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Borrow up to $10,000 at a flat rate, but you can't apply online.
Ridgewood Savings Bank is ideal for New York residents who value supporting their community and crave the personal touch. But if you live outside the Big Apple — or don’t want to visit a branch — you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.
What makes Ridgewood Savings Bank personal loans unique?
Everyone gets the same interest rate when they borrow from Ridgewood Savings Bank. That’s right. While it might not be a great deal for someone with excellent credit, someone who’s consistently approved for rates higher than 13% might want to look closely at this option. On top of its consistent rates, it also offers a relatively substantial 0.5% discount on interest if you sign up for automatic payments from a Ridgewood Savings Bank checking account.
What types of personal loans does Ridgewood Savings Bank offer?
Ridgewood Savings Bank personal loans are fixed-rate term loans. And unlike other lenders, everyone who qualifies gets the same rate. It offers both secured and unsecured options to suit borrowers’ needs.
Ridgewood Savings Bank personal loans are unsecured and have a fixed term. If approved, you can borrow from $500 to $10,000. Your funds can be used for just about anything, and you’ll repay the amount you borrow over a period of three years with a 13.5% interest rate.
For a $1,000 loan, this means your monthly payment will be a low $33.94 per month. Compared to other lenders, this is an affordable amount that won’t cost you too much in interest over the life of your loan. Of course, if you choose to borrow more, you’ll be paying interest on more money — resulting in a higher monthly payment.
Personal savings loans
A personal savings loan, or Passbook loan, is a secured fixed-term loan that allows you to borrow against your savings account balance. Ridgewood places a hold on your account equivalent to your loan amount so that you can continue to gain interest. You’ll pay 4.5% interest on a 6- to 12-month loan, 5% on a 12- to 24-month loan and 6% on a 24- to 36-month loan.
It can also be used similarly to a checking overdraft. If you want to withdraw more than your Ridgewood Savings Bank checking account balance allows, you can use a Passbook loan to borrow those funds from your savings.
Why get a personal loan from Ridgewood Savings Bank?
One rate for everyone. Everyone gets the same rate on their loan, regardless of credit score. While its personal loan rates are a bit high for borrowers with excellent credit, it could be the best deal around if your credit score is low.
Autopay discount. You can knock 0.5% off of your interest rate if you sign up for autopay with a Ridgewood Savings Bank checking account.
Small amounts available. You can borrow as little as $500 with the standard personal loan.
Brick-and-mortar locations. Those who prefer doing financial transactions in person can do everything in one of Ridgewood Savings Bank’s branches. Bonus points if you live in Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx — that’s where you’ll find the most locations.
Supporting a local institution. Taking out a loan with Ridgewood Savings Bank is a great way to support your community, not only by putting money in a local business, but supporting the free workshops and other charity events that it sponsors.
What to watch out for
Low maximum amount. You can only borrow up to $10,000, which isn’t much help if you have a large personal expense.
Lacking customer service. You might have trouble getting information out of Ridgewood Savings Bank without going in person. When we called the loans department number listed on Ridgewood Savings Bank’s website, we weren’t able to get in touch with someone who could give us straight answers to basic questions like eligibility requirements.
Not much information online. Information about eligibility requirements or even how to apply is not readily available on its personal loans page.
Long turnover time. The main complaint against Ridgewood Savings Bank is how difficult it is to get anything done. Hitches in the borrowing process aren’t uncommon.
You’ll have to visit a branch. There’s really no way around it: Ridgewood Savings Bank prioritizes foot traffic above all else. While it’s possible to fill out an application online, we had to call and ask how. And customer service lines aren’t always very helpful. If talking face-to-face is your jam, you’ll love this bank. If you want quick answers, you might want to look at other lenders.
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Updated December 8th, 2019
What do other customers say about Ridgewood Savings Bank?
Since Ridgewood Savings Bank is so small, it’s no surprise that there isn’t much online about it. It gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which it’s been accredited with since 1988. It has no reviews on that site, however, and seven resolved customer complaints filed with the BBB.
It has no Trustpilot page at all, but you can find some customer reviews on Yelp, where it earned three out of five stars. Some reviewers were happy with the customer service at Ridgewood Savings Bank and the community workshops it offers. Others complained about inefficient application processes and its out-of-date online banking.
Am I eligible?
While Ridgewood Savings Bank doesn’t have any hard eligibility requirements, applicants with strong credit and a low debt-to-income ratio under 43% might have better luck getting accepted.
To be eligible for a Passbook or personal savings loan, you must have a savings account with Ridgewood Savings Bank. Otherwise, if you’re looking to take out a personal loan with Ridgewood, your best bet would be to go into a physical branch and tell them a bit about your financial situation to see if you’re eligible.
How do I apply?
Ridgewood Savings Bank doesn’t have an online application, so you’ll have to apply in person. You can find a branch near you by going to its website and clicking on Find ATM/Branch in the upper right-hand corner. Then enter your ZIP code or city and click Search.
I got the loan. Now what?
Get ready for repayments by setting up autopay with your bank account. You won’t get the 0.5% discount if you don’t have a checking account with Ridgewoood, but even if you don’t, you won’t have to worry about making manual repayments every month. Its online banking doesn’t have a strong reputation, so the less you have to use it, the better.
Keep track of your bank account and loan balance. If you notice something odd, contact its customer service line or visit a branch in person.
More company info about Ridgewood Savings Bank
Ridgewood Savings Bank is the largest mutual savings bank in New York City and the surrounding area. As a mutual savings bank, it’s similar to credit unions – neither have publicly listed stock. In addition, they’re often community-oriented and don’t have a wide reach.
While one of the largest mutual savings banks in the area, Ridgewood Savings Bank is still small. It has 33 branches across the five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. Its focus has been on helping build the local community since it opened in 1921 in Ridgewood, Queens. And it’s the kind of bank you’ll want to visit in person to get the best service. Its website doesn’t tell you much and its customer services lines aren’t that helpful.
If you’re craving a personal borrowing experience that strengthens your connection to your community, Ridgewood Savings Bank could be for you. Its loans are simple and easy to understand, and customer service is personable and professional — though not very informed. Its one-rate-for-all perk could be good for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. Speed and efficiency, however, are not its strong points.
Ridgewood Savings Bank also offers business loans, student loans and mortgages.
Branch hours vary, so check with your local branch first before visiting. Most Ridgewood Savings Bank branches are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. All branches are closed on Sundays.
Reach out to Ridgewood Savings Bank and ask why your application was rejected. Depending on the reason, you can try applying again, apply with a different lender or work on improving your personal finances before applying for another personal loan.
It’s not difficult to qualify for an account, but you’ll still need to meet a few basic requirements:
Resident of the state of New York.
Meet minimum deposit to open an account.
You can apply for an account through its website by clicking Open an Account on the homepage. Fill out your personal information, select which type of account you’d like, read the terms and conditions and submit your application. Have your contact information, a photo ID, your Social Security number and a New York state address on hand.
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