Santander U.S. Business Loans Review

(April 2024)

Santander U.S. Business Loans Review

In This Article

Our Verdict

Santander US Bank offers personal and business banking services, including loans, credit cards, investments, and insurance, with over 300 branches in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions. Online and mobile banking services are available, and business loans and services are provided. Customer service is offered through various channels with a knowledge center and financial advisors. The bank provides resources to help customers manage their accounts and address concerns.

Pros

  • Extensive variety of lending options
  • Flexible repayment plans
  • Fast and efficient application and approval process
  • SBA-preferred lender

Cons

  •  Lack of transparency
  • Poor customer service
  • Fees and charges

Who This Product Is Best For

Santander US business loans may be a good fit for prospective borrowers who:

  • Have specific financing needs that can be met by Santander US Bank’s range of loan products
  • Value relationship-based banking and having access to a personal banker
  • Prioritize competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms
  • Require funding quickly and value the bank’s quick approval turnaround time.

Who This Product Isn't Right For

Santander US business loans may not be a good fit for:

  • Businesses with limited credit history, as they may not meet the bank’s minimum credit score or revenue requirements
  • Businesses looking for low-interest rates or fee-free loans, as Santander US Bank may charge fees and interest rates may not be the lowest in the market
  • Businesses looking for transparency in loan terms and conditions, as some borrowers have reported a lack of transparency in the application and approval process

What This Product Offers

Santander Website

Business Lines of Credit – Revolving credit lines that provide access to funds when needed, suitable for short-term working capital needs or to cover unexpected expenses.

Business Term Loans – Santander US Bank offers Term Loans, which are loans with a fixed interest rate and a set repayment period, making them suitable for businesses looking to finance large investments such as equipment purchases or expansion projects.

Commercial Real Estate Loans – Santander US Bank offers Commercial Real Estate Loans that are specifically designed for businesses looking to purchase or refinance commercial real estate for their operations. These loans can be a suitable option for businesses that require a significant amount of funding to acquire or refinance property.

SBA Loans – Santander US Bank provides Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans that are government-backed and come with longer repayment terms and lower interest rates compared to traditional loans. These loans are suitable for startups and small businesses that may not qualify for traditional loans.

Product Details

Business Term Loans

Santander offers a term loan for anticipated expenses. This loan has a repayment period of one to five years, which falls somewhere in between a short-term loan and a long-term loan.

Loan Amount

$5,000 to $5 million

Terms

1-5 years

Interest Rates

4.99% to 36%

Business Lines of Credit 

Santander provides a Business Line of Credit that is suitable for general working capital or cash flow requirements. The line of credit comes with an annual fee of $250 and an origination fee of $250. However, if you have a Santander Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account, you can waive the origination fee.

Loan Amount

$10,000 to $500,000

Terms

Varies

Interest Rates

6.75% to 10.50%

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Santander provides a commercial real estate loan if you need a loan for your property. These loans can be used to purchase, refinance or renovate your commercial property but only if it’s owner-occupied real estate. You can receive a loan amount of up to 80% LTV (loan-to-value), and Santander never has balloon payments for commercial mortgages under $1 million.

Loan Amount

$25,000 to $5 million

Terms

5-25 years

Interest Rates

Unlisted

Where This Product Stands Out

Competitive interest rates

Santander US Bank’s business loans come with competitive interest rates that can help businesses save money over time. Lower interest rates translate to lower monthly payments, resulting in a lower overall cost of borrowing. This is especially beneficial for businesses that require larger loan amounts or longer repayment periods. By keeping their interest rates competitive, Santander helps businesses access the funds they need while minimizing the cost of borrowing, which can ultimately help them grow and succeed. Additionally, competitive interest rates may also make Santander’s loan products more attractive and accessible to a broader range of businesses, increasing the bank’s customer base and potential revenue.

Flexible loan options

 Santander US Bank offers a range of flexible loan options for businesses, including term loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, and commercial mortgages. This enables businesses to select the most suitable loan for their particular requirements, whether it’s a large investment or short-term working capital. By providing these varied options, Santander empowers businesses to choose the financing that aligns with their goals and helps them succeed.

Bespoke customer service

Santander provides personalized customer service through financial advisors and a knowledge center with tutorials and FAQs to assist businesses in managing their accounts and addressing their concerns. This approach helps businesses make informed financial decisions and achieve their goals.

