Min Loan Amount Maximum Loan Amount Requirements
LendingTree Business Loans
Compare multiple business financing options in one place including: small business loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment financing and more.
Varies by lender and type of financing
Varies by lender and type of financing
Varies by lender, but you many require good personal credit, a minimum business age and minimum annual revenue.
OnDeck Small Business Loans
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
$5,000
$500,000
Must have been in business for at least one year with annual revenue of $100K+. Must have a personal credit score of 500+.
LendingClub Business Loans
With loan terms that vary from 1 to 5 years, enjoy fixed monthly payments and no prepayment penalties through this award-winning lender.
$5,000
$300,000
2+ years in business; $75,000+ in yearly sales; No bankruptcies or tax liens; At least 20% ownership of your business; Fair or better personal credit
LoanBuilder, A PayPal Service Business Loans
$5,000
$500,000
Annual business revenue of at least $100,000, at least 1 year in business, personal credit score of 600+.
National Business Capital Business Loans
Get a large business loan to cover your financing needs, no matter what the purpose is.
$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 $180,000.
Kabbage Small Business Line of Credit
A simple, convenient online application could securely get the funds you need to grow your business.
$2,000
$250,000
Must have been in business for at least 1 year. Revenue minimum is $50,000 annually or $4,200 per month over the last 3 months.
SmartBiz SBA Loans
Get funding for your small business with a government-backed loan and extended repayment terms.
$30,000
$5,000,000
Personal credit score of 650+; US citizen or permanent resident; Business must be 2+ years old; Annual revenue of $50,000+; No outstanding tax liens; No bankruptcies or foreclosures in past 3 years.
Excel Capital Management Small Business Loans
Get personalized financing options that suit your unique business needs in just a few simple steps.
Varies by loan type
Varies by loan type
Your business must operate in the US, be at least 1 year old and have monthly revenue of $15,000+.

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.

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.

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