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Citizens Bank mortgage review

Provides detailed information and tools, but only for conventional loans.

Citizens Bank offers many of the traditional mortgage loan products you’d expect from a retail bank and nice incentives, such as a home loan rewards program and an interest rate discount for banking customers. But its focus appears to be conventional loans, providing very little information and no tools or perks for other loan types, such as government-backed mortgages.

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Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
State availabilityNot available in: AK, HI, IA
NMLS #433960

Our take on Citizens Bank

Citizen Bank’s longevity, discounts and rewards program make it a strong contender, especially if you’re looking for a conventional loan. While the bank offers government-backed mortgages, you have to do some digging on the site to get information about these home loans. Its website is lacking when it comes to providing detail about its loan products beyond conventional mortgages.

Regarding its fees, expect to pay around $1,000 in underwriting and processing fees. We see lender fees range from zero to several thousand dollars, so Citizens Bank comes in around the middle of the pack here. Though Citizens Bank publishes its rates online, we had to reach out and speak to a representative to get the specifics about its fees. This, coupled with the lack of information about its mortgage products, makes it difficult for homebuyers to compare when shopping around for a lender.

In all, Citizens Bank offers mortgage products in most states across the US, and the reviews specific to its mortgage services are very positive. If you’re looking for a traditional bank to service your mortgage, we think Citizens Bank is worth bookmarking as you continue to shop around.

What types of mortgage loans does Citizens Bank offer?

Citizens Bank lists only its conventional loans online, so you must contact a rep if you’re interested in a jumbo loan or government-backed loan.

  • Conventional loans. Citizens Bank offers a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate loan and a fully amortizing adjustable-rate mortgage.
  • FHA loans. If you’re a first-time homeowner or have a low credit score, you may qualify for this government-backed loan.
  • VA loans. Retired and active-duty military personnel and their spouses are eligible for this loan that offers a lower interest rate, lower down payment and fewer closing costs than traditional loans.
  • USDA loans. If you’re purchasing in a rural area, you may qualify for a $0-down loan backed by the USDA.
  • Jumbo loans. If your home’s cost is higher than 2020’s conforming home limit of $484,350 to $510,400, a fixed- or adjustable-rate jumbo loan can help.

Other loans offered by Citizens Bank

Citizens offers loans that can help you build, refinance or borrow against the equity in your home.

  • HELOC. A variable interest rate with flexible payment options, including an interest-only option, with no closing or application fees.
  • Home equity loan. A fixed-rate loan with no closing costs or application fees, and you can choose the term of the loan.
  • Construction-to-permanent loan. Pay only interest during the construction period, and when construction is complete, your loan becomes a traditional mortgage.
  • Refinance loans. Get a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate refinance loan or a 7-year fully amortizing adjustable-rate mortgage.
  • Small business loans. Borrow through various business loans, including lines of credit, equipment loans and SBA loans.
  • Commercial loans. Choose from a full suite of commercial borrowing with short-term revolving loans and long-term options.

Citizens Bank fees

Citizens Bank doesn’t charge an origination fee, but it does charge some other lender fees. These include underwriting and processing fees of around $1,000 in total, according to a Citizens Bank representative. Lender fees vary drastically from one lender to another, and $1,000 falls near the middle.

As a homebuyer, also expect to pay third-party fees and closing costs. These include:

  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Title fees
  • Survey fees

Your Home Rewards program

Citizens Bank offers a rewards program for those buying or selling a home. Sign up to get matched with a real estate agent and mortgage loan officer. You could get back $350 to $6,500 once the sale is complete depending on your loan amount.

You don’t need to be an existing Citizens Bank customer to use this program, but the cashback reward isn’t available in all states. And the reward may come in the form of a gift card or reduction of real estate agent fees, depending on what local laws allow.

Borrowers with FHA or VA loans aren’t eligible for the program. Plus you must use the real estate agent assigned to you through Home Rewards to earn the cash back.


Citizens Bank doesn’t advertise its loan requirements online, claiming instead that eligibility standards, such as credit scores, change often. To make sure you’re eligible, you must speak to a bank loan expert.