No balloon payment

Santander’s commercial mortgages under $1 million do not have balloon payments, which can simplify the repayment process for businesses and reduce the risk of default. This can provide reassurance to borrowers, helping them plan their finances more effectively and avoid potential financial strain.

Where This Product Falls Short

Lack of transparency

Santander’s loan terms and application process may lack transparency, making it difficult for some borrowers to fully comprehend the associated costs and terms. Borrowers have reported that the company’s website does not provide comprehensive information on loan products’ rates, fees, and repayment terms. Additionally, some borrowers have claimed that they were not provided with clear and concise information on loan terms and costs during the application process, leading to misunderstandings between the lender and borrower.

The lack of transparency can cause confusion and result in unexpected fees or higher costs. Thus, it’s crucial for borrowers to ask questions and clarify confusing terms or fees during the application process to ensure they completely understand the loan terms before committing to financing.

Hiked charges or rates for specific loan types

Santander’s business loan interest rates are competitive, but certain loan products may have higher fees or interest rates. SBA loans have lower interest rates but higher fees, while lines of credit may have higher interest rates due to their flexibility. Businesses should review and compare loan products before making a decision to ensure they are getting the best deal.

Rigorous eligibility conditions

 Santander’s eligibility criteria for some of their loan products, such as commercial mortgages, can be quite strict, making it challenging for smaller or newer businesses to qualify for financing. Meeting these criteria can also involve a lot of paperwork and due diligence, which may further delay the application process. Consequently, some businesses that require funding quickly or have suboptimal financial records may find it challenging to access financing through Santander.

How to Qualify for This Product

To qualify for a Santander US Bank business loan, businesses will typically need to meet the following criteria:

Time in business: To be eligible for most Santander business loans, businesses must have at least two years of operating history. However, if startups have strong financials or collateral, they may still qualify for some loan products.

Revenue and profitability: Santander will assess the financial performance of the business, such as revenue, cash flow, and profitability, to ascertain its ability to repay the loan. Businesses that have a positive financial history and cash flow are more likely to be approved for financing.

Legal documentation: As part of the loan application process, Santander requires businesses to provide legal documentation, such as financial statements, business licenses, and tax returns, to assess the business’s financial health and overall eligibility for financing.

 Credit score: Most Santander business loans require a minimum credit score of 650, but the exact credit score requirements may vary depending on the type of loan. The business owner’s credit score is an essential factor that Santander considers when reviewing loan applications.

How to Apply for This Product

Santander US Bank declined to disclose specific information about their application requirements and advised applicants to consult a small business banker to determine the necessary documents to submit. However, most business loan applications typically require standard documentation, as well as some lender-specific requirements:

  • Financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements, for the past two to three years
  • Articles of incorporation or other formation documents
  • Business & Personal tax returns for the past two to three years
  • Bank statements for the past three to six months
  • Business plan or executive summary
  • Business licenses and permits

Alternatives to This Product

Chase Business Loans: Chase offers term loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans to small businesses. The loan terms, rates, and loan amounts vary depending on the loan product and the business’s financial profile. Generally, Chase requires businesses to have at least two years of operating history and a minimum credit score of 680. The loan amounts range from $10,000 to $5 million, and the repayment terms range from one to seven years.

OnDeck Business Loans: OnDeck offers short-term loans and lines of credit to small businesses. The loan terms, rates, and loan amounts vary depending on the loan product and the business’s financial profile. Generally, OnDeck requires businesses to have at least one year of operating history and a minimum credit score of 600. The loan amounts range from $5,000 to $500,000, and the repayment terms range from three to 36 months.

Bank of America Business Loans: Bank of America offers term loans, business lines of credit, and SBA loans to eligible small businesses. The loan terms, rates, and loan amounts vary depending on the loan product and the business’s financial profile. Generally, Bank of America requires businesses to have at least two years of operating history and a minimum credit score of 670. The loan amounts range from $10,000 to $5 million, and the repayment terms range from one to 10 years.

Customer Reviews

Santander has received mostly negative reviews online, which is not unusual for a large bank. Around 83% of the reviews on Trustpilot have given Santander a rating of 1.5 out of 5, based on 2,516 reviews. Many customers have criticized their customer service and complaint resolution, describing them as poorly managed. However, a few satisfied customers have reported prompt resolution of their issues. Nevertheless, such customers constitute a minority.

Methodology

We reviewed this product based on 20 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We rated *this product* 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 *this product* customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like online applications, prequalification options and mobile apps.

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