Citizens Financial Business Loans Review

(July 2024)

Citizens Financial Business Loans Review

In This Article

Our Verdict

Citizens is an SBA Preferred Lender with a variety of business loan products for small businesses. It releases funds up to $150,000 within 2-3 days of approving a loan and allows customers to apply for its products online. The bank doesn’t state its qualification requirements online.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of loans.
  • Is a preferred SBA lender.
  • Allows online business loan application.
  • Welcomes small businesses
  • Releases funds within 2-3 business days of approving business loan applications.
  • States all terms, fees, and rates upfront.

Cons

  • Runs mainly in the Northeast part of the country.
  • Opens to small businesses primarily. Established businesses must visit the bank’s branch to complete a business loan application.
  • Requires strict requirements, including credit score, business financial, time and business, etc.

Who This Product Is Best For

www.citizensbank.com

Citizen Financial business loans are best for business owners who:

  • Reside in any of the 12 states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont—where the loan products are available.
  • Require quick business term loans of up to $150,000
  • Like partnering with SBA preferred lenders.
  • Prefer online application for business loans.

Who This Product Isn't Right For

Citizen business loan products may not be ideal for business owners who:

  • Reside or conduct business outside the Northeast part of the country.
  • Require business term loans, business lines of credit, and Equipment loans in millions.

What This Product Offers

  • Business lines of credit. Get unlimited access to cash in order to purchase inventory, manage unplanned costs, clear account receivables, and lots more.
  • Equipment financing. Finance your vehicle, equipment, or machinery expenses with each with Citizens Financial business loans.
  • Business term loans. Meet business urgent needs such as financing simple renovation costs, buying assets, etc.
  • Business mortgage. Carry out larger expanses such as funding major renovations, refinance commercial real estate loans, etc. with Citizens’ business mortgages.

Product Details

Business lines of credit

With business lines of credit, you draw money for various needs, pay it back with interest, and borrow money again when another need arises. You only pay interest on the amount you draw and you can choose your preferred payment option either principal plus interest or interest only. You pay up to $150 as an annual fee if your line of credit is anything between $50,000-$100,000 and 0.30% on the line of credit between $100,001-$1,000,000.

Equipment financing

Choose between Citizens Financial’s Business Flex or Equipment Flex in order to meet business needs such as purchasing assets or funding leasehold improvements. Both Business Flex and Equipment Flex are a form of secured loan since you secure the loan with the assets you purchase with it.

If you need funding between the limits of $10,000 and $150,000, you can consider the Business Flex Loans. Here, you have up to 6 months to draw funds as you need after which it turns into a fixed-rate term loan (then pay off the principal and interest within 42-54 months, depending on the amount you borrow).

Opt for Equipment Flex Loans provided the amount you require is up to $500,000. You have a six-month additional draw period (making 12 altogether) until your line of credit becomes a fixed-rate term loan with the repayment term of interest and principal of up to 60 extra months. One cool thing is that you pay a $0 annual fee for Business Flex or Equipment Flex Loans

Business term loans

Access quick funding up to $150,000 within three days with Citizen Financial business term loans. Adjust your repayment term up to 84 months. And the application takes a few steps online. Then decide whether you want a fixed- or variable-rate term loan before you submit your application.

Product

Business term loans

Loan amounts

Up to $150,000 within 2-3 days. Anything more than $150,000 requires more paperwork and may take longer time to complete

Approximated APR

Confidential

Repayment term

Up to 84 months

Fee

Confidential

Business mortgage

A business mortgage is another Citizens Financial business loan product you can get to renovate, buy, or refinance your commercial property. You make an agreed-upon monthly instalment payment (up to 120 months, depending on the amount you get) until you clear your balance plus up to 25 amortization. To get a business mortgage from Citizens, meet with the bank’s representative in order to discuss your needs.

Product

Business mortgage

Loan amounts

Confidential

Approximated APR

Confidential

Repayment term

Up to 120 months

Fee

Confidential

Business SBA loan

Citizens Financial business SBA loans include the SBA 7(a) loan, SBA Express Loan, and SBA 504 Loan.

SBA 7(a) loans

SBA 7(a) loans are the most popular because you can use them for almost all business-related needs. Apply up to $5,000,000 with a repayment term of up to 120 months for an SBA 7(a) working capital loan—up to 180 months for equipment purchases and 300 months for real estate. The interest rates are low since you cannot pay more than the maximum federal government set.