Expect to provide personal and financial documents to apply and throughout the homebuying process, including:

  • Government-issued ID, like a passport or driver’s license
  • Birth certificate and Social Security number
  • Pay stubs or other proof of income
  • Recent bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Account statements for investments and retirement income
  • Your rental lease, sales contract or purchase agreement on a current home
  • Documentation of long-term debts, such as credit cards, car or personal loans and student debt

How to get a home loan with Citizens Bank

Start by completing the prequalification questionnaire online, which assigns you a licensed loan officer as part of the process. After completing the prequalification steps, upload your documentation for review by Citizen’s loan team.

  1. Go to the Citizens Bank mortgages page and select Apply Now.
  2. Create an account with an email and password.
  3. Note the name and contact information of the Citizens Bank loan officer in your area and select Continue.
  4. Select whether you’re purchasing a new property or refinancing your home.
  5. Enter your personal information, details about the type of property you’re purchasing and your real estate agent. Select Continue when prompted.
  6. Enter information about your assets and income, your financial circumstances and demographics.
  7. Confirm your details and submit your application.

Citizens Bank reviews and complaints

As of November 2021, Citizens Bank holds an A+ rating but isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customers have rated the bank 1.04 out of 5 stars based on a total of 158 reviews, and the bank has closed 935 complaints in the past three years.

Over on Trustpilot, customers rate Citizens Bank 1.5 out of 5 stars based on a total of 37 reviews. Dissatisfied customers across both sites complain of unresponsive customer support, poor customer service and that the bank frequently mishandles paperwork.

Customers on Zillow paint a different picture of the bank. Here, customers rate Citizens Bank 4.96 out of 5 stars based on a total of more than 1,900 reviews. Since these reviews center around Citizens mortgage services, they might hold a bit more weight. Satisfied customers praise the responsiveness and quality of service of its loan officers and the lender’s smooth home loan process.

Pros and cons of Citizens Bank


  • Rate discount for bank customers. If you have a Citizens checking account, you may be eligible for a 0.125% interest rate discount.
  • Specialized mortgage options available. Citizens Bank offers programs like the Doctor Loan Mortgage Program with specialized terms for medical professionals. Plus the Construction-to-Permanent loan allows you to make interest-only payments while your house is being built.
  • Calculate your loan rates and fees. Use the calculator to plug in more specific information and get quotes that show what your interest rate could be for various loans, along with potential fees and an estimate of your mortgage payment.


  • Sparse details for certain loan types. The bank doesn’t disclose loan, documentation or other requirements for such options as high-dollar or government-backed loans. For that, you need to speak with a rep.
  • Unpopular mobile app. While the free Citizens One Home Loans app helps you manage your mortgage, customers rate it less than 2 stars out of 5 on both the Apple Store and Google Play, complaining of poor design and multiple errors.

What is Citizens Bank?

Citizens Bank is the 13th-largest retail bank in North America with over $1 billion in assets on its own. With almost 150 years in business, parent company Citizens Financial Group has over $176 billion in assets.

The bank supports 1,000 bank branches in 11 states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

How is Citizens One related to Citizens Bank?

Citizens One is the online-only banking division under the Citizens Financial Group, offering banking services to customers outside the areas covered by Citizens Bank, which is the retail division. The divisions seem to share a customer service phone center, which answers as Citizens One, but have separate websites. If the Citizens Bank website detects you live outside its service area, it redirects you to the Citizens One site and doesn’t allow you to use the Citizens Bank online quote tool or walk through the application process.

January 2020 CFPB lawsuit

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Citizens Bank in January 2020 that claims the bank violated the Truth in Lending Act for failing to properly deal with billing errors and unauthorized use of customer credit cards. The CFPB is asking for an injunction and financial penalties as a result. The bank is challenging the claims.

Alternatives to Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank won’t be right for everyone, and that’s OK. There’s no shortage of mortgage lenders to choose from.

If you value the convenience of an online application process, you might consider a lender that operates entirely online. You’re more likely to find a lender that skips lender fees, and the home loan process is often more streamlined. For instance, Better is a fully digital lender that doesn’t charge lender fees, gets high marks from customers and is committed to closing on your home in no more than 21 days.

If you happen to live in one of the few states Citizens Bank doesn’t service and like the idea of working with a traditional bank, consider BNC National Bank. It offers a similar lineup of mortgage products as Citizens Bank and is available nationwide.

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