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LAST UPDATED: September 20th, 2019

Santander is a leading financial institute across the world. It is most popular in the United Kingdom, Latin America, and parts of Europe. Santander is available on the eastern coast of the United States and has competitive rates for their personal loan services. The bank provides financial solutions to clients in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maine, Vermont or Washington DC. Santander headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and began in 2009.

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The Good

  • Interest Rates
  • Max Loan Amount between $5,000 and $35,000
  • Loan Terms
  • Approval Time and Funding
  • No Prepayment or Application Fees

Interest Rates

Santander states that customers will be charged with one of the following interest rates on their personal loans; 6.99%, 8.99%, 10.99%, 12.99%, 14.99%, or 16.99%. This leaves no questions about interest rates unanswered for their customers. Of course, the rate that is selected for a loan depends on varying factors of the loan details such as the amount, loan term, credit history of the borrower and location of the borrower. In comparison to other lending companies, these rates are highly competitive and are what can be expected for a personal loan through a large financial institution. They also offer discounts to members of their financial institution.

Max Loan Amount between $5,000 and $35,000

Santander has loan amounts that range from $5,000 to $35,000. This maximum loan amount is not uncommon for the industry. Although it is not as high as some of the other large name banks in America who offers its customers up to $100,000 in a personal loan, a $35,000 loan is still average for the industry. This large range also appeals to a higher volume of customers who are looking for different amounts that will best fit their needs. Some companies (such as Rapid Loans Direct) have much smaller loan amount ranges that can exclude a great number of customers because of the lack of flexibility.

Loan Terms

The maximum loan term for personal loans through Santander is also very comparable to other companies in the industry. Customers can select through the application process which loan term best fits their needs and have options starting with a 12-month term, and raising all the way up to a five-year loan term. This range of time for loan terms is standard and can be seen as many other lending companies policy as well. A five-year loan term is manageable for most customers, which is why it has become the standard for many personal loans. With loan terms ranging from one to five years, the flexible loan terms that Santander provides its consumers is average for the industry. But given the smaller loan amounts, it can be difficult to obtain five-year financing on smaller loan terms, which Santander does provide to its consumers on amounts over $15,000.00.

Approval Time and Funding

While same day approvals and funding are possible, an in-office visit will be required.

No Prepayment or Application Fees

Santander Bank does not charge prepayment fees or loan application fees unlike some of their competitors. Due to the institution's set-up, Santander Bank does provide consumers with in-house lending, which is different than some competitors that go through third-party financing firms.

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The Bad

  • Credit Score
  • Loan Origination and Closing Cost Fees
  • Only Available in 11 States
  • Checking Account Required

Credit Score

Santander states in its personal loan agreement terms that customers must meet its highest credit standards for a better chance at being approved for a loan. This can lead interested individuals to believe that a fairly high credit score such as 700 or above is required to obtain a personal loan through Santander. Many other companies in the industry require much lower credit scores and the usage of the term, highest credit standards infers its minimum credit score is not competitive to other personal loan companies.

Loan Origination and Closing Cost Fees

Unlike a good portion of their competitors, Santander Bank does charge Loan Origination Fees and adds on various other fees as closing costs that consumers often do not find out about until they close on the loan. The amounts of these fees vary on the type of loan that the consumer agrees to, the loan amount, the interest rate, and the area that the loan is originated in (often in the form of various state and local taxes).

Only Available in 11 States

Unfortunately, although Santander is a large name bank in countries outside of the United States, they are primarily only available to customers on the eastern coast of America. Currently, Santander is available in 11 states which include; Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, and DC. The company has over seven hundred branches throughout these states and nearly twenty-one hundred ATM's. Worldwide, Santander has over one hundred and two million customers. They are most popular in the United Kingdom, followed by Latin America, and in parts of Europe. Santander has recently been trying to expand their services in the United States and hopes to one day be available across the country.

Checking Account Required

Unfortunately, because Santander offers customers so many different financial services, the information provided about personal loans specifically is not detailed. This can leave customers frustrated who are researching which company they would like to select for their personal loan needs. As far as the approval process and fund availability, although Santander does not clearly outline this information to their customers, typically loans are approved within the same day as they were submitted. One factor that should be noted is that all loans through Santander are required to have an automatic payment system through a Santander checking account. A customer interested in a personal loan through the company does not have to first bank with them, but after receiving a personal loan must obtain a checking account and have their payments for the loan automatically deducted from the account. If a customer discontinues the automatic payments at some point during the loan term, Santander raises the interest rate of the loan by 0.25 percent and continually increases the interest rate for the period of the loan. 

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The Bottom Line

Santander Bank offers great benefits to their current customers. This increases customer loyalty and keeps them coming back for more. For those current members of Santander Bank, it would be wise to check out its loan options. For those people who are not current customers, it would not be recommended. Two of the biggest limitations are its location availability and required a credit score. This really narrows down the type of customer who can actually receive a loan from them. For those customers seeking a personal loan, Santander may not be the best choice. We recommend to check out the top personal loan companies.

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