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, Iowa and Indiana.
First Midwest offers auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans and specialty loans for building credit. While it doesn’t have a specific personal loan product, it does have a “home improvement loan,” which is essentially an unsecured personal loan that can be used only to fund home improvement projects.
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.
First Midwest Bank snapshot
|Loan amount||$5,000 to $35,000|
|APR||6.11% to 7.10%|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified|
|Time to receive funds||Not specified|
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 $100 documentation fee, First Midwest Bank does not charge any fees for its home improvement 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 even 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.
- Only one loan purpose: First Midwest Bank’s personal loan product can only be used for one purpose — home improvements. If you need a loan for debt consolidation, emergency expenses or wedding costs, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
First Midwest Bank’s personal loan, called a “Home Improvement Loan,” comes in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $35,000, with APRs from 6.11 percent to 7.10 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.
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 $100 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 $100 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, remaining balance and the total value of the home.
First Midwest Bank looks for a “good” credit score, but First Midwest 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.
How Bankrate rates First Midwest Bank
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.