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Citi® Personal Loan review: A no-fee personal loan, but lower rates could be found elsewhere.

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Edited by Holly Jennings

Our verdict

Get a Citi personal loan of up to $30,000 with no fees, but rates start higher than other lenders.

Citi, a Finder.com advertising partner, offers personal loans that stand out for no-fee policies and rate discounts. With a Citi personal loan, you'll never pay origination or late fees, and there's no prepayment penalty either. If you enroll in autopay, you'll receive 0.50% off your rate, and existing Citigold and Citi Priority customers can receive an additional 0.25% discount.

But its APRs start higher than other lenders like LightStream and Sofi, which means you could potentially get a lower rate elsewhere — even with Citi's rate discounts included — especially if you have a credit score of 760 or higher. And if you need to borrow more than $30,000 or want to use the funds to pay for business expenses, you'll need to find another lender.

The company gets poor marks for customer service, with thousands of complaints registered on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site. There are also two current BBB alerts for Citi, one of which mentions Citi's poor risk management, which is a red flag if you're concerned about financial safety.

Best for: People with excellent credit who want zero fees.

Pros

  • No origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties
  • Rate discounts up to 0.75%.
  • Prequalification available

Cons

  • No co-applicants accepted
  • Starting rate is higher than other lenders
  • Low ratings and reviews

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What makes Citi shine

Citi shines for its no-fee policy. You won’t be on the hook for origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties. This means you can pay your loan off early to save on interest.

It offers a streamlined digital application that allows you to check your rates without impacting your credit score. It also offers generous rate discounts of up to 0.75% — higher than some competitors. And rates are capped below 20% APR, which is lower than other lenders with APRs up to 36%.

Where Citi falls short

Citi falls short for its starting interest rate, which is higher than some competitors. If you have good to excellent credit, you could find a lower rate elsewhere — even with Cit’s discounts factored in. It also falls short on loan amounts, which are capped at $30,000. Some competitors offer loans of up to $50,000 or more.

But perhaps more concerning, many customers leave negative reviews and complaints about Citibank as a whole on the BBB site and Trustpilot. There are also two BBB alerts for Citibank. One is to alert consumers to Citibank’s alleged deficiencies in risk management, which could potentially impact its financial safety.

Citi loan details

Minimum credit score/credit range720
APR10.49% to 19.49%
Loan amounts$2,000 to $30,000
Terms12 to 60 months (1 to 5 years)
Approval turnaroundSame business day with a Citi account, two business days with a non-Citi account
AvailabilityAll 50 states
FeesNo origination or late fees
Other feesNo prepayment penalty

How to qualify for Citi personal loans

Citi’s basic requirements for a personal loan include:

  • US citizen at least 18 years of age
  • Social Security number or Individual Tax ID
  • Minimum credit score of 720
  • Proof of employment and income

How to apply

Here are the steps to apply for a Citi personal loan:

  1. Prequalify online.
  2. Review the loan offer, then formally apply with a hard credit check.
  3. Read over your loan agreement carefully and accept the loan terms.
  4. Follow through with your repayment plan.

How Citi compares to other lenders

Compared to other lenders, Citi offers a fair interest rate range to borrowers. While its lowest rate starts at around 11% currently, this is around the national average — and it caps its rates below 20% APR, which is lower than many other lenders. You can also reduce the interest rate on your Citi personal loan up to 0.50% by setting up autopay.

And unlike lenders like BestEgg or Upgrade, which cater to borrowers in the same credit range, Citi doesn’t charge origination fees on its loans. That means if you’re approved for a Citi personal loan, you’ll get the entire loan amount sent to your bank account without any fees deducted — so you can be sure the only thing you’re paying for is interest.

But if you have a good to excellent credit score above 760, you could potentially secure a lower rate with another lender like LightStream. LightStream offers some of the lowest rates available on personal loans to good to excellent borrowers and offers a low rate guarantee on its loans.

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. credit score Loan amount
LightStream personal loans
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
LightStream personal loans
7.49% to 25.99%
Good to excellent credit
$5,000 to $100,000
Borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees.
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
Finder Score: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
7.99% to 18%
580
$600 to $50,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
Upgrade
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade
8.49% to 35.99%
620
$1,000 to $50,000
Check your rates with this online lender without impacting your credit score.
Best Egg personal loans
Finder Score: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Best Egg personal loans
8.99% to 35.99%
600
$2,000 to $50,000
Fast and easy personal loan application process. See options first without affecting your credit score.
Credible personal loans
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Credible personal loans
4.60% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized prequalified rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Freedom Debt Relief
Not rated yet
Freedom Debt Relief
N/A
N/A
Starting at $4,000
Freedom Debt Relief works to help people with unmanageable, unsecured debt get back on their feet.
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Citi reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating F
BBB customer reviews 1.04 out of 5 stars, based on 568 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on 285 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 11 July 2023

Citi, aka Citibank, has garnered quite a few complaints over the years — although, this is for Citi’s services as whole, not just its personal loans. Citi isn’t accredited with the BBB and gets an “F” rating for how it handled several thousand complaints over the past three years. But perhaps more concerningly, there are two current BBB alerts for Citi’s marketplace conduct and “unsound” banking practices.

Many of Citi’s customer complaints center around its credit cards and banking accounts, with many complaining about poor offshore customer service and long wait times, fraudulent charges on cards and credit scores dropping as a result of how issues were handled by Citi’s customer service. Overall, Citi has below-average ratings compared to other lenders, like Best Egg or LightStream.

Customers who left positive reviews mention being happy with Citi’s credit rewards cards and interest rate reductions after being a customer for a year. But there are far more negative reviews than positive ones on the BBB site and Trustpilot.

Is Citi legit?

**Rates as of 10-06-2023. Your APR may be as low as 10.49% or as high as 19.49% for the term of your loan. The lowest rate quoted assumes excellent credit, and a loan term of 36 months or shorter. Otherwise, a higher rate will apply. For example, if you borrow $10,000 for 36 months at 15.99% APR, to repay your loan you will have to make 36 monthly payments of approximately $351.52. There is a 0.5% APR discount if you enroll in automatic payments at loan origination. Additionally, existing Citigold and Citi Priority customers will receive a 0.25% discount to the interest rate. If you are in default, your APR may increase by 2.00%. No down payment is required. Rates subject to change without notice. You must be at least 18 years of age (21 years of age in Puerto Rico). Co-applicants are not permitted. Loan proceeds cannot be used for post-secondary educational or business purposes. If you apply online, you must agree to receive the loan note and all other account disclosures provided at loan origination in an electronic format and provide your signature electronically. Credit cards issued by Citibank, N.A. or its affiliates, as well as Checking Plus and Ready Credit accounts, are not eligible for debt consolidation, and Citibank will not issue payoff checks for these accounts. If you are unsure of the issuer on the account, please visit https://www.citi.com/affiliatesproducts for a list of Citi products and affiliates

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