Founded in the wake of the Great Depression with the motto “The Friendly Bank,” First Midwest Bank now boasts over 100 branches — all in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.
First Midwest offers auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans and personal loans. Its unsecured Express personal loan can be used to consolidate high-interest credit card debt or fund home improvement projects, weddings, vacations and unforeseen expenses.
These loans, which boast competitive interest rates, are available to borrowers in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Pros and cons of First Midwest Bank personal loans
First Midwest Bank’s personal loans come with a few benefits and drawbacks.
- Few fees: Beyond a $150 documentation fee, First Midwest Bank does not charge any fees for its personal loans.
- Allows joint applications: Banks like First Midwest are more likely to allow multiple borrowers on a personal loan than online marketplace lenders. This means that if your credit score is less than stellar, you may be able to boost your overall credit picture by applying with a co-borrower.
- Quick decisions about funding: First Midwest Bank says that it offers approvals on loans in as little as 24 hours, though it doesn’t specify how soon after you’ll receive funds.
- Limited service area: For its personal loans, borrowers must reside in one of the 24 states that First Midwest Bank services.
- Little transparency: First Midwest Bank does not disclose eligibility requirements or an expected funding timeline on its website, making it hard to know if it’s a good lender for you before applying.
First Midwest Bank’s Express personal loan comes in amounts starting at $5,000, with a $35,000 maximum for home improvements, $25,000 for debt consolidation and $20,000 for all other uses. APRs range from 5.16 percent to 16.31 percent. These APRs are uncommonly low, which means that First Midwest Bank likely caters to people with good or excellent credit. Repayment terms are not clearly listed on its website, although the application form lists terms from 12 to 84 months for home improvement loans, up to 60 months for debt consolidation and up to 48 months for all other uses.
Unlike many online lending platforms, First Midwest Bank is a direct lender, meaning your personal loan comes from the bank, not a partner institution. Many personal loan companies make money by tacking on an origination fee, typically based on a percentage of your loan amount.
First Midwest doesn’t charge an origination fee, only a $150 documentation fee for processing your loan. The quote you receive is based on multiple factors, including credit history, how much you want to borrow and how long you want to pay it off.
Fees and penalties
First Midwest charges a flat $150 documentation fee for servicing each loan. However, it does not advertise any origination fees or late fees. To see if your loan is subject to any additional fees, make sure to read your loan terms before accepting an offer.
How to apply for a loan with First Midwest Bank
First Midwest Bank’s application process is straightforward and fast. Enter some basic information in the online application, including your name, Social Security number, employment information and income. The application also asks if you rent or own your residence. Homeowners have to provide some information about their monthly payment obligations, including mortgage payments, taxes and insurance.
First Midwest Bank looks for a “good” credit score, but it will also consider other factors, including employment and income. You’re also required to have at least five years of credit history that is free of bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions and other major credit issues.
The bank will not tell you online whether your loan has been approved. It will call you either with a decision or to request identification and additional supporting documentation.
Applicants can either upload the requested information or go into a physical branch. When it’s time to sign and finalize your loan, you have the option to e-sign or do it at a branch.
Before finalizing your loan, First Midwest will do a hard credit check with TransUnion, which can adversely impact your credit score.