Product

SBA 7(a) loans

Loan amounts

Up to $5,000,000

Approximated APR

Depending on the SBA maximum

Repayment term

Up to 120 months (working capital); 180 months (equipment purchases); 300 months (real estate);

Fee

Confidential

SBA Express Loans

If you want to get an SBA loan quickly, consider the SBA Express Loans. Choose between an SBA Express line of credit or a term loan—but the loan amount max out at $350,000 which you can use for various purposes, including refinancing debt, purchasing equipment, or working capital.

Product

SBA Express Loans

Loan amounts

Up to $350,000

Approximated APR

Depending on the SBA maximum

Repayment term

Confidential

Fee

Confidential

SBA 504 loans

Use this category of SBA loans when the need to make larger purchases—buying a fixed asset, for example—arises. You can get up to $12,000,000 with a repayment term capping at 120 months (for fixed asset purchases) or 240 months (for real estate purchases).

 

 

Product

SBA 504 loans

Loan amounts

Up to $12,000,000

Approximated APR

Depending on SBA maximum

Repayment term

Up to 120 months for fixed asset purchases and up to 240 months for real estate purchases

Fee

Confidential

Where This Product Stands Out

  • Releases funds quickly. If you’re applying for a business term loan up to $150,000, Citizens can release funds within 2-3 days provided you qualify.
  • Offers varieties of business loan products. To find the best product for your venture’s needs, Check Citizens products or book an appointment with the bank’s representative.

Where This Product Falls Short

  • Hides qualification requirements. Citizens is silent about credit score, annual revenue, and time in business requirements.
  • Require physical application for higher loan amounts. If you apply for anything above $150,000 online, a customer support will contact you and request more paperwork.

How to Qualify for This Product

 Citizens doesn’t state specifically the qualification requirements for its products online. But you know that most lenders work with business owners who:

  • Are creditworthy. Having a personal and business credit scores of 680+ on the FICO scale is a booster for your business loan application.
  • Have at least two years of experience in doing business. Have you owned and run the business for up to two years? Citizens wants to know how the business progresses in the last two years under your ownership.
  • Maintain solid annual revenue. If your business is not making a profit, no lender is likely going to offer you any loan product.

How to Apply for This Product

The specific loan product you need will determine the documents and steps to take. That said, meet with Citizens banker to know the documents you require for the bank’s business loan products. The following is what most lenders require:

  • Personal and business credit scores.
  • A personal guarantee. This depends on the type of business loan you apply for.
  • Business financial documents. Get your profit and loss statements, tax returns, most recent bank statements, and annual revenue handy before you commence with your application.
  • Collateral. If you’re opting for a secured loan, you will deposit your asset in form of collateral. Don’t forget, the collateral can be in form of cash, inventory, or commercial real estate.

Submit your application online. If you apply for more than $150,000, expect a customer representative to call you in order to complete the process.

Alternatives to This Product

Fundation

Fundation offers both business term loans and business lines of credit, making it a good alternative for small business owners. Business term loans max at $500,000 with a repayment term of up to 48 months while Fundation business lines of credit cap at $150,000 with a repayment term of up to 18 months. The interest rate starts at 8.9% to 29.99% for lines of credit.

To qualify for Fundation business loan products, have a credit score of 660+, at least one year of experience in doing business,  annual revenue of $100,000, and a minimum of three staff.

Lending Club

Lending Club is an option to consider if Citizens turns down your application. One downside of Lending Club is that to qualify, maintain an annual business revenue of $50,000 and above, have a credit of 620+, and have at least one year of business experience. If you meet the requirements, you can apply for a business term loan between $5,000 and $300,000 at 5.9% to 25.9% rates and up to 60 months repayment term.

Customer Reviews

Citizens receives a 1.2 out of 5-star rating (bad) based on 251 customer reviews on Trust Pilot. Most people complained about the bank’s poor customer support. On Consumer Affairs, the bank receives an above-average rating of 3.7/5 stars, based on 833 reviews.

Methodology

We reviewed Citizens Financial business loans based on 20 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We rated Citizens Financial business loans based on the weighting assigned to each category:

  • Loan cost: 35%
  • Loan details: 25%
  • Customer experience: 20%
  • Eligibility and accessibility: 10%
  • Application process: 10%

Within each major category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score and time in business requirements and the geographic availability of the lender.

Finally, we evaluated Citizens Financial business loans customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like online applications, prequalification options and mobile apps.

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