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.
- SBA loans
- Great resources
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
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.
- Missing information
- Limited service area
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.
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
There are only 18 states with physical Citizens Bank locations which greatly limits who can use their services.
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.
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.