Citizens Bank Mortgage Review 2021

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At a glance

Citizens Bank

3.6

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC); construction and renovation loans; interest-only
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states
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Min. credit score required

Minimum credit score requirements not available

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Rate discounts for banking customers
  • Down payment assistance program for eligible borrowers
  • Above-average customer satisfaction scores for mortgage servicing

Cons

  • Doesn’t list lender fees online
  • Doesn’t offer USDA loans
  • Subpar customer satisfaction scores for mortgage origination

Citizens Bank overview

Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens Bank is one of the biggest banks in the U.S., with more than $185 billion in assets and 1,000 branches in 11 states. The bank traces its beginnings back to 1828, and today, it primarily serves customers on the East Coast and in the Midwest. However, it also has a national lending division to help borrowers across the country purchase homes or refinance. The bank offers mortgage programs designed for a range of borrowers, including first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income borrowers. This includes down payment assistance options. According to the bank’s website, closings for home loans take 30 to 45 days, typically. Banking customers who manage their money with Citizens stand to gain the most by getting a mortgage with the bank, thanks to a discount program that reduces rates by 0.125 percent in exchange for signing up for automatic payments from a checking account. In addition, borrowers looking for a HELOC can get a 0.25 percent discount on rates with automatic payments from a checking account. Depending on where you live, there is also an option to get between $350 and $6,500 back via the bank’s Your Home Rewards program, which connects buyers with its network of real estate agents.

Good for

Borrowers who do their banking with Citizens

Loan types 

  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate
  • Rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Construction and renovation loans
  • Interest-only

Lender fees 

Citizens Bank does not disclose its fees on its website. Generally speaking, lender fees can include an origination fee, rate-lock fee and other closing costs. These expenses can vary by loan type, taxes and other factors.

Rates

Citizens Bank displays daily purchase and refinance rates and estimated monthly payments online for 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, along with rates for seven-year/six-month adjustable-rate mortgages.

The rates are based on the assumption that the borrower has a credit score of 740, so while these are a barometer of how the bank’s rates stack up against the market, if your score is lower, expect to get a higher rate.

The bank’s home equity calculator helps estimate your rate, too, if you want to borrow against your current home. 

Reputation 

Citizens Bank scored 826 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s latest customer satisfaction study of mortgage originators, which is 30 points below the industry average. The bank has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2019, and it has an A+ rating, although it has an average one out of five-star rating across 150 customer reviews. Based on more than 30 reviews over on Trustpilot, the bank has a “bad” rating of 1.6 out of five stars. Citizens did come in fifth place, however, in J.D. Power’s most recent mortgage servicing customer satisfaction study, scoring 810, which is above-average.

Online services

Citizens Bank offers borrowers an all-digital mortgage application process. There’s also a mortgage resource center online with educational content, although the website isn’t as informative as some of the bank’s competitors.

Minimum borrower requirements

Citizens Bank adheres to the conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the guidelines put in place by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA loans). For conventional loans, key requirements include good credit (typically a FICO score of 620) and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio no more than 43 percent. Borrower requirements for FHA and VA-backed loans are typically more lenient. Here are the guidelines:

Refinancing with Citizens Bank

You can refinance your existing mortgage with Citizens Bank to take advantage of lower rates or explore cash-out refinance options. The bank’s website displays updated refinance rates for borrowers with good credit, but you’ll need to connect with a loan officer for a breakdown of additional fees you’ll need to pay and a personalized rate quote. 

Not sure if Citizens Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives 

  • Citibank mortgage review – Another huge bank, but with higher customer satisfaction scores for mortgage origination.
  • Better.com mortgage review – A digital lender with low rates, an all-online borrowing experience and 24/7 customer service
  • Chase Home Lending review – Financial giant with wider branch network and solid customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, plus potential discounts for existing customers
  • Bank of America mortgage review – Fast online preapprovals, regularly-updated rates online and low-down payment loan programs
  • Rocket Mortgage review – Similar loan options and the gold standard for customer service in origination and servicing, according to J.D. Power

Breakdown of Citizens Bank overall review score 

  • Affordability: 13/15
  • Availability: 15/20
  • Borrower experience: 8/10

Review methodology

To determine a mortgage Citizens Bank’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates Citizens Banks on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the Citizens Bank’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.

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Citizens Bank consumer reviews

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Written by
David McMillin
Contributing writer
David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. David's goal is to help readers figure out how to save more and stress less.
Edited by
Mortgage editor