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1 User Review

Citizens Bank is an established financial institution with over 1,100 branches and locations in the eastern half of the United States. Citizens Bank opened their doors for business in 1947, and in 1988 they were acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland to become RBS Citizens Bank. Citizens Bank split off from RBS in 2014 and continues to provide personal and business financing to U.S. consumers through phone or in-person applications. Consumers that choose Citizens Bank should remember that they must have a credit score of 550 or higher.

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The Good

  • Loan Types
  • Resources

Loan Types

With Citizens Bank, borrowers may be able to obtain a number of varying loan types. These include:

  • SBA 7(a)
  • SBA 504
  • SBA Express loans

Resources

Their SBA resources also include helpful tips for applying for SBA loans, FAQs, a glossary of SBA terms, choosing the right SBA loan, and other pertinent information about the SBA loan process. For all lending types, the interest rates will vary based on the prime rate and on the loan amount, the term length, and more. Citizens Bank does not offer any unsecured loans or lines of credit. All of their standard borrowing options must be secured by general business assets or, in some instances, real estate. There are three general types of funding options:

  • A business flex loan is mainly for purchasing business equipment or vehicles over a period of time and includes a six-month purchasing period that operates much like a line of credit.
  • A business term loan is a standard loan that deposits the funds as one lump sum instead of over a period of time. The loan amounts extend up to $350,000. Interest rates can be fixed or variable and can potentially be a little lower than those for business flex loans.
  • A revolving line of credit is also available to small business owners.
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The Bad

  • Requirements
  • Missing Information
  • Limited Service Area
  • Must Have Account

Requirements

While Citizens Bank does not reveal a limit for a company's annual revenue, both business and personal tax documents are required for loan applications. Financial statements and proof of ongoing revenue may be required as well. A credit score is also necessary, though there is not a cutoff number for that, either. There is a one-time documentation fee of $250 for all loan types, and a $150 minimum annual fee for all lines of credit.

Missing Information

Other pieces of information Citizens Bank does not provide include the following:

  • Interest rates
  • Term Length
  • Application requirements (credit score, time in business, current revenue)
  • Prepayment penalties

Limited Service Area

There are only 18 states with physical Citizens Bank locations which greatly limits who can use their services.

Must Have Account

Applicants do not have to be previously established customers, but do need to have or set up a Citizens Bank business checking account for automatic payments on their borrowed amounts. Once all the documentation has been received, applicants can generally expect to hear back within five business days, with an additional two weeks to close on a loan.

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The Bottom Line

Citizens Bank is a well-established financial institution with a variety of basic lending services for small businesses. They are a preferred SBA lender and provide information, guidance, and help in applying for and securing SBA loans. They they do not offer any unsecured funding, and lack a great deal of pertinent information on their website. They charge a $250 documentation fee for loans and a $150 minimum annual fee for lines of credit. We do not recommend working with Citizens Bank at this time.

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Nk Eie Sunnyside, NY

Financing Pulled Last Minute Due To Covid Virus. Worst mortgage experience of our life that we will be reeling from for years. Citizens Bank pulled their financing after issuing a commitment just days before our closing in late March after the Covid virus temporarily shut down our business. We had 130% of the entire purchase price in liquid savings and would have been able to make years worth of on-time monthly payments from our savings in a worst case scenario. Citizens officials treated it as if our business would never reopen again. Citizens treated the situation as if we were abruptly closed permanently. Agents were extremely busy juggling multiple deals and would re-ask for the same documents multiple times over which wasted much time. Communication was good, but you have to stay on top of them to move the process along, which was difficult. Underwriter was extremely tedious to a point that they acted like they were looking for an excuse to kill our deal even with 800+ credit scores and substantial savings. Once they pulled their commitment, we even offered to put a significantly larger downpayment and even pay a higher interest rate to save the deal, but it did us no good. Citizens Bank completely kicked us to the curb last minute when the Covid virus struck us, and now we are in litigation with the seller for a missed closing deadline. We are now paying litigation legal fees that would equal months worth of mortgage payments. Please AVOID using Citizens Bank for your mortgage and home financing needs at all costs. Biggest mistake of our lives was to work with Citizens Bank based on a personal relationship we had with their agent from knowing them for years. Never again.

8 months ago

